Due to injury, Ruben Micael and Hugo Almeida have had to pull out of the Portugal squad ahead of the team’s upcoming match against Ecuador. Called to replace them is Andre Gomes and Nelson Oliveira. The inclusion of Andre Gomes is an interesting one from Portugal National Team coach Paulo Bento. Gomes has broken into Benfica’s first team this season, and a string of positive performances have even merited a starting spot ahead of other very talented midfielders in the team. Despite this, Gomes has never represented the Portugal U-21 team. This is quite a jump.
It was a night to remember for young Andre Gomes. On his first competitive match for Benfica, he scored the fourth and final goal, as the team swept away Freamunde in the Taca de Portugal. Gomes was substituted on in the second hald for the ever-lively Salvio, and certainly exceeded expectations. Currently splitting time between Benfica’s first team and the B team, this was the first chance Andre Gomes had at playing time for Benfica. The midfielder expertly chested down a chipped pass and shot with ease past the opposition goalkeeper.
Fun fact of the day: The goal that Andre Gomes scored for Benfica today was the first goal that a Portuguese player has scored for Benfica in seven months. Interesting, eh?
Watch the goal here
Paulo Bento released a squad list for the Portugal National Team’s upcoming friendly against Poland, and included some surprises. The most noticeable is his inclusion of Nelson Oliveira in the squad. Nelson Oliveira is only a fringe player at Benfica, and though he has shown his worth for the team in cup matches and in various youth levels of the Portugal National team, his call-up comes as a surprise. But with Nuno Gomes lacking match fitness, Paulo Bento was left with no other choice. Nelson, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, and Silvestre Varela all return to the squad after missing out on selection last time around.
Goalkeepers: Beto, Eduardo, Rui Patrício
Defenders: Bruno Alves, Coentrão, João Pereira, Pepe, Nélson, Ricardo Costa, Rolando
Midfielders: Carlos Martins, João Moutinho, Manuel Fernandes, Miguel Veloso, Raúl Meireles, Rúben Micael
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Hugo Almeida, Hélder Postiga, Nani, Nélson Oliveira, Quaresma, Varela
It was a good weekend for Portuguese abroad, as Panathinaikos’ Zeca and Atletico Madrid’s Pizzi scored their first league goals. Both joined their clubs at the beginning of this season, and both have enjoyed varying degrees of success. This weekend, however, was a success for them both. First up is Zeca.
Olympiacos 1-1 Panathinaikos
After making the switch this summer from Vitoria Setubal to Greek giants Panathinaikos, Zeca has cemented his place in the starting eleven. Out of Panathinaikos’ eight games so far this season, Zeca has started all eight, and has usually played the full ninety minutes. It’s not hard to see that Zeca is an important piece to the Panathinaikos puzzle, and he proved that in Saturday’s derby against Olympiakos. After making a well-timed run into the box, Zeca received a pass from a teammate and poked the ball home. That goal made the score 1-0 and although Olympiacos would later score, the fans will forever be attached to Zeca. Panathinaikos are now sitting on top of the Greek league. Click here for the highlights from TvGolo.com.
Atletico Madrid 3-2 Levante
Switching peninsulas, Pizzi also scored his maiden goal for his new club. Pizzi is currently on loan from Sporting Braga to Atletico Madrid. Atletico have secured a season-long loan with an optional deal to purchase the player for 8 million at the end of the loan. After his performances on Sunday against Levante, Atletico may be getting their cash ready. Pizzi has made the majority of his appearances for Atletico off the bench, and Sunday’s match was no different. The winger was substituted in at half time, taking Tiago’s spot. A little over twenty minutes into the second half, a perfectly weighted ball from Jose Reyes found Pizzi’s run. The winger took a brilliant first-touch and coolly slotted the ball through the goalkeepers legs with his left foot. It was a simple enough looking goal because Pizzi did everything right. With Falcao out injured, maybe Pizzi can be the goal-getter that Atletico desperately needs. Click here for the highlights from TvGolo.com.
Rui Fonte has finally made his first-team debut for Espanyol. Fonte is on loan from Sporting Lisbon, and has been playing on the Espanyol’s B team for the majority of the season to date. His performances have been impressive, with his current goal tally at 11 for the team. His impressive performances have earned him the opportunity to train with the first team, and today against Sporting Gjion, he was handed his debut. Fonte is regarded as a hot prospect for the future,and hopefully this loan will help him gain experience.