U-21s Decimate Poland

Portugal vs Poland - U-21 - 9/10/13

Portugal 6-1 Poland

U-21 International

It’s interesting how much things have changed. A year ago today, the Portugal Under-21 team needed a win against Poland for any hope of qualification to the 2013 UEFA U-21 Euro. All the team could muster was a 0-0 stalemate. Earlier today, however, the Portugal Under-21 team rolled past Poland by a score of 6-1. Goals from Andre Gomes, Betinho, Ricardo, Rafa, Lucas Joao, and Ricardo Esgaio cemented the victory for the hugely impressive U-21 side. In the team’s past three games, they have scored an incredible 16 goals, while only conceding four.

The game started brightly, and it became apparent that the traffic of the match was to be one-way, with Portugal out-classing their opponents from the start. The first goal duly arrived on the 18th minute. Good wing play set up Tiago Silva, who cut the ball back across the face of goal. Andre Gomes was there to apply the finish, which he slotted coolly past the Polish goalkeeper.  The team didn’t have to wait very long to extend their lead. A simple square ball from Ivan Cavaleiro set up Ricardo perfectly, and the Porto winger made no mistake. That was the last of the scoring for the first half, and Portugal went into the locker room with a 2-0 advantage.

The second half proved to be a much more lively affair. Soon after the restart, Tiago Silva was judged to have been brought down unfairly. Ricardo Esgaio coolly converted the ensuing penalty, further adding to Portugal’s score. Poland did manage to pull one back twenty minutes later, after a towering header found its way into the back of the Portuguese net. The Seleccao responded soon after with three goals in five minutes to put the game completely beyond doubt. Betinho was the first to score, after he hit in the rebound from a Lucas Joao shot which cannoned off of the crossbar. Next, Sergio Oliveira put in a corner kick, which was cleared by a Polish defender. The right foot of Rafa met the ball on the edge of the box, and the ball was smashed into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Lucas Joao completed the rout just minutes later, heading in a Betinho cross. The final score was 6-1, an impressive victory from the impressive Portugal team. Elton Monteiro also debuted for the team in this match.

Daniel Fernandes(Luis Ribeiro), Ricardo Esgaio(Joao Amorim), Elton Monteiro(William Carvalho), Paulo Oliveira(Josue), Luis Martins(Daniel Martins), Tiago Silva(Tiago Ferreira), Joao Mario(Toze), Luis Gustavo(Rafa), Andre Gomes(Sergio Oliveira), Ricardo(Betinho), Ivan Cavaleiro(Lucas Joao)

Rui Jorge Calls on 23 for U-21 Matches

Rui JorgePortugal U-21 coach Paulo Bento announced a squad of 23 for the team’s upcoming games against Norway and Poland. The team is slated to begin their qualification campaign for the 2015 UEFA U-21 Euro on September 5, when they host Norway. The U-21s have not qualified for a U-21 Euro since 2007. Most notably, the team came close to qualifying for the last Euro, only to draw their last game against Poland, when a win could have guaranteed them a place at the finals. This time around, Portugal are in Group 8, which is comprised of Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Norway, and Israel. The group seems an easy one, and Rui Jorge and the team certainly have something to prove, after he successive failures of the past six years. Five days after the game against Norway, Portugal hosts Poland in a friendly match.

Elton Monteiro - Club Brugge

One notable inclusion in the squad is Elton Monteiro, who is uncapped at the U-21 level. Monteiro recently made the move from Arsenal, where he appeared for the reserves, to Club Brugge in Belgium. Below is the entire squad list:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Fernandes (Osnabruck), José Sá (Marítimo), Luís Ribeiro (Sporting)

Defenders: Elton Monteiro (Club Brugge), Josué (Vitória Guimaraes), João Amorim (Vitória Guimaraes), Luís Martins (Gil Vicente), Paulo Oliveira (Vitória Guimaraes), Raphael Guerreiro (Lorient), Tiago Ferreira (Porto B)

Midfielders: André Gomes (Benfica), Tózé (FC Porto B), João Mário (Sporting B), Luís Gustavo (Rio Ave), Rafa (Braga), Sérgio Oliveira (Paços Ferreira), Tiago Silva (Belenenses), William (Sporting)

Forwards: Betinho (Sporting B), Ivan Cavaleiro (Benfica B), Lucas João (Nacional), Ricardo Pereira (Porto B), Ricardo Esgaio (Sporting B)

Portugal and Poland Play to Stalemate

Poland 0-0 Portugal

The Portuguese National Team was forced to rue missed chances as they tied Poland 0-0 in a friendly match on Wednesday. Though the team created chances, they failed to capitalize, and a poor second half resigned the team to a draw.

Paulo Bento fielded a strong Portuguese side, with Hugo Almeida being preferred to Helder Postiga in the striker position. The game started off well, with the midfield passing the ball around well, and generally dictating the flow of the game. The first presentable chance fell to Nani, who latched on to a smart header from Raul Meireles, and half volleyed towards the Polish goal. Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny punched the ball to safety, and Portugal’s first chance was spurned. Nani was at the end of the next chance, also. After latching onto a beautiful cross-field pass, Nani controlled the ball and easily slipped past two markers, juked-out another defender, and shot at the near post. Once again, the Polish goalkeeper was on hand to clear away the danger. Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani had further shots either saved or missed, as Portugal entered the half on a good note.

The second half, however, was a much different story. Poland seized possession and created numerous chances, and the flow of the match was decidedly one-way. The deadlock could have been broken any number of times, had it not been for the efforts of Rui Patricio in the Portuguese goal. His excellent saves played a huge part in keeping Poland at bay in the second half of play. The only event of not from the Portuguese team was the debut of Nelson Oliveira, who replaced Nani for the final ten minutes of play.

Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe (Rolando), Bruno Alves, Coentrao (Nelson), Veloso, Moutinho (Manuel Fernandes), Meireles, Nani (Nelson Oliveira), Ronaldo (Quaremsa), Almeida (Postiga)



Portugal to Play Poland in February

Poland vs Portugal – International Friendly

February 29, 2012

The Portuguese football federation have announced that the team’s first warm-up friendly for Euro 2012 will be against Poland in February. Typically, teams are chosen for friendlies based on their similarity to the opposition to be faced. For example, before the 2010 World Cup, Portugal played China to get ready for their match against North Korea. The teams that are faced in friendlies are usually easier that the ones in the tournament, so that confidence may be built. The match will be held in Poland.