With the U-21’s impressive performance at the U-21 Euro now in the past, the team’s focus now shifts to qualification for the next edition of the tournament. With this shift is also a shift in personnel. Head coach Rui Jorge named a squad of 23 today for the team’s upcoming qualification match against Albania, to be played on September 8th. Continue reading
Portugal 0-1 Ukraine
A hapless performance resigned the Portuguese under-21 team to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against a sharp Ukraine side. Though not much was expected of this game, the performance from the Seleccao was nevertheless disappointing.
Rui Jorge began in this game what must happen every two years or so. All of the U-21 players who were vital to the team in the previous qualifying campaign for the U21 Euro are dropped, and a new crop is called upon. This presents problems in terms of getting a result, because many of the players have never played on the same team together. Team chemistry is low, which may explain the result yesterday. Team chemistry will come, however.
The game started relatively brightly for the hosts, as Edu shot barely over the net. Ukraine then had a chance of their own, which Joao Pinho expertly punched away. The deadlock was broken minutes later, when Noyok scored for the visitors. Sergio Oliveira then had a free-kick fly narrowly wide of the Ukrainian goal. Portugal was pressing, but there was a distinct lack of quality in their play. The second half passed without much action, minus a last-minute header from Josue which rattled the post. That was how the game ended: Portugal 0-1 Ukraine.
Joao Pinho(Daniel Fernandes), David Bruno(Vitor Goncalves), Miguel Lourenco(Paulo Oliveira), Ricardo Ferreira(Josue), Luis Martins, William(Amorim), Tiago Rodrigues(Francisco Junior), Sergio Oliveira, Edu(Aldair), Fabio Nunes, To Mane
Poland 0-0 Portugal
2013 UEFA U-21 European Championship Qualification
The Portugal U-21 team will be disappointed to learn that they have narrowly missed out on qualification to next summer’s U-21 European Championship. A 0-0 draw with Poland today was not enough to qualify for the play-offs, with the team being overtaken in the standings at the last second, after Switzerland defeated Estonia.
The game started off quite lethargically, with nothing of note occurring until well into the first half. Some excellent wing-play from Andre Martins set up David Simao for a shot, but the midfielder uncharacteristically made a mess of it. Though the shot was missed, it was encouraging play nonetheless. The half ended with the scores level at 0-0.
Predictably, the second half was a much more lively affair. Poland had the first chance when a well-struck free-kick was put just over. Portugal responded well, with Andre Martins going close, and then Wilson Eduardo almost breaking the deadlock twice. As the time winded down, the game winded up. Anthony Lopes had to be on alert, as Poland were barraging the Portuguese goal with shot after shot. Last minute efforts from Wilson Eduardo and Salvador Agra were not enough to break the deadlock, and the game finished at a disappointing 0-0.
Anthony Lopes, Cedric, Ruben Ferreira, Nuno Reis, Pedro Mendes, Andre Almeida, Josue, Andre Martins(Fredy), David Simao(Wilson Eduardo), Rui Fonte(Abel Camara), Salvador Agra
The Portugal Under-21 Team fought a well-organized Lithuania team today, and came back victorious. Ukra was the star of the night, unlucky to score only once. Ukra had the majority of the shots, and he was eventually rewarded. A corner kick was swung in and Ukra jumped in front of the Lithuanian net-minder to head in the the net. Portugal lost their rhythm in the second half, and Lithuania could have staged a dramatic comeback if it wasn’t for the heroics of the Portugual goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who twice denied Lithuania scoring opportunities. Overall, it was a very promising performance from an inexperienced side.