Portugal looks to have gotten their qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 back on track after kicking off the campaign with two disappoining home draws. Portugal travelled to Serbia & defeated the hosts 4-2. Then after a slow start in Lithuania, the nation kicked into gear in the second half to come away with a 5-1 victory. P.S.N.L. now takes a look at what we learned after the two qualifying games that saw Portugal move into second spot within the group.
1- Ronaldo on fire as he becomes all time leading scorer in Euro qualifiers.
The goals keep coming for the Portugal legend
as he scored five goals combined in both
qualifiers. Ronaldo scored one goal against
Serbia and then four in the win over Lithuania.
Ronaldo has also scored 8 goals in his last 4
appearances for Portugal and his goal scoring
prowess has given the Portuguese great a new
record to call his own. Ronaldo becomes the all
time goal scoring leader in Euro qualifying
history at 25 and counting. Ronaldo is also
inching closer to the all time goal scoring
record for International goals of 107 as he currently sits at 93.
2- Portugal set piece defensive coverage needs some work.
Portugal struggled in their defensive coverage
when it came to set pieces against both Serbia
and Lithuania, conceding a goal to each nation
from the corner spot. Portugal were without
stalward Pepe due to injury and right back
Nelson Semedo suffered an ankle injury in the
second half of the first qualifier and missed
the second qualifier. Although Portugal's
defensive play was not terrible, it was not
stellar either in both encounters against lesser
opponents. Portugal's tactician Fernando
Santos will need to have Portugal better prepared as they look set to clash in Kiev with the Ukraine for the group title in October.
3- Bruno Fernandes struggles against teams that sit back and defend.
The creative midfielder still looks a tad out of
place in Portugal's starting eleven and seems
to have difficulty in encounters against tight
defending nations. Fernandes provided the
helper on Goncalo Guedes superb goal in the
first qualifier but also assisted in giving Serbia
their second marker due to a give away.
Fernandes then was all but invisible in the
second qualifier as Lithuania made sure to play
a tight defensive shell and Fernandes lack of
speed stiffled any creativity that the player could have provided. Fernandes is an outstanding midfielder but may be better suited to appear in Portugal's starting eleven when they face teams with a bit more creative flare.
WRITTEN BY JORGE CORREIA
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