National Teams

EURO 2016: Portugal Needs To Change It’s Strategy

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 30 : Portugal players celebrate during the penalty shoot out following the UEFA Euro 2016 Quarter Final match between Poland and Portugal at Stade Velodrome on June 30, 2016 in Marseille, France (Photo by Metin Pala/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
EURO 2016: Portugal Needs To Change It’s Strategy

They’ve made it to the semifinal, but it hasn’t been pretty. Portugal squeaked out two knockout victories, one with an extra-time goal, and one in a penalty shootout.

With a lot of talent on the roster, it shouldn’t be taking them extra-time to get results needed. With that said, here is what needs to change for Portugal if they want to get the best out of their roster…

Cut down on crosses

Anyone that watched the match between Portugal and Poland saw a barrage of crosses from A Selecção das Quinas into the Polish area. However, none of those crosses did anything to cause havoc for Poland. The Portuguese continued their repetitive crosses, despite nothing connecting.

In fact, their lone goal didn’t even come from one of those sent in the area. It was Renato Sánches who netted for Portugal from the run of play.

Of course, crosses have their time and place in any game, but the “Hail Mary” attempts at scoring are easily plucked out by defenses. If they want to become more dangerous, they have to be more unpredictable.

Stop relying on Cristiano

He’s one of, if not the best forward in the world. Yet, that doesn’t mean he’s going carry a team without help. Connecting with the first point, the crosses sent were predominately at Cristiano himself.

This way of playing is even more predictable. Even when they try to connect outside of crossing, it’s one man trying to do more than he can. Spreading the wealth on this roster should be way easier. There are plenty of players that can take on defenders and shoot a high quality shot.

He is a very important piece to this team, but he can’t be the only one. Portugal needs to move the ball around, and look for the best option…not just the most popular one.

Keep bringing on Quaresma as a “super-sub”

It was his goal that got Portugal through against Croatia in the first of the knockout games, and his penalty take won it against Poland.

It is evident that Ricardo Quaresma has been a major asset to this Portuguese side. He has, however, come on in the second half in both of those matches. This needs to continue, and if Portugal change their plan from the first two points, his worth will grow exponentially.

Quaresma is a very flashy player. He will take on two defenders, shoot curling outside foot shots, and take blistering corners. If he can play with a little more freedom, with crosses cut down, he adds an attacking threat against wearing down defenders.

Also, if they aren’t relying on one player, as mentioned earlier, then a guy like Quaresma has the opportunity to add more to his arsenal than just trying to find one major striker.

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for Portugal and news on the Euro 2016 tournament. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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@BryanRMW

Bryan has been a writer for The Stoppage Time since 2015. He has been covering soccer since 2011 and is a Sports management & Communications graduate from Grand Canyon University.

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