Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


U-21: Portugal Start With 2-0 Win Against Serbia

Portugal U-21
BYDGOSZCZ, POLAND - JUNE 17: Bruno Fernandes (10) of Portugal is congratulated by team-mates after socring their second goal during their UEFA European Under-21 Championship match against Serbia on June 17, 2017 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. (Photo by Marcin Gadomski - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Portugal got their European U21 Championships off to a winning start – but their victory against Serbia was far from comfortable.

Rui Jorge’s men took the lead in the 37th minute through Goncalo Guedes, and then killed the game off with three minutes remaining when captain Bruno Fernandes netted.

The result was far better than the performance, with a disjointed Portugal often looking second best, but truth be told Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Varela did not have a difficult save to make all game.

Coach Rui Jorge made a strong statement with his team selection at the Bydgoszcz Stadium, showing faith in his squad and perhaps an eye on Spain by leaving Renato Sanches and Bruma on the bench.

Portugal had a great chance to take the lead early on. Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick was flicked on by Gonçalo Guedes to Rúben Neves at the back post but his volley rebounded off the post as Serbia cleared the danger.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Serbia had chances of their own soon after but were unable to capitalise. Edgar Ié’s sloppy give-away went unpunished before João Cancelo produced a crucial challenge to deny Marko Grujić a great opportunity.

Rúben Semedo then picked up a yellow card in a dangerous position for a sliding challenge on Aleksandar Čavrić. Benfica’s Andrija Živković stepped up but could only blast his free kick into the wall.

Portugal were threatening down the right flank, mainly due to the excellent João Cancelo who was contributing well in attack and linking up with João Carvalho and Guedes. Clear-cut chances were proving hard to come by for both sides however, Diogo Jota and Guedes struggling to get on the ball in dangerous areas.

Serbia were looking dangerous with right-back Milan Gajić combining with Živković. Their best chance came midway through the first half as Živković sliced open the Portuguese defence with a through ball to Uroš Đurđević, the Partizan striker wasting the chance with a tame effort well wide. Bruno Varela then had to rush out of his area to clear the danger after Aleksandar Čavrić ran in behind the Portuguese defence, Serbia well on top with main instigator Živković looking particularly dangerous.

Portugal then had half a chance but Jota couldn’t steer Cancelo’s free kick towards goal, but the Seleção would soon take the lead. Jota produced a fine pass for Daniel Podence who drove to the by-line, his cross met by the hand of keeper Savić with the ball popping straight up to Guedes who headed in from close range.

Portugal gained confidence and started knocking the ball around well to close out the half, Guedes in particular looking assured with surging runs and silky skills.

Jorge brought on Bruma for Jota after the break as Serbia replaced striker Čavrić with Srđan Plavšić. Ruben Neves wasn’t about to let Guedes steal the show, a brilliant turn drawing a foul from Gaćinović which earned a yellow card.

With time running out Portugal eventually scored the crucial second goal. Renato Sanches had been quiet after his introduction, but in an instant he received the ball, summed up the situation and dinked the ball over the defence into the path of captain Bruno Fernandes, whose cool control and finish secured the victory.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Portugal didn’t play their best football but opening the tournament with three points was absolutely crucial with Spain next up. Guedes showed his class, Ruben Neves controlled the game from his deep midfield position and João Cancelo was particularly effective at right back.

Keep it here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for all of your soccer news. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


More Footy You May Also Like

World Cup

More people reside in Berlin, Rome and Detroit than Uruguay, yet the football-crazy country always seems to produce incredible talent and punch well above their...

World Cup

Goals from Paulinho and Thiago Silva claimed a 2-0 win for Brazil over Serbia that saw them win Group E. It was somewhat of...

World Cup

Portugal progressed to the World Cup knockout stages after drawing with Iran in a game full of VAR controversy. Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty...

World Cup

Switzerland took a huge step towards the last 16 of the World Cup as Xherdan Shaqiri scored a brilliant solo 90th-minute winner against Serbia....

World Cup

Another Cristiano Ronaldo goal edged Portugal past Morocco as the Africans missed a hatful of second-half chances, seeing them eliminated after the 1-0 loss....

World Cup

A show-stopping Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick was enough to get Serbia the 1-0 win over Costa Rica in the Group E opener. The Central Americans...

World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 51st hat-trick in World Cup history and also his very own 51st career hat-trick as he rescued his Portugal team...