Home » 4-0. Double and new record for Cristiano in Martínez’s debut with Portugal

4-0. Double and new record for Cristiano in Martínez’s debut with Portugal

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4-0.  Double and new record for Cristiano in Martínez’s debut with Portugal

Lisbon, Mar 23 (EFE).- Portugal thrashed Liechtenstein 4-0 on Thursday in Roberto Martínez’s debut as coach of the “quinas”, which were once again led by Cristiano Ronaldo on a night in which he achieved another double and a new record.

It was an almost perfect baptism for the Spanish coach. He immediately won over the home crowd by singing every verse of Portugal’s anthem and then got his team to put on an attacking show, though he was slow to arrive.

The moment was one of celebration, since Cristiano not only recovered his smile wearing the Portuguese shirt, but also established a new record in his career by becoming the player with the most caps for a national team, with 197.

Martinez’s revolution began in tactics. Three central defenders, full-backs that were practically wingers and many midfielders serving João Félix and Cristiano up front.

Despite the fact that the rival had a population below the capacity of the Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon, the Spanish coach interpreted this duel as a final, and not as an opportunity to experiment.

However, in the first 45 minutes, the Portuguese formation was rusty and somewhat insipid on the pitch, which made it difficult for the attacking football envisioned by their new coach.

Portugal opened the scoring in the 8th minute, when João Cancelo’s shot from outside the area bounced off several players, fooling the Principality’s goalkeeper.

But the Central European team did everything possible not to be easy prey and defended with eleven to cut the speed of the Portuguese.

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Against the great wall of Liechtenstein, Portugal exchanged the ball slowly, waiting for some space, but danger only came after long shots and several moments of genius from Joao Félix, by far the best of the monotonous first half.

The second half started better for Portugal. In the 47th minute, a cross from Bruno Fernandes benefited from another defensive mistake, which sent the ball straight to the feet of Bernardo Silva to make it 2-0.

Next, the Portuguese team stepped on the accelerator thanks to the impetus of an unstoppable Cancelo, who received a foul in the area at 51′.

So, the delirium. Cristiano went to the place where he rarely goes wrong, scored and caused a wave of euphoria – and a loud “SIUU” – in Lisbon.

And with the goal, Liechtenstein finally joins the list of “victims” of the now Saudi Al-Nassr player.

Although Joao Félix was the best on the pitch at the beginning, the driving force behind the second half was Cancelo, who seems, for the moment, to have benefited the most from the change in coach.

While Fernando Santos, the previous coach, preferred to restrict him to a more defensive role, Martínez made the most of his attacking potential, just as Guardiola did when he had him at Manchester City.

But the spotlights have returned to focus on Cristiano Ronaldo. In the 63rd minute, the Portuguese captain scored again, with a withering shot from a free-kick that meant the double for him and the fourth for his country.

With the departure of Bernardo Silva and Cristiano, the Portuguese slowed down with the feeling of having done their duty and with an eye on the visit to Luxembourg next Sunday.

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– Datasheet:

4 – Portugal: Rui Patrício, João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, Danilo (Neves, min.67), Gonçalo Inácio, Raphael Guerreiro; Palhinha, Bruno Fernandes (João Mário, min.90); Bernardo Silva (Vitinha, min.78), João Félix (Rafael Leão, min.67) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Gonçalo Ramos, min.78).

0 – Liechtenstein: Buchel; Wolfinger, Malin (Lüchinger, min. 39), Traber, Hofer, Meier (Wolfinger, min. 60); Frommelt, Wieser, Hasler; Sele and Gassner (Lorenz, min. 60).

Goals: 1-0, min. 8: I cancel; 2-0 min. 47: Bernardo Silva; 3-0 min. 51; Christian; 4-0 min. 63.

Referee: Espen Eskas (NOR).

Incidents: Qualifying match for the 2024 German soccer Eurocup played at the Estádio de Alvalade in Lisbon before 45,378 spectators. EFE

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