Another chapter and stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar group stage have closed, teams with two wins in as many games had secured a place in the Round of 16, including France, Brazil and Portugal, while other nations are left with disappointments, most notably the weakest host nation in the history of the World Cup, Qatar and one of the host countries for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Canada have already been knocked out.
It was a bittersweet moment for World No. 9 and the 2016 UEFA European Championship winner Portugal, because A Seleção das Quinas went from almost losing out a place in this year’s World Cup Finals in Qatar to booking a ticket in advance to the last 16 stage in the second round of group stages. As a team that usually struggles in group fixtures of a major tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo and co have definitely come a long way.
Revenge Is Sweet Against Uruguay
Portugal is placed in Group H, one of the toughest in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with Uruguay (14th in FIFA Ranking), South Korea (28th in FIFA Ranking) and Ghana (61st in FIFA Ranking) as their opponents. In last night’s fixture against the two-time world champion Uruguay, A Seleção das Quinas did not show fear and dominated the game, avenging on the team who knocked them out in the 2018 edition with a convincing 2-0 victory at Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Bruno the Star Man with a Double
The focal point of the point must have been Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes’ brace against the Sky Blue. After a goalless first 45 minutes, A Seleção das Quinas finally gained an advantage at the 54th minute, where a cross from Bruno Fernandes was initially ruled a Cristiano Ronaldo goal, but video assistant referee (VAR) showed that the Portugal national team captain did not get a touch of the goal.
Bruno then doubled the Portuguese lead in the dying seconds of the game through a penalty, after the ball hit the hand of Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez in the box. He had multiple efforts denied to claim his first hat-trick for his country, including a beautiful volley from the right that was saved by the opposing goalkeeper and another shot that hit the post in the 99th minute of the game. The brace was Bruno Fernandes’s 6th and 7th goals in 11 games for Portugal this year and he looked to have put the 2020 UEFA Euro upsets behind him.
Ronaldo Is Not Alone
Cristiano Ronaldo had always been the biggest star for Portugal, carrying the entire country’s hopes on his shoulder. Nonetheless, the rest of the Portugal national team has risen to the occasion and provided him with assistance that he desperately needed for years. Age may have caught up with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner lately, but for the first time ever, he would not be alone in his quest of trying to conquer the world, as his Portugal teammates will be there to support him.
(Photo Credits: BeIn SPORTS)