Two of Portugal’s best-known full-backs stole the show this weekend in the Portuguese Abroad section, with João Cancelo and Raphaël Guerreiro both scoring and assisting in the German Bundesliga for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
Elsewhere, Fábio Silva continues his breakout goalscoring season which began in Belgium and progresses in the Netherlands with PSV. Francisco Conceição gave another push for more minutes at Ajax with a goal for their B team in the second tier, while veteran Paixão twins, Marco and Flávio, both scored this weekend.
João Cancelo has had a difficult start to life with Bayern Munich, having recently been dropped to the bench for three straight matches. However, following backing from manager Julian Nagelsmann, the Portugal full-back was restored to the line-up for the visit of Augsburg in the Bundesliga and responded with his first goal for the club.
Bayern fell behind after less than two minutes to Mergim Berisha’s opener for the visitors, but Cancelo quickly drew them level inside 15 minutes. The on-loan Manchester City man showed his quality to work the ball onto his right foot and fire home from a tight angle, becoming just the second Portuguese goalscorer in Bayern’s history after Renato Sanches.
Bayern went on to win the match 5-3, with Cancelo getting an assist for his side’s final goal, picking out Alphonso Davies at the back post with a brilliant pass. Cancelo now has four assist in his short time in German football and will surely keep his place ahead of tough upcoming fixtures against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund.
Guerreiro inspires Dortmund from midfield
Dortmund are now two points adrift of Bayern after they were held 2-2 by rivals Schalke in the Revierderby. Portugal star Raphaël Guerreiro was deployed in a midfield position in manager Edin Terzic’s 4-3-3 formation, which proved a masterstroke as Guerreiro responded with a goal and assist as the sides shared the spoils.
Dortmund took the lead when Guerreiro found Nico Schlotterbeck, who fired home from outside the penalty area. Marius Bulter equalised for Schalke but Guerreiro restored the visitors’ lead on the hour in stylish fashion, latching onto Emre Can’s throughball and dispatching a clinical left-foot finish into the top corner. Schalke earned a draw through Kenan Karaman’s late header.
Raphaël Guerreiro still one of Portugal’s best technicianspic.twitter.com/zCkYkADGTU— Sean Gillen (@SeanGillen9) March 14, 2023
“Mixed emotions for me? No, it’s really a sad emotion because it’s the most important game of the season for us and the fans and we’re really sad about the result,” Guerreiro told the club’s media. “You could see how they celebrated as if they had won, when we drew the game. Of course I’m really happy to score goals and make an assist for my teammate, but it’s not enough and the most important thing is the result which we didn’t get.
Playing in midfield, Guerreiro impressed across the board on individual stats from the game in terms of running, pass-completion and threatening the opposition goal. “Of course I’m happy because I know I’m really fit when I see those stats that I ran a lot. I had one or two chances which I could do better, so I’m also disappointed in this case. I feel good on the pitch and you can see that with my statistics.
“I was really surprised to play in this position, because the coach only told me one day before and this season I haven’t worked in this position. But of course I know the position because I played many games there under Tuchel in my first season here, so I know how to do it. But it was a big surprise for me and for other people because they haven’t seen me in this position for a long time.”
The rest: Fábio Silva keeps scoring in Eredivisie; Paixão twins on target
Portugal U21 striker Fábio Silva is now onto 15 goals this season in all competitions, after slotting home a penalty in PSV’s 5-3 win over Cambuur in the Dutch Eredivisie. The on-loan Wolves forward also caught the eye in the build-up for PSV’s final goal, again showing a good understanding with fellow prospect Xavi Simons as the pair combined brilliantly to set up substitute Anwar El Ghazi to score.
Another former Porto prospect, Francisco Conceição, has found playing time hard to come by in the Netherlands at Ajax so far this season. The 20-year-old has started just four matches in the top flight for the Amsterdam club, but his goal in Ajax II’s 6-2 hammering of NAC Breda will hopefully aid his cause for more involvement during the run-in.
Veteran strike twins Flávio and Marco Paixão both hit the net this weekend in Poland and Turkey respectively. Flávio Paixão rounded off the scoring for Lechia Gdansk in a 4-0 win over Miedz Legnica in the Polish Ekstraklasa, while Marco Paixão grabbed the winner as Altay beat Eyupspor 1-0 in the Turkish 1 Lig.
⚽ Marco Paixao, kendisini unutturdu ve aşırtma ile golünü attı! #SporTotoBirinciLig pic.twitter.com/ygYFdva9OZ— beIN SPORTS Türkiye (@beINSPORTS_TR) March 13, 2023
Also in the Polish Ekstraklasa, there were goals for former Santa Clara midfielder Nené, whose strike helped Jagiellonia Bialystok beat Gornik Zabrze 2-1, and Leonardo Rocha, who bagged for Radomiak Radom in a 2-1 loss to Korona Kielce. In Cyprus, former Paços Ferreira attacker Hélder Ferreira got his first goal in the country for Anorthosis Famagusta as they overcame Doxa 3-1.
Finally, as usual there were plenty of goals in some of the game’s less documented leagues. In the United Arab Emirates, former Vitória de Guimarães man Tozé scored from the spot to give Al Nasr a 1-0 win over Bani Yas. João Simões scored for Differdange in a 2-0 victory against Monnerich in Luxembourg; Zé Valente found the net in Persebaya’s 2-2 draw with Persib in Indonesia; lastly Andorran side UE Santa Coloma ran out 3-1 winners against Ordino with Tiago Portuga among the scorers.
By Sean Gillen