Portugal 7-0 Andorra

It was a great night for debutants as Pedro Neto and Paulinho scored three of Portugal’s seven goals in an assured performance against Andorra, in a friendly game that also saw Domingos Duarte make his debut.

Renato Sanches, Cristiano Ronaldo, João Félix, and an Andorra own goal completed the scoring at the Estádio da Luz. 

While the necessity of playing friendly international games in the middle of a global pandemic may be up for debate, this game gave Fernando Santos a great chance to use his squad depth before Portugal’s UEFA Nations League tie against France on Saturday. Santos handed debuts to three players: Domingos Duarte, Paulinho, and Pedro Neto. Wins against Andorra are typically routine for Portugal as the visiting side has lost all five games against the Seleção – conceding 22 goals in the process.

It didn’t take long for one of the debutants to make their mark on the game. After just eight minutes Nélson Semedo’s cross from the right eventually found its way to Pedro Neto to finish emphatically from close range. The Wolves player had become the first player born after 2000 to play – and score – for the national team.

Portugal dominated the entire first half and got a second through another debutant. Nélson Semedo’s delivery again causing the Andorra defence problems, this time a low ball that Paulinho coolly dispatched after 28 minutes gone in the game. Nélson Semedo almost set up another goal immediately afterwards, but Renato Sanches blasted a good chance over the bar from close range.

Andorra won’t have been too disappointed going into half time with the score only at 2-0. However, the entry of Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo for Sérgio Oliveira and Pedro Neto wouldn’t have been a welcome sight. Hearts were in mouths for Portugal when Ronaldo landed awkwardly from one of his typically gigantic leaps while trying to meet a cross just after his introduction, but the forward was able to continue.

Ronaldo’s first significant involvement was to give Renato Sanches a goal to put Portugal 3-0 up after 56 minutes. The Lille midfielder scoring his first Portugal goal since his memorable strike against Poland during Euro 2016 and slotted his effort away neatly.

Paulinho added to his tally five minutes later by meeting Mário Rui’s cross with a thunderous header for Portugal's fourth. The Braga man wasn’t able to complete his hat-trick as he was soon replaced by João Félix, while fellow scorer Renato Sanches was replaced by William Carvalho. The Betis midfielder had the ball in the net not long after his introduction, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Cristiano Ronaldo was desperate for a goal from the moment he came onto the pitch. He almost scored Portugal’s fifth of the evening in the 75th minute but Bernardo Silva’s low pass was diverted into the goal by Andorra defender Emili García before Ronaldo could get a touch. Ronaldo came closer still when Danilo chipped in a lovely pass into the area, but the forward’s touch uncharacteristically let him down.

It was 85 minutes when Cristiano Ronaldo finally got the goal he was on a mission for, heading past Josep Gomes from close range from Mário Rui’s cross. João Félix added a seventh goal just two minutes later when Bernardo Silva’s cross was headed down by William Carvalho for the Atlético Madrid man to finish. Andorra goalkeeper Gomes was needed to prevent Félix from getting another just before the end.

In the end, it was a comfortable night for Fernando Santos’s team. Paulinho and Pedro Neto will be delighted to have marked their debuts with goals, while Domingos Duarte was relatively untested at the back. Although the game didn’t tell us much about how Portugal will line up against France this weekend, the comfortable win will surely have helped boost the Seleção’s confidence.


by Richard Cole

Portugal XI: Anthony Lopes; Nélson Semedo, Rúben Semedo, Domingos Duarte, Mário Rui; Sérgio Oliveira (Bernardo Silva, 46’), João Moutinho (Danilo Pereira, 74’), Renato Sanches (William Carvalho, 63’); Francisco Trincão (Diogo Jota, 74’), Paulinho (João Félix, 63’), Pedro Neto (Cristiano Ronaldo, 46’)

Andorra XI: Josep Gomes; Jordi Rubio, Marc Rebés (Albert Alavedra, 59’), Emili Garcia, Adri Rodrigues, Marc Garcia (Moisés San Nicolás, 46’); Kiki Martínez (Ludovic Clemente, 69’), Marc Pujol (Sergi Moreno, 80’), Joan Cervós (Alex Martínez, 69’); Márcio Vieira (Jordi Aláez, 59’), Aarón Sánchez

Goals:

[1-0] Pedro Neto, 8’
[2-0] Paulinho, 28’
[3-0] Renato Sanches, 56’
[4-0] Paulinho, 61’
[5-0] Emili García (OG), 76’
[6-0] Cristiano Ronaldo, 85’
[7-0] João Félix, 87’

Comments (20)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Andorra was really bad. It reminded me of a local rec team here in the states. One of its players attempted to trade jerseys with Ronaldo. I believe Ronaldo told him to screw off.

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Fantastic to see players like Pedro Neto and Paulinho given a chance to shine for the national team. It was long over due and Fernando Santos should give other young guns an outing in future friendly games. A blend of youth and experience is...

Fantastic to see players like Pedro Neto and Paulinho given a chance to shine for the national team. It was long over due and Fernando Santos should give other young guns an outing in future friendly games. A blend of youth and experience is vital for our progression. The future is bright for our country and am looking forward to see us beat France on Saturday and Croatia next week. Forca Portugal!

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Sorry, but, what is this delusional take? You honestly think F. Santos is purposefully not giving youth a chance? He has been doing it over the years constantly!

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Does anyone know where I can watch it. I live in Canada but have a VPN

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Not sure why C. Ronaldo and Fernando Santos thought it would be great idea to play him in this most pointless of friendly.

Also is it not the point of UEFA Nations League to get rid of these pointless uneven friendlies? I can still see...

Not sure why C. Ronaldo and Fernando Santos thought it would be great idea to play him in this most pointless of friendly.

Also is it not the point of UEFA Nations League to get rid of these pointless uneven friendlies? I can still see friendlies happening but with other nations like Brazil, Argentina etc but Andorra... honestly I would of very much preferred if this match didn't happen.

Also France lost to Finland which was a surprise, Honestly I don't think Portugal should play like they did against France last game and actually go more aggressive, I think France is a little of form given their key players aren't doing much in their respective clubs. 4 years ago Antonito G was a feared striker now he is just another striker.

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This was a good friendly match. Glad to see debutants Neto and Paulinho on the scoresheet. Renato Sanches and Joao Felix should also be happy with their goals.

This was not at all a pointless friendly match. All those who scored will forevermore...

This was a good friendly match. Glad to see debutants Neto and Paulinho on the scoresheet. Renato Sanches and Joao Felix should also be happy with their goals.

This was not at all a pointless friendly match. All those who scored will forevermore be remembered onto their international scoring record, especially for Ronaldo. With his one goal last night, he is getting closer and closer to surpass Ali Daei's goals of 109. I don't even know who this Ali Daei is, so I hope Ronaldo surpass him soon.

This Portugal is a very talented team. There is close competition in every positions. Rui Patricio has a good competitor in Anthony Lopes. Our fullbacks, left and right are jam-packed with talents. I hope for Wilson Manafa to be called up soon. To me, I think he has been overlooked. He has been very consistent for Porto over the years. I also hope Sergio Oliveira gets to be picked over Joao Moutinho. For me, Sergio has been the best player for Porto in the domestic and Champions League.

If there is going to be a central striker position, I hope Paulinho gets the nod. He has a good physique and his header could come in handy.

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Jeez, lmao. Dhazer, it's one friendly game over a poor country and you are dubbing Paulinho getting the nod over Jota, Guedes, Felix and others. Typical recent bias.

Come on, Manafa? Really? There are so many other better options via the...

Jeez, lmao. Dhazer, it's one friendly game over a poor country and you are dubbing Paulinho getting the nod over Jota, Guedes, Felix and others. Typical recent bias.

Come on, Manafa? Really? There are so many other better options via the wing/wing-back positions that he is not needed. Mario Rui plays that experienced left/right back position so well that Manafa wouldn't be needed.

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LOL John, glad you said what many of us were thinking. The heck is going on here?

Coach Santos ALWAYS calls up deserving youth and sorry dude but Manafa is not being called up anytime soon.

I wont even comment on Paulinho over Andre...

LOL John, glad you said what many of us were thinking. The heck is going on here?

Coach Santos ALWAYS calls up deserving youth and sorry dude but Manafa is not being called up anytime soon.

I wont even comment on Paulinho over Andre Silva....come on man, seriously??

Keep fighting the good fight John haha

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Recency bias always trumps over other players who have played consistantly. Look, I'm not doubting Paulinho. He actually played a very good game. But where does he fall on the pecking order of strikers? The 'problem' that Portugal has is that...

Recency bias always trumps over other players who have played consistantly. Look, I'm not doubting Paulinho. He actually played a very good game. But where does he fall on the pecking order of strikers? The 'problem' that Portugal has is that although they are limited on a 'pure striker', many of the wingers can play a secondary forward role (Joao Felix, Goncalo Guedes, Bruma, etc.)

If we are looking at 'pure' strikers alone, my top-4 (in no particular order) would be: Jota, Andre Silva, Rafael Leao, and Pedro Neto (for the future). Paulinho gets the 5 spot, but when you have players that can bounce between positions and be a hybrid role player, where does he honestly go?

This isn't a diss on Manafa, but I would rather have someone like Ricardo Esgaio, Nuno Mendes, or Nuno Tavares.

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I hear you.

I agree, Paulinho is a great player but out and out striker, Andre Silva has shown tremendous growth (or return to form) in Germany and his skill ceiling is higher than Paulinho. Also when it comes to holding possession (ala Eder)...

I hear you.

I agree, Paulinho is a great player but out and out striker, Andre Silva has shown tremendous growth (or return to form) in Germany and his skill ceiling is higher than Paulinho. Also when it comes to holding possession (ala Eder) Silva again has better strength, tenacity and vision.

I am also not knocking Manafa but Selecao, Euro and WC are different levels of play. One mistake can cost you everything. All 4 strikers you mentioned are great and all offer different skill sets, which is what teams need.

Jota is tenacious, 1 on 1 killer, high scoring percentage, pitbull. A young Luis Suarez.

Leao is fast, strong, excellent passer and crosser. Equally good off both feet and head. High football IQ, always in the right spot. Might have the highest skill ceiling.

Neto, tremendous speed, north south player, not the best scoring percentage but his ceiling is huge. Can be deployed as both winger, SS and striker.

Paulinho offers same as Silva so which do you pick? We both chose the same and I am willing to bet 8/10 maybe 9/10 pick Silva. Silva also possesses highlight reel goals from nothing, kid is unselfish and always picks open team mates. He has played in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Germany. So much experience for his young age.

Good problems to have and great discussions.

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@Jerrold Hewson

Next time, set your VPN to Portugal and visit https://www.rtp.pt/

Under the sports section they air the feed live.

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ESPN+ airs all of Portugal's games. $5.99 a month

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thank you

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Sanches needs to play over Fernandes, end of story. Stop with the Fernandes is better argument. He captains a bottom of the table club that has not been relevant since Ronaldo. Lille would beat Man U nine times out of ten. Trust me.

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If coach Santo is not going to play an actual central striker, I'm always in favor of Jota - Ronaldo - Felix. This would be my first pick. And Bernardo Silva can play in the left midfield position. But if Santos were to play a genuine central...

If coach Santo is not going to play an actual central striker, I'm always in favor of Jota - Ronaldo - Felix. This would be my first pick. And Bernardo Silva can play in the left midfield position. But if Santos were to play a genuine central striker, I would play Paulinho instead of Andre Silva. Paulinho might not have a tricky feet and dribbling ability, but he has got a mean header, as was evident last night. He could really trouble the opponent's defense during corner kicks.

As for Manafa, he has been one of the most consistent in the league during this season and last season. I'm not saying him to be called up and be in the starting lineup automatically. I don't even know this Mario Rui that much. Just as Andre Silva gets rested this month, why not giving Manafa a chance. I don't know about Nuno Tavares, but Nuno Mendes will get his chance soon enough.

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Well one things for sure is I absolutely love Renato Sanches in our midfield. Angelo above me is saying to start him instead of Bruno and I can’t say I disagree with him at all, in fact I’m completely in agreement with him. Where Bruno shines is...

Well one things for sure is I absolutely love Renato Sanches in our midfield. Angelo above me is saying to start him instead of Bruno and I can’t say I disagree with him at all, in fact I’m completely in agreement with him. Where Bruno shines is his ability to pick a pass from out of nowhere, that’s really the only thing he does better than Renato. The thing about Renato though is he carries the ball from deep positions you the field all game and he’s a pit bull out there. Id love to see Danilo, Renato, Bruno in the midfield but in order for that to happen, Santos would have to trust Renato helping out defensively. I’m starting to feel like the Portuguese whisperer over here haha. I asked for Jota well over a year ago instead of Andre Silva and I’ve been asking for Neto over Guedes for a few months now and he’s here too lol. Anyways, I’m a firm believer that the English league is head and shoulders the most competitive and best league in the world. Guys like Jota and Neto were playing at a different level routinely than anybody else. Just an example, maybe Pizzi plays well for Benfica but you can’t compare what he does against Boavista and Academica to what Jota or Pedro Neto are doing against the top 6-8 teams in England all year. What I like about our team is a lot of our starters play in the same domestic league(EPL). Rui, Semedo, Dias, Cancelo, Bruno, Bernardo and Jota. That’s 7 starting players out of 11 right there and you can basically include Ronaldo as well because he dominated England so really that’s 8 players out of 11! When you add in guys like Raphael, Renato, Joao Felix and Danilo, those 4 could easily play for the top teams in England. The reason why is because they’re very fluid players and intelligent enough to understand the game no matter what system they’re in.

If you look at the Spanish teams that dominated not to long ago or the Italian teams of old, those teams were full of guys that all played together in the same league. Granted it was the Spanish and Italian leagues but still the rationale is the same with what I’m saying. With 8-10 of our best players playing the same style of game every week that helps a lot when they’re asked to come together. There’s a rumor that Wolves are after Renato too in January and I’d absolutely love that!! In the past our roster was full of guys that played all over the planet remember? Danny is one name that sticks out to me right now, he played in Russia lol. There’s more guys like Danny but I don’t feel like digging through our old teams looking for names, I just remember thinking back than that our players were all over Europe. Anyways, since I’m on a roll here with getting players I want haha, I’d really like Leao please, I’ve been asking for a few months now along with Pedro Neto. Stop calling up trincao, don’t reward players based on their name please, trincao hasn’t done anything at a high level, Leao has.

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