Portugal 4-0 Israel
The Seleção gave themselves a confidence-boosting win over Israel in Lisbon by comfortably winning their final friendly before EURO 2020. Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring after some good play from João Cancelo on the right. The goalscorer turned provider when he found Cristiano Ronaldo to double Portugal’s lead before the break.
The second half was a more pedestrian affair but two moments of magic from João Cancelo and Bruno Fernandes added some gloss to the final score.
Portugal hadn’t beaten Israel since a friendly game back in 2000 – with Luís Figo and Jorge Costa on target that day. The last two meetings between the two sides were both score draws during the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign. Remember Fábio Coentrão’s late equalizer?
Fernando Santos made a handful of changes to his team after the 0-0 draw with Spain on Friday. Rui Silva (making his debut), Rúben Dias, Nuno Mendes, William Carvalho, Rúben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, and Bernardo Silva all started.
Right from the first whistle, Portugal stamped their authority on the game. Diogo Jota had a great chance after 15 minutes when João Cancelo’s cross found the Liverpool man, but his header went over Ofir Martziano’s goal. Next, Bruno Fernandes had a difficult chance as the ball flew over his shoulder, but the Israel goalkeeper got in the way of it.
Cristiano Ronaldo had started the game off quietly, but he began to find more space as time went on. Bruno Fernandes crossed from the left and Ronaldo had an excellent chance but couldn’t get it past the keeper. However, it was Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes who made the difference just before the half-time whistle.
In the 42nd minute, João Cancelo found space down the right and pulled the ball back for Bruno Fernandes to score his first goal at the Estádio José Alvalade since 2019. Two minutes later Fernandes turned creator. Portugal broke and Fernandes played in Cristiano Ronaldo who buried a low shot underneath Martziano.
Portugal made just one change at half-time, with André Silva on for Diogo Jota as Portugal’s dominance continued. Indeed, the team was able to go into autopilot for much of the second half with Israel giving Rui Silva a relaxing debut.
Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva offered some of the better moments of the second half, but at that point it was clear Portugal already had their minds on next week.
But Portugal awarded patient viewers with two lovely goals before full time. The first from Manchester City man João Cancelo, who cleverly cut in from the right before unleashing an unsavable curling effort. Finally, Bruno Fernandes doubled his tally with a lovely strike from outside the area in the 90th minute to make it 4-0 on the night.
Now all eyes are focused on EURO 2020, with Portugal facing Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday 15th June.
By Richard Cole
Portugal XI: Rui Silva; João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias (Danilo Pereira, 62’), Nuno Mendes; William Carvalho (Renato Sanches, 71’), Rúben Neves (João Moutinho, 62’), Bruno Fernandes; Bernardo Silva (Pedro Gonçalves, 71’), Cristiano Ronaldo (Gonçalo Guedes 71’), Diogo Jota (André Silva, 46’)
Israel XI: Ofir Martziano; Eli Dasa (Yonas Malede, 88’), Orel Dgani (Matan Baltaksa, 72’), Neta Lavi (Aviel Zargari, 88’), Eitan Tibi, Ofri Arad; Bibras Natkho (Osama Khalaila, 62’), Sun Manahem (Joel Hanna, 46’), Gadi Kinda (Mohamed Abu Fani, 62’); Eran Zahavi, Manor Solomon
[1-0] Bruno Fernandes, 42’
[2-0] Cristiano Ronaldo, 44’
[3-0] João Cancelo, 86’
[4-0] Bruno Fernandes 90+1’