Portugal’s European Championship defence began last night in front of a packed crowd in Budapest, the Seleção managing to wear down their opponents to score three times in the final stages of the match to top their group after the first round of group games.
Here’s the PortuGOAL verdict on how Fernando Santos’ charges performed yesterday afternoon.
Rui Patrício - 6 (out of 10)
Not much for him to do barring a handful of comfortable saves you would expect him to make. Did not cover himself in glory when Hungary thought they had broken the deadlock although it ultimately mattered not when the offside flag correctly denied the hosts.
Nélson Semedo - 7.5 MOTM
Fair to suggest the biggest question mark in Santos’ XI was floating above Semedo’s head, somewhat thrown in after the withdrawal of the outstanding João Cancelo. The Wolves fullback put some inconsistency for his club behind him with a brave and highly effective performance, in which he got forward well, put crosses in the box, passed solidly and defended astutely.
Raphaël Guerreiro - 6.5
A bit of an up and down game at times, some of his passing and linkups on the left flank were a little inconsistent but like many of the team he grew into the game as it went on. Although his finish was ultimately fortuitous, he deserves major credit for getting himself into the attacking position to fire in the all important first goal late on.
Pepe - 7
Played with the confidence and experience of a man who has virtually done it all in the game. Passing and positioning mostly outstanding, helping to snuff out the relatively rare Hungary attacks that came his way.
Rúben Dias - 7
What we have come to expect from Dias of late, calm on the ball and aggressive off it, maybe too much of the latter threatened to creep into his game although his booking was harsh. Looked immensely comfortable on this stage and looks ready to take on the role of one of Portugal’s major leaders that so many hope he can fulfil.
William Carvalho - 6
Questions of his sharpness surrounded his participation in this tournament, and it’s not always easy to tell with William given his serene style on the ball. However “The Velvet Tank” put in a solid if unspectacular display, showing moments of the wide range of passing he possesses.
Danilo - 7
Quietly impressive and appeared to grow in stature as the game developed. Showcased some decent long range passing at times and together with William he formed an effective screen for the back four.
Bruno Fernandes - 6
One of the big names of the tournament as a whole, in the first half his set piece delivery looked in decent shape but his contribution to open play was fairly fleeting. Not too much improved on his part in the second half, although he did force a good save from Gulasci with a long range effort, and also played a nice pass in the buildup to Guerreiro’s opener.
Bernardo Silva - 5
Showed flashes of his ability, notably playing Jota in for an early chance but overall not enough from one of the players Portugal were and will be looking towards to unlock games like this. Hesitated when in a dangerous position later in the first half, and his passing and delivery was not at the level he would have wanted.
Diogo Jota - 5
A difficult one as he is a player who makes things happen and he threatened to do so throughout the first half, showing a couple of nice turns and testing Gulasci on a couple of occasions. However, an immensely frustrating display overall, one of the aforementioned efforts should have been squared to Ronaldo, and in general his timing and passing just seemed off.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 7
In many ways a typical performance for him in terms of his latter years. Struggled to be as involved as he would have liked, and missed a great chance in the first half. Wasn’t to be denied late on though, coolly dispatching a penalty before brilliantly scoring the third when he rounded off a fine team move.
Rafa Silva - 7
Considered a curious selection for the squad let alone to come on during the game by many observers, and initially he justified such claims as he looked bereft of confidence and direction. However he then took on a key role in all three goals, his deflected cross found Guerreiro for the opener, his own brilliant skill saw him win the penalty before he linked superbly with Ronaldo for number three.
Renato Sanches - 6.5
His time on the pitch was brief but he showed just what he is capable of with an excellent combination of skill and physicality to play a significant role in the second goal.
André Silva - 5.5
Nothing wrong but didn’t get into the game in the very short period he was on.
João Moutinho - n/a
Not enough time for a rating.
By Jamie Farr