Portugal surrendered top spot in the UEFA Nations League after a 1-0 defeat in Switzerland. Haris Seferović opened the scoring in the first minute at Stade de Genève, the Seleção unable to find an equaliser despite creating the bulk of the opportunities.

Fernando Santos made seven changes to the side that beat Czech Republic and it showed, especially in the first half where fluency was often lacking.

The introduction of Gonçalo Guedes, Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota in the second half improved their play, but Portugal were unable to create enough quality opportunities to beat Jonas Omlin.

Fast start

Switzerland got off to a sensational start in Geneva, taking the lead inside the opening minute. It was a simple goal, Silvan Widmer’s cross met by Haris Seferović who headed past Rui Patrício.

Rafael Leão was getting plenty of ball down the left wing, consistently beating Silvan Widmer, but his final ball was continually lacking.

Portugal survived a scare in the 14th minute when Switzerland were awarded a penalty. Nico Elvedi came through the back of André Silva, ran clear and found Xherdan Shaqiri, his cross handled by Nuno Mendes an inch inside the 18-yard box.

Referee Fran Jovic consulted the touchline monitor and reversed his decision, Elvedi clearly fouling Silva.

The Seleção went close in the 17th minute, Bruno Fernandes' deep corner sent back into the danger by Rúben Neves where Danilo’s header was saved by Jonas Omlin.

Rafael Leão then headed the ball into the net but André Silva was ruled offside. Silva then saw his shot blocked but Portugal were struggling to string passes together inside Switzerland’s half.

Second half changes

Fernando Santos made a change at the break with Otávio replaced by Gonçalo Guedes. André Silva’s weak shot was saved after some nice work from Nuno Mendes, Vitinha getting involved and Portugal’s press improving.

Portugal were unsuccessfully trying to release Guedes down the right wing with Leão unable to get in the game.

Switzerland were content to wait for counter attacking opportunities, Seferović racing clear and dragging his effort wide.

Santos finally brought his main weapons off the bench in the 62nd minute when Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota replaced Vitinha and Leão.

Bernardo was immediately involved, unleashing a fierce strike that was punched away by Omlin. Bruno Fernandes fired a free kick straight at Omlin as Portugal increased their intensity.

Omlin got away with a scare when he kicked the ball straight into Berardo inside his own 18-yard box, but the keeper but was able to recover just in time.

Chance after chance

Rúben Neves’ low drive was deflected for a corner as Portugal dominated possession. Guedes met Nuno Mendes’ cross and shot straight at Omlin before Bruno Fernandes made way for Matheus Nunes in the 74th minute.

Jota did well to make space for a shot that forced a save from Omlin as the chances kept coming. Guedes blazed over the bar, Jota’s header was saved and Cancelo’s drive narrowly missed the top corner.

Omlin was finally booked for time wasting in the 80th minute before Ricardo Horta replaced Rúben Neves. Steven Zuber’s shot was saved but the action soon returned to the opposite end of the pitch.

Pepe’s shot was saved, Bernardo’s weak effort went straight to Omlin, Pepe shot into the side netting and Jota’s shot from a tight angle missed the target.

Analysis

Fernando Santos made wholesale changes to the side that beat Czech Republic 2-0 in Lisbon. Vitinha made his first start for the Seleção with Rui Patrício, Nuno Mendes, Bruno Fernandes, Otávio, Rafael Leão and André Silva all returning to the starting side.

It was always going to be difficult to maintain the continuity and so it proved in the first half.

Rafael Leão enjoyed a lot of open space down the left wing but was unable to turn it into chances. Vitinha and Otávio struggled to make any impact.

Portugal did their best to break Switzerland down in the closing stages but were unable to find an equaliser. This match, alongside the win against Czech Republic, was another one to forget about and move on from as quickly as possible.

Line Ups 

Portugal (4-3-3): Rui Patrício - João Cancelo, Pepe, Danilo Pereira, Nuno Mendes – Vitinha (Bernardo Silva 62’), Rúben Neves (Ricardo Horta 82’), Bruno Fernandes (Matheus Nunes 74’) – Otávio (Gonçalo Guedes 46’), André Silva, Rafael Leão (Diogo Jota 62’)

Unused substitutes: Diogo Costa, Rui Silva, Domingos Duarte, David Carmo, Diogo Dalot, João Palhinha, William Carvalho

Head Coach: Fernando Santos

Czech Republic (4-3-3): Jonas Omlin - Silvan Widmer (Renato Steffen 46’), Manuel Akanji, Nico Elvedi, Ricardo Rodríguez (Leonidas Stergiou 79’) - Remo Freuler, Granit Xhaka, Djibril Sow (Michel Aebischer 79’) - Xherdan Shaqiri (Noah Okafor 22’), Haris Seferović, Breel Embolo (Steven Zuber 66’)

Unused substitutes: Yann Sommer, Yvon Mvogo, Fabian Frei, Eray Cömert, Fabian Schär, Mario Gavranović, Zeki Amdouni

Head Coach: Murat Yakin

Goals

[1-0] – Haris Seferović 1'

Comments (49)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Lots of chances, just were lacking the clinical final touch. Bad luck. Solid goalkeeping from Omlin. It happens. Not terribly worried, but it sucks to loose a competitive match. I thought the refereeing was questionable. Terrible pen call to...

Lots of chances, just were lacking the clinical final touch. Bad luck. Solid goalkeeping from Omlin. It happens. Not terribly worried, but it sucks to loose a competitive match. I thought the refereeing was questionable. Terrible pen call to begin with, Nuno’s arm was tucked against his body, and oblivious to the foul on Silva. The Swiss made strategic fouls that they should’ve been punished for. Elvedi’s dive when he was caught out against Silva was terrible. Omlin’s yellow card for time wasting should’ve come 20 minutes earlier as well.

I hate to say it, but we have not evolved out of our reliance on Ronaldo. Ronaldo is irreplaceable, justifiably so, being the greatest goal scorer the game has ever see .

I think if Jota had more time on the pitch he would’ve scored, it was just a matter of time.

Boas Ferias!

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Teresa
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Nuno Mendes was terrible and must not be on the bus to the world cup, lack's experience. Today his passes were erratic and compromised on his defensive duties and lost the ball couple of times. He was way out of line moving forward and was not a...

Nuno Mendes was terrible and must not be on the bus to the world cup, lack's experience. Today his passes were erratic and compromised on his defensive duties and lost the ball couple of times. He was way out of line moving forward and was not a good passer with the ball.

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Neville
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He, along with much of the team were not great. Erratic passing and crosses, but still made important tackles and had the most completed dribbles on our side.

Nuno Mendes (if fit) will be in Qatar, there’s no doubt about that.

Re: to your...

He, along with much of the team were not great. Erratic passing and crosses, but still made important tackles and had the most completed dribbles on our side.

Nuno Mendes (if fit) will be in Qatar, there’s no doubt about that.

Re: to your post below.
Mario Rui struggled for Napoli this season. Cedric is solid defensively typically, had a poor season with Arsenal and lacked any sort of defensive credibility towards the end of the season. If Ricardo Pereira could stay fit for more than a month maybe he would be in the running for RB as Cancelo’s backup, we haven’t seen that in a long time yet. Surely you haven’t seen Tavares’ performances at Arsenal. Unfortunately, I have. He started bright and had Tierney on the bench for a couple of games, that has since faded and Arteta has lost so much faith in him, he opted to play Xhaka (a true CDM/cm) on LB for the remainder of the PL season.

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Teresa
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The only goal that was scored was through the left, the area manned by Nuno Mendes. Secondly, Nuno Mendes had all the rest between matches, unlike other players, so his performance should have been to perfection.

It's easy to play in a...

The only goal that was scored was through the left, the area manned by Nuno Mendes. Secondly, Nuno Mendes had all the rest between matches, unlike other players, so his performance should have been to perfection.

It's easy to play in a starstudded PSG rather than playing with the Arsenal team by Cedric where you have to defend against the best players in an aggressive & physical English league. I don't think even Messi will last in the English Premier league which is fast and physical.

We cannot compare the English league players with the French Ligue 1 players as the former need more aggressive and physical footballers.

The role of a deep defender is to defend first rather than attack, Joao Concelo or Ricardo Pereira is at a different level which cannot be compared to Nuno Mendes.

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Neville
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Correction: the cross came from the left. The goal was SCORED through 1) poor positioning by Patricio and 2) Cancelo leaving Seferovic open.

Mendes had a poor game. He’s a great player, the youngest player in the side at the moment, and for the...

Correction: the cross came from the left. The goal was SCORED through 1) poor positioning by Patricio and 2) Cancelo leaving Seferovic open.

Mendes had a poor game. He’s a great player, the youngest player in the side at the moment, and for the most part has played well for the NT so far.

Cancelo* and Pereira are* (see what I did there) not deep defenders, not sure what point you are trying to make. Cancelo is IMO, the best attack-minded fullback in the world. Pereira is not able to stay fit unfortunately, until he can we’re not going to see him, plain-and-simple. Now instead of speaking in hypotheticals, please articulate with some evidence.

Here’s where “I don’t think Messi could last in the PL” is completely baseless. Against PL teams in European competitions:
Chelsea 10apps, 3goals
Arsenal 6apps, 9goals
Man city 7apps, 7goals
Man U 6apps, 4goals
Tottenham 2apps, 2goals
Liverpool 4apps, 2 goals

I hate that I wasted my time having to dig those stats up.

Now here’s the difference: As a 19year old, Nuno Mendes has stood out this season in a star-studded team. PSG would not have paid €45million + add ons if they thought the same as you. As an experienced 30year old, Cedric started less than half of the PL games this season (even though Tomiyasu was out for half of it, so there should not have been competition), and has had a season to forget. Don’t get me wrong, Cedric has put in commendable performances for the Seleçao, I think his best footballing has come through the Seleçao but making a case for his inclusion over Mendes sheds light on your very well informed opinions, or not…

✌️

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Teresa
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When there is a goal scored, it usually involves the breakdown by few players. Leao was slow to track back, Fernandes was didn't track his player, and was ball watching. If he had, that goal would not have happened. He would have gotten to the...

When there is a goal scored, it usually involves the breakdown by few players. Leao was slow to track back, Fernandes was didn't track his player, and was ball watching. If he had, that goal would not have happened. He would have gotten to the ball first or at least easily contested a cross. Mendes had Fernandes's player floating in behind him, so he tried to cut out that pass. Unfortunately, it was passed to the overlapping FB. Pepe had two players to worry about, Neves should have more tightly marked the first, then Pepe could have been closer to Seferovic. But on defense you have numbers so Cancelo was there, but Cancelo didn't even jump. Patricio looked hapless.

Mendes is the future and the now. Him a Rafa G make a solid combo. Also, Cancelo plays great at left back. Hopefully, Tavares will quit doing bone head plays, because the ability is there.

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Paulo
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Patricio can't be ahead of Costa, Sa or Lopes. He was so un-agile and flat footed on that goal. Watch the low lights again, and you will see. Not saying the others would have gotten to it, but he had no chance.

This is why Ronaldo is needed,...

Patricio can't be ahead of Costa, Sa or Lopes. He was so un-agile and flat footed on that goal. Watch the low lights again, and you will see. Not saying the others would have gotten to it, but he had no chance.

This is why Ronaldo is needed, literally our only consistent target man. Andre Silva, not consistent, Jota, tries hard, but too short.

Arrogance cost us this time. How is Ronaldo going to stay on for 90 plus minutes in the 2 last games, when they were clearly in hand and now he is to be rested. Santos has got to get a hold of his ego as he is goal chasing for extending his record . Today was the day we needed him, not walking around looking for a goal against Swiss at home or the Czechs.

We need another tall center forward, clearly Andre Silva is not up to snuff. He works hard, but we need a goal.

Why waste so many corners? Pepe and Danilo were are biggest threats in the box for corners and we can't get it to them?

Also, Carvalho play well last time, another big player for corners would have helped.

For the World Cup, we have to get a true Center Forward, even if not that good. Remember Eder? We need someone who can help us in these moments or we will come across situations like this and have no answer.

Don't want to hammer probably our best player, but Cancelo did nothing to impede Harris.

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Paulo
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The League of Nations is a waste of time, especially when the WC will be played in November. Santos doesn’t have a clue. All three games he has played Pepe and Danilo in the back. Why is this idiot not trying out any other new CB? I know why,...

The League of Nations is a waste of time, especially when the WC will be played in November. Santos doesn’t have a clue. All three games he has played Pepe and Danilo in the back. Why is this idiot not trying out any other new CB? I know why, because he is taking Fonte to the WC. Why is he play over rated Bruno Fernandes? He passed more to Switzerland than he did to his teammates. Not going to win League of Nations or WC with non plan Santos coaching. All he does is complain on the sideline. Now you know what Ronaldo would be doing if he was a coach - complain like Santos. Teams will figure out Santos cluelessness, just like Germany did in the last Euro, and thrash Portugal if they are playing competitive teams. Fire the Santos now and going with someone that can harness all of the talent Portugal possess. What’s the worst thing that can happen, we don’t make it of the group? I hate to break it to you but we aren’t making out of the WC group with Santos in charge anyway…

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Anti-santos
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Why is Santos playing Octavio when we have better Portuguese born options? Another example of Santos’ coaching stupidity….

Anti-santos
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Positive performances against the Swiss and Czechs at home, but as usual when the difficulty goes up a notch we seem to have the wrong team out from the start, concede a goal and are then just reacting from there, gradually getting more...

Positive performances against the Swiss and Czechs at home, but as usual when the difficulty goes up a notch we seem to have the wrong team out from the start, concede a goal and are then just reacting from there, gradually getting more desperate. Pretty much what happened against Belgium and Uruguay.

If the goal was to win the group but rotate players then I don't understand why he didn't rest some of the big hitters in the previous games so we could field a strong XI from the get go tonight, the obvious harder game of the group after Spain. And if you are going to field an experimental side for this game, why not at least give Carmo a shot? I don't understand his thinking at all. Not only that, we don't really seem to have any idea what the best 11 is and we only get further away with each passing international window.

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Christopher Santos
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I was so excited going into this game, the last two were fun to watch.

Bernardo looked good as always.

Jerrold Hewson
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So let's be honest we should have beat Switzerland again so much changes in line up and for what Costa should have played in net Duarte or carmo should have got a chance to play in 1 out 4 games and andre silva why is he playing he socks for...

So let's be honest we should have beat Switzerland again so much changes in line up and for what Costa should have played in net Duarte or carmo should have got a chance to play in 1 out 4 games and andre silva why is he playing he socks for national team Bernardo on bench jota also then when u need goals they come on and we get chance after chance but no finish guides should have started with jota and leao leao needs to play more atheist 80 minuets he is gonna be a key player foe us but needs more minuets look if coach had said he wants to try different line ups and formations I would understand if we loss thing is he says our objective is to win every game or competition we in I said this b4 and again this nations league should have been an experience with different players to see how we would do but u bring mostly likely the team that's gonna go to world cup add a few minus a few the federation should see and talk with Santos and say do u believe we gonna win or can be a force in the world cup with the players we have we should be a threat who ever we plY so much talent not used and a coach who has won only 3 games in 90 minuets since being our coach at the tournaments he has been our guy on the sideline then really were in for a nasty reminder that we just a team which on paper looks amazing but when we're out there a team scores 1st chance in beginning of game and we can't come back we in big trouble come Qatar

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Ricky Almeida
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People are getting this upset over a glorified ‘friendly’ tournament? Jesus Christ LOL

I, like many that use this site, are Portuguese. But man, I can’t stand other Portuguese fans who get so riled up over tactical decisions and selection...

People are getting this upset over a glorified ‘friendly’ tournament? Jesus Christ LOL

I, like many that use this site, are Portuguese. But man, I can’t stand other Portuguese fans who get so riled up over tactical decisions and selection choices.
Vitinha, Neves, Guedes all get fresh starts, but yet people are confused why players like Ronaldo weren’t called into play.

This is not a major set back, some of you need a reality check

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John
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De Bruyne is that you?

What makes this tournament a bunch glorified friendlies?

Let's see there is a trophy, but who cares. Portugal and France seemed to care, just everyone else didn't, right?

Relegation, but who cares. In the inaugural...

De Bruyne is that you?

What makes this tournament a bunch glorified friendlies?

Let's see there is a trophy, but who cares. Portugal and France seemed to care, just everyone else didn't, right?

Relegation, but who cares. In the inaugural season, Germany and Croatia got relegated. But I remember them telling UEFA, these are meaningless friendlies. Please let us be relegated to League B, so we can work with our B team and youngsters. That happened right?

Oh, it didn't? It was such an embarrassment, UEFA decided to bail them out by just bringing up teams so league A now has 16 teams. And they didn't get relegated.

I see every team using just youngsters, like Germany mostly did for the last confederations cup. Wait...

Was that Mbappe who coming off the bench to bail out France and Benzema started? That's right I remember, France cares, but they are in last place in there group. It seems like most teams care. I know the Swiss cared.

Now does that mean that I would rather win a Nations League versus properly preparing for the WC? Of course not.

But you can do both.

I know we are prefer the Euro qualifying, where can play competitive games against the likes of Gibraltar, The Faroe Islands, Cyprus, Malta, San Marino, and Andorra. Those aren't friendlies for sure, very intense battles.

By the way De Bruyne just wants to go on vacation.

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Paulo
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Well, I wasn't able to watch the last two games when Portugal were supposedly "playing well" but under Santos a game like today is more often the rule rather than the exception.

The team looked lackadaisical from the kick-off and as others...

Well, I wasn't able to watch the last two games when Portugal were supposedly "playing well" but under Santos a game like today is more often the rule rather than the exception.

The team looked lackadaisical from the kick-off and as others pointed out it turned similar to the Belgium and Uruguay matches. Whoever allowed the captain of the Portuguese National Team to ditch the squad in Geneva should be fired. That's no way to lead a group and It clearly made the team treat this game like a meaningless friendly. When your sharing the field with a 5-time ballon d'or winner your bringing your best impression along with your A-game. Our best player didn't care so why should this team?

I used to think one of Santos' strong points was calling up a bunch of players and handing out opportunities because Bento was so stubborn in that regard but seems like as usual just tossing numbers out of a hat. Leão, Guedes, Bernardo, Jota, Nunes, Horta.. all that depth means nothing when you have no game plan.

All in all think the timing of this nations league is pretty inconvenient leading into a World Cup, hope they figure some things out but I said this before last years Euros, Santos would have a real problem settling on a starting 11 and I see the same problem here. He's got a roulette wheel of personnel and his juggles with it way too much. He is far too slow to adapt (see calling up two centerbacks and giving them zero minutes) Either be all in on team chemistry or develop your players not both.

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SupremoGino
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Timely little reminder of why this team flaters to deceive mostly and is no contender for the Nations league and much less for the world cup. Completly expected result as they can never stand prosperity and fall flat the first chance they get and...

Timely little reminder of why this team flaters to deceive mostly and is no contender for the Nations league and much less for the world cup. Completly expected result as they can never stand prosperity and fall flat the first chance they get and never fail to fail when the chips are down. At least now expectations are back to being low except for the delusional ones.

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joe
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“I tried to take advantage of every minute the mister gave me. It wasn’t the result we wanted, we always want to win, but we played a great team with some of the best players in the world and a draw ended up a positive outcome.”

Ricardo Horta
(Portugal’s goalscoring substitute after 1-1 draw against Spain in Seville in the Nations League) 

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