The Seleção enjoyed the perfect preparation match for the FIFA World Cup 2022 by beating Nigeria 4-0 in Lisbon tonight.

A vibrant first-half display translated into a two-goal lead thanks to a Bruno Fernandes brace.

After the break, late strikes by substitutes Gonçalo Ramos and João Mário completed the rout. 

The hosts were straight on the attack, João Félix producing an air-kick after a quick passing move and Bruno shooting wide in the opening exchanges.

On eight minutes Portugal’s bright start was rewarded. João Félix sprayed a wonderful cross-field pass to the onrushing Diogo Dalot, who sprinted into the box, bided his time then laid on the perfect assist for Bruno Fernandes who slotted into the net.

Nigeria threatened to hit back with Bassey nutmegging Bruno but the danger was snuffed out. The lively Otávio was seeing plenty of the ball, the Porto man at the heart of a couple of moves penetrating deep into the Nigerian defence but which ultimately broke down.

Félix impresses

Félix seemed in the mood for it and the Atletico Madrid man was close to a stunning goal midway through the half, his fierce effort from range narrowly clearing the crossbar.

A clever short-corner routine saw the ball shuttled from Bruno to Otávio to Mendes, whose cross was met by William but his shot was intercepted by a defender.

Nigeria responded, the lively Moses Simon manufacturing space for himself but shooting straight at Patrício.

Bruno at the double

On 35 minutes Portugal doubled their lead. Bernardo’s cross struck Osayi-Samuel’s arm and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. João Félix and Bruno Fernandes were both keen to take it, Bruno pulling rank with his seniority and duly dispatching the ball into the net with his trademark hop and skip.

Nigeria were asking questions of the Portugal defence with their rapid front men, but Silva and Dias at the heart of the defence were dealing well with the danger.

Just before half time Portugal – and Fernandes – almost made it three. A sumptuous pass by Félix was arrowed perfectly towards the diagonal run of Bruno, the Manchester United man taking a touch to round the goalkeeper but unable to direct his shot on target from a tight angle.

Pepe on the comeback trail

Santos made four changes at the break Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, João Mário and Vitinha entering the fray, coming on for four certain starters against Ghana: Dias, Mendes, Bernardo and Bruno.

The introduction of the Porto centre-back was especially significant. Pepe is trying to regain match fitness after making his comeback in a five-minute cameo in the Dragons’ victory over Boavista on Saturday night, after over a month out injured.

With Nigeria also making changes, the start of the second half was disjointed as both teams struggled to find their rhythm.

Patrício to the rescue

António Silva made a great tackle to stop Samu Chukwueze in his tracks but the Villarreal forward got his revenge later in the half, a brilliant turn leaving Silva for dead and a goal seemed certain as he bore down on goal, only for Rui Patrício to deny him with a superb save.

Félix then got in the thick of it again, twice coming close to scoring, his first shot drawing a sharp save out of Uzoho and his second effort skidding just wide.

For a worrying moment Otávio was briefly on the turf after coming off worse in a midfield tussle, but although the Porto man was soon replaced he did not look in any significant discomfort.

With 10 minutes remaining Nigeria had a golden chance to pull back a goal. Dalot barged down Samuel after a high-speed footrace, the referee initially awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, but VAR upgraded the offence to a penalty. Patrício, who like his successor in the national team, Diogo Costa, has a reputation as a penalty-saving expert, pulled off another terrific stop, diving to his right and touching Dennis’s spot kick onto the post.

Finishing with a flourish

The save aroused the crowd and they were soon cheering even louder as Portugal went straight down the other end of the pitch and made it 3-0 through a goal fabricated by the substitutes. Vitinha and Guerreiro did the spadework, leaving Ramos with the simplest of tasks to slot into an empty net for a goal on his international debut.

3-0 soon became 4-0 with the goal of the night. Guerreiro dinked a high ball over the defence to Félix, who showed a delightful touch to control the ball and find Ramos, who in turn cleverly backheeled the ball to João Mário who couldn’t miss.

Portugal head to Qatar tomorrow in good heart!

By Tom Kundert, at the José Alvalade stadium

Portugal starting XI:

Rui Patrício, Diogo Dalot, Rúben Dias, António Silva, Nuno Mendes, Otávio, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, João Félix, André Silva

Also played: Raphaël Guerreiro, Pepe, Vitinha, João Mário, Gonçalo Ramos, Ricardo Horta

Goals:

[1-0] Bruno Fernandes, 8’

[2-0] Bruno Fernandes (pen), 35’

[3-0] Gonçalo Ramos, 82’

[4-0] João Mário, 84’ 

 

Comments (56)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Oh this is really bad for Ronaldo......lol......he might now have actual gastritis.

Well this team in the past have shown that they are beyond Ronaldo. But let's see if Santos have cojones to sit Ronaldo down in the world Cup. Actually Santos...

Oh this is really bad for Ronaldo......lol......he might now have actual gastritis.

Well this team in the past have shown that they are beyond Ronaldo. But let's see if Santos have cojones to sit Ronaldo down in the world Cup. Actually Santos is in a bad situation right now because if he sits Ronaldo he risks chaos in the dressing room.

Hopefully Ronaldo proves me wrong like he has done before but it seems like we are seeing the last of him in the big stage. He might be heading to MLS or middle East.

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21_savage
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Santos will never have the balls to sit Ronaldo. And Ronaldo will continue to demand service every time we get the ball (flailing his arms in disgust when he doesn't) and waste all our free kicks by blasting them into the wall until he realizes...

Santos will never have the balls to sit Ronaldo. And Ronaldo will continue to demand service every time we get the ball (flailing his arms in disgust when he doesn't) and waste all our free kicks by blasting them into the wall until he realizes he's toast.

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BennyFromBrooklyn
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Good performance, obviously intensity was not at a WC level from both teams which is understandable for various reasons.

The play was crisp and we controlled the game quite well for such little training time as a team.

A few things we learned.
...

Good performance, obviously intensity was not at a WC level from both teams which is understandable for various reasons.

The play was crisp and we controlled the game quite well for such little training time as a team.

A few things we learned.

Cancelo, neves, Danilo, leao will probably start against ghana.

Dalot is a more than capable back up.

Otavio adds dimension.

Santos needs to be aware of midfield balance (no ball carrying midfield players, other than nunes, if only we had a player, hmmmm, renato).

Diogo Costa will start.

Felix needs a free role.

Bernardo silva must be in midfield to help beat presses amd control the game whether thats coming deep from a wide role or not.

Goncalo Ramos accomplished more in his cameo than Andre silva did in 70 minutes....

Guerrero is fantastic in final third but he can't Handle speedy pace wingers....nuno Mendes to start.

Bruno must always play an advanced role, he gets you goals.

Pahlinha will play a role this tournament or he would have played today.

Central defence is no longer an issue between the players we have this tournament and what's waiting.

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Joe
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I was at the game and I saw a lot from Mendes that I didn't like; maybe it's being as young as he is?

He held onto the ball WAY too long on his flank...I saw 4-5 opportunities to free the ball into an open Felix and he just didn't either see the...

I was at the game and I saw a lot from Mendes that I didn't like; maybe it's being as young as he is?

He held onto the ball WAY too long on his flank...I saw 4-5 opportunities to free the ball into an open Felix and he just didn't either see the pass, made the wrong pass after holding the ball for too long, into his direction, or killed the play by passing the ball sideways after holding the ball.

Bernardo Silva SHOULD NOT play on the wing...for the 40th time Santos...please play him as a 10 in the middle like at City.

Hot take: Goncalo Ramos should be the 2nd player off the bench after Ronaldo. If Ronaldo struggles, start him!

Silva is no good and doesn't do anything.

Very, very impressed by the youngster CB from Benfica...kids a dog and should have a chance to start.

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Martim Lucena
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No injuries - that‘s the positive when the opposition plays with low intensity. WC will be another game. Great to see how Felix, Bruno, Dalot, Antonio Silva, Otavio met the expectations and functioned well together. Good work rate from André...

No injuries - that‘s the positive when the opposition plays with low intensity. WC will be another game. Great to see how Felix, Bruno, Dalot, Antonio Silva, Otavio met the expectations and functioned well together. Good work rate from André Silva, but he lacks goal thread since a long time. That front 3 is not sorted out. Bernardo? Well, we know the same old position-story… Question for me, does Santos bring Patricio as No 1? Wouldn‘t make sense. But you never know with FS… that scares me a bit.

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Rolf Gerber
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Costa and this should be a no-brainer pick.

Martim Lucena
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Anyone else a bit scared seeing Bruno in a penalty shoot out? What does he do if the keeper just stands still? (That‘s what I‘d do against him as a GK)

Rolf Gerber
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You should watch the penalty in slow motion. Bruno waited for the goalkeeper to move and shot the ball in a different direction. If the goalkeeper doesn't move, any corner will do.

Samuel
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@Samuel: I have seen it already in real time that he waits for the GK to move to one corner. I mean that is obviously what does the trick. The problem is the following: Because of the hop, there is not much power in the shot. Watch it again and...

@Samuel: I have seen it already in real time that he waits for the GK to move to one corner. I mean that is obviously what does the trick. The problem is the following: Because of the hop, there is not much power in the shot. Watch it again and see how slow the ball is! If the ball does not go in less than one meter distance from the post, a 1.85+ GK who is focused on that situation and has good reflexes will save that one with a very high probability. Within the blink of an eye, Bruno has to focus on putting the ball very close to one post. But because this process only starts after he's realized that the GK stands still, he'll not have enough time to adjust to the situation. And suddenly there is two risks: The GK saving the ball or Bruno shooting outsisde the post. That is my concern. I always prefer a very hard shot towards upper corner because that offers the highest probability to score.

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Rolf Gerber
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There's always risk involved. Joao Mario hits them in the top corner and that way he can hit either too wide, too high or a post. Ronaldo tries to bury them in a corner, and he also misses sometimes. I think Bruno's way of taking penalties is as...

There's always risk involved. Joao Mario hits them in the top corner and that way he can hit either too wide, too high or a post. Ronaldo tries to bury them in a corner, and he also misses sometimes. I think Bruno's way of taking penalties is as good as any other way and if he mastered it, then let him use it.

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Samuel
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It's a Gen Z type PK....not a fan. Neymar does the same nonsense.

Man up, hit the ball hard and into the top corners.

Martim Lucena
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Ramos is the most in form Portuguese striker in the world having him start would be ideal . He works hard presses and creates space. Also knows where to be to score. Hopefully after Santos goes he can start . Felix looked great as well hopefully...

Ramos is the most in form Portuguese striker in the world having him start would be ideal . He works hard presses and creates space. Also knows where to be to score. Hopefully after Santos goes he can start . Felix looked great as well hopefully Santos tries to have the team play good team ball and not just aim for one man...

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Bryan Cabral
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That back heel pass to Mario...beautiful. And a team play/goal. Ronaldo NEVER thinks about doing that in the box if he has a chance to fire a shot at the GK. I agree he should start.

Martim Lucena
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Great to see Ramos and Antonio Silva get their first minutes for the Seleção! I was also really pleased with Félix' overall performance. He may lack Leão's explosive pace but his vision, close-control, and ability to combine intelligently and...

Great to see Ramos and Antonio Silva get their first minutes for the Seleção! I was also really pleased with Félix' overall performance. He may lack Leão's explosive pace but his vision, close-control, and ability to combine intelligently and incisively with his teammates is world class. He should be our starter and Leão should be a super sub.

I feel Otávio will also play a huge roll in Qatar regardless if he is utilized as a starter or off the bench. He's the perfect combination of guile and tenacity and I think he fits in really well into Santos' system. João Mário and Vitinha are also excellent alternatives in midfield.

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jon/usa
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Really impressed with this performance.

João Félix was outstanding. Super, super talent. I believe he could be a breakout star at this World Cup. The only thing that remains to be seen is if can stay afloat and not shrink in a more physical...

Really impressed with this performance.

João Félix was outstanding. Super, super talent. I believe he could be a breakout star at this World Cup. The only thing that remains to be seen is if can stay afloat and not shrink in a more physical matchup which we'll be expecting against our group opponents. If he can replicate a similar work ethic to what he displayed in the first half, then I'd start him for sure.

Bruno Fernandes, I'm starting to see his position evolve more now on the national team and can at least say it suits him better than how they were using him before. He's a work horse, and makes some pretty intelligent runs into the box. Reminds me a bit of Raul Meireles in his prime. So looks to me that he'll be getting in advanced positions more often like a secondary striker. Is he the most lethal player in front of goal? Definitely isn't. But because Santos has made him to stand out in our system, Portugal will be counting on his exploits if we're to go far in the tournament

It would be unjust if we didn't give some praise to Guerreiro as well. Many comments will say Mendes is the undisputed choice. I agree he has superior engine and a higher ceiling to reach but if we're talking cohesion with teammates and ability to read the game, Rapha must be in the conversation to start a game or two in Qatar. I suppose it may come down to yellow cards the deciding factor but I wouldn't mind if any of our four full-backs Cancelo, Dalot, Guerreiro, or Mendes were selected to play. They all deserve to play a part in my opinion.

Praying that Santos finally sees that we can't be using 2 DMS again with all this attacking throttle. Nearly everyone played admirably. Ricardo Horta so unselfish to let Ramos grab his 1st international goal, team morale is looking good. São Patrício keeping Diogo Costa on his toes. Força Portugal!

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SupremoGino
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Ronaldo who?

anti-santos
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Ronaldo has 13 goals in his last 17 appearances for Portugal almost as many as the rest of our team combined (15 goals) The Ronaldo haters would be wise to taper down before he makes you all look like real clowns next week. Be critical of his...

Ronaldo has 13 goals in his last 17 appearances for Portugal almost as many as the rest of our team combined (15 goals) The Ronaldo haters would be wise to taper down before he makes you all look like real clowns next week. Be critical of his personality, allowing an interview to be aired a week before the WC, in which he told many truths and got things off his chest. But look how quick the knives come out for the man who brought us an extra 15 years of joy and pure gratitude post Golden Generation. Bunch of fakes. Go cheer for England!

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SupremoGino
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Well said SupremoGino I totally agree 100%!

Eddie
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Supreme, it’s a damn shame seeing the anti-Ronaldo vitriol that’s been spreading here through Portuguese posters.

If I may, who is going to set up when Ronaldo does leave? I don’t see anybody on this team with the ‘killer instinct’ that he has....

Supreme, it’s a damn shame seeing the anti-Ronaldo vitriol that’s been spreading here through Portuguese posters.

If I may, who is going to set up when Ronaldo does leave? I don’t see anybody on this team with the ‘killer instinct’ that he has. I hope that Leão could harness that and become the next big striker for the NT

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John
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I hope he does as I am sure all Portugal fans do. The concern I have is what if he stinks (like against Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Czechia and Spain) and yet he will still play 90 minutes of every single game while the most in form striker we...

I hope he does as I am sure all Portugal fans do. The concern I have is what if he stinks (like against Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Czechia and Spain) and yet he will still play 90 minutes of every single game while the most in form striker we have (Ramos) won't get any playing time at all.

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Santos
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Bingo - this is the comment.

Ronaldo should start all 3 games, but if he is ineffective, he should be TAKEN OFF. Minute 45 or minute 60.

Ramos should get that time and NOT Silva who hasn't ever done anything in any game I have seen of his.

Martim Lucena
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Great performance , this team has the talent. I'm just concerned that this might mean Patricio is the backup goalkeeper Instead of Jose Sa.

Gee Dee
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sa is crap mate patricio is unreal hes always put ina good shift he won us the 2016 euro final hes a legend,sa shouldnt even be there wolves sucks lopes much better 3rd optionq

Tomas Sheehan
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@Supremogino, Ronaldo has only scored in 1 out of his last 8 games for Portugal, and is only responsible for 2 of their last 16 goals in games he's played. That is more indicative of the current Ronaldo. He was once great and we should all be...

@Supremogino, Ronaldo has only scored in 1 out of his last 8 games for Portugal, and is only responsible for 2 of their last 16 goals in games he's played. That is more indicative of the current Ronaldo. He was once great and we should all be proud, but that ship has sailed and just like Ronaldo you need to let it go.

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Robbie
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