Portugal’s hopes of a second successive summer of glory ended tonight in Kazan as Chile won the Confederations Cup semi-final in a penalty shootout.

There was little to choose between the two sides in a close-fought match, although Chile created the better and more numerous chances in 120 goalless minutes, and hit the woodwork twice in quick succession at the end of extra time.  

The penalty shootout proved disastrous for Portugal, with Ricardo Quaresma, João Moutinho and Nani all seeing their spot kicks saved by Claudio Bravo, while Chile scored all three of theirs to make it to the final on Sunday against either Germany or Mexico.

Fernando Santos chose the expected XI. Pepe’s suspension saw Bruno Alves and José Fonte paired together at the heart of the defence, Eliseu continued to deputise for the injured Raphael Guerreiro, while Bernardo Silva was declared fit after hurting his ankle against New Zealand.

Early chances

The Seleção started well in a furious opening 10-minute spell with both teams fully committed to all-out attack. But it was Chile who had the first clear chance, a clever through ball by Sanchez playing Vargas clean through, but the alert Rui Patrício raced out of his goal to spread himself well and make the save.

Portugal responded well, with a golden chance of their own immediately. Eliseu found Ronaldo with a vertical 40-yard pass, and the Portugal captain swung over a delicious cross into the path of André Silva, who was denied at point-blank range by Claudio Bravo. The men in red continued to pass smoothly, with Adrien Silva doing a fine job of containing Arturo Vidal as the Seleção looked the more settled side.

But as the minutes ticked by the Chileans began to get a firm grip of the game. Aránguiz flashed a header narrowly over the bar and the same player then had a great chance to take aim 10 yards out from an acute angle, but he sliced his shot wide of the target.

Patrício shines

The rest of the half was played out in cagey fashion, but both sides came out from the break with renewed vigour. Vidal beat Eliseu to a Sanchez cross but could not direct his header on goal, then it required another fine Patrício save to deny Chile as the Sporting goalkeeper leapt athletically to his left to tip a superb overhead effort by Vargas past the post.

Portugal responded with a Ronaldo break, his fierce angled shot stinging Bravo’s fingers, then Vidal again gave Portugal a scare with a thunderbolt of a shot from 35 yards that just cleared the crossbar.

As the second half went on the game appeared set for stalemate. Despite excellent individual performances from William in the heat of the battle, the hard-working André Silva and the marauding Cédric, Portugal rarely looked like breaking through, and it was difficult to fathom how the clearly out-of-sorts André Gomes remained on the pitch.

Subs ineffective

Fernando Santos has proven a master at making match-changing substitutions since becoming Portugal coach, but today none of the four players he brought on – Nani, Quaresma, Moutinho or Gelson – brought any noticeable improvement to the team, and it was Chile who were the more dangerous side in extra time.

An Alexis Sanchez header scraped past the post with Patrício beaten, and Portugal were extremely fortunate when the referee disregarded what looked like a clear penalty after José Fonte had tripped Chile substitute  Francisco Silva in the box. The Seleção then had an almighty double let-off as Vidal crashed a shot onto the inside off the post, and from the rebound Rodriguez’s effort came back off the crossbar.

It seemed the footballing Gods were on Portugal’s side, but in the ensuing penalty shootout Chile ultimately got the reward their more enterprising attacking merited.

By Tom Kundert

Portugal: Patrício, Cédric, Fonte, Bruno Alves, Eliseu, William, Bernardo Silva (Quaresma, 83’), Adrien (Moutinho, 102’), André Gomes (Gelson, 116’), André Silva (Nani, 76’), Ronaldo

Chile: Bravo, Isla, Jara, Medel, Beausejour, Hernández (Francisco Silva, 112’), Marcelo Díaz, Vidal, Aránguiz, Vargas (Rodriguez, 86’), Sánchez

 

Comments (38)

  1. Paulo

When a team loses everyone shares the blame. But Gomes really blew his chances today and didn't help the cause much. Also, Ronaldo is supposed to step up in these games, he didn't. He is either tired or can no longer beat people one vs one and is...

When a team loses everyone shares the blame. But Gomes really blew his chances today and didn't help the cause much. Also, Ronaldo is supposed to step up in these games, he didn't. He is either tired or can no longer beat people one vs one and is just a poacher. i hope he is just on tired legs, maybe a move another club will be good, Real Madrid will likely be in the final again.

The only good thing to take away from this game is that Santos needs to add more quality to this team for the upcoming WC(if we qualify). By having a weak defense it hurts us going forward because we are too committed to holding people and not dynamic on the attacks. We did have a few fast attacks, but couldn't cause any trouble.

Wasted opportunity to build the winning mentality of the team. Now we have the opportunity to rebuild a stronger more dynamic team.

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  1. Boston

It's as if the staff, Ronaldo, the coach, and whomever didn't learn a single thing from 2012. Ronaldo is the best player on the team, the captain, and supposed leader. Why the hell is it not mandatory by now that he take the first penalty.

Every...

It's as if the staff, Ronaldo, the coach, and whomever didn't learn a single thing from 2012. Ronaldo is the best player on the team, the captain, and supposed leader. Why the hell is it not mandatory by now that he take the first penalty.

Every single one of Santos' subs were useless. Where was Pizzi? What's the point in bringing one of the best players in the Portuguese league if he's not going to play yet an inept player like Gomes plays at every opportunity.

Moutinho is a sub at best now and should only be brought in when trying to defend a lead. But guess what? We weren't winning so why was he brought on? The worst thing about Moutinho are his penalties so is that seriously the reason he came on?

This tournament was completely useless. Not only did we not experiment with youth but these players will now start the season late and be more tired next summer.

Santos's tactics aren't "Go out there and win" it's "Go out there and hope to not lose"
It's so painful to watch Portugal nowadays. We have so many young attack minded players and don't use them.

If there's one lesson to learn here it's that Moutinho, Nani, Eliséu, and Gomes should never be called up again. They offer absolutely nothing. If anything they just hinder us. But Santos won't do that and keep calling and playing these shitty players.

Bruno Fernandes, Ruben Neves, Bruma, Ruben Semedo, Rafa Soares, and Renato Sanches need to have breakout seasons and get called up for the World Cup.

Chile are deserved winners. Could have had a penalty and hit the post twice right at the end. We apparently have to play in some pointless 3rd place match. I hope none of the starters play in that.

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  1. Paulo    Boston

I hope he starts an attack minded side for the third place game. It would be interesting to see what they could do when they are let loose. Third or Fourth doesn't matter, but let's see a quality game.

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  1. Forca

No team wants to lose, especially by penalties but despite some obvious issues, which I'll mention below. Overall, I think both teams played well which unfortunately came down to a lottery.

First, I am a very harsh critic of Eliseu for a long...

No team wants to lose, especially by penalties but despite some obvious issues, which I'll mention below. Overall, I think both teams played well which unfortunately came down to a lottery.

First, I am a very harsh critic of Eliseu for a long time but these last two and half games, I can't critique too much. He was definitely out of position a couple times today, but also produced better crosses than Cedric.

Andre Gomes has lackluster throughout most of the tournament and had a particularly disturbing game today. To be fair, his tackling, and passing were decent but he could not shoot to save his life.

Fonte, played well and did not turn out to be a liability.

Patricio had some exceptional saves.

Some of the Referring was Very Poor, although this is somewhat expected.

Chile played well and Good Luck to them.

Ultimately, Portugal has to realize that they need to score in regulation, because the famed last minute goals during Euro Qualification and the Euro, will not always happen.

Good game, and I look forward to the World Cup.

Forca!

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  1. Me

The only good thing to come out of this tournament is that it seems that Bernardo finally is nailed on as a starter. (hopefully)

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  1. James

I don't think people watched the same game as I did. I thought it was a hard fought battle between two great teams. Portugal created enough chances to win this game and against quality sides you will also give up your fair share. Portugal started...

I don't think people watched the same game as I did. I thought it was a hard fought battle between two great teams. Portugal created enough chances to win this game and against quality sides you will also give up your fair share. Portugal started well and then got stretched a bit, but they always seemed to be organized and composed behind the ball. The only time they got opened up was through excellent incisive play by Chile. Portugal were the better team in the extra time aside from the last 4+ minutes. IMO they had the perfect balance today between organization behind the ball and attack. Against good teams you will not have them on their back foot the entire game. The football was end to end and a quite entertaining 0-0 contest. The entire midfield and defense played great: Adrien, William, Gomes (except his shooting), Cedric, Alves, Fonte, and Eliseu deserve to take a bow. Sure the PK's were dreadful, but that is the way it goes. They were the benefactors of the same lottery against Poland.

I just don't understand why it is always about what Portugal and their coach didn't do rather than what the opposite did do. I feel more confident about our chances in the world cup after this game than I did after any of the 3 group games or even after Euro.

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  1. jon/usa

The game essentially panned out the way I expected: Portugal sat back and defended in two narrow. compact banks of four and looked to attack on the counter. If Santos' plan was to nullify Chile's attack and manufacture 2-3 clear cut chances from...

The game essentially panned out the way I expected: Portugal sat back and defended in two narrow. compact banks of four and looked to attack on the counter. If Santos' plan was to nullify Chile's attack and manufacture 2-3 clear cut chances from counters and set-pieces. Fonte and Bruno Alves were very solid throughout (though Fonte did trip a Chilean player in the box at the end of extra time, which should have been a penalty). Cedric kept Alexis Sanchez in his pocket all game long, William and Adrien were very solid, and Bernardo Silva was, yet again, pure class. Unfortunately Ronaldo and Andre Silva lacked a cutting edge and that's what cost us.

At the end of the day we were without 3 of our best starters (Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro, and Joao Mario) and with several of our U21s looking well-poised to make the jump up to the senior Seleccao, I still think the near future is very bright.

I really have no interest in the third place match. If anything, I'd like to see Gelson, Pizzi, Danilo, Semedo, Neto, and Nani get the start. There's no reason whatsoever to play our starters with the three days rest for a meaningless game.

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  1. SupremoGino

Thoughts

It was a hard fought match, and we came up short in the shoot-out lottery. I got to say however, this doesn't hurt as much as losing to Spain in penalties at Euro 2012. That loss was 10X more painful as we pushed Spain to their very...

Thoughts

It was a hard fought match, and we came up short in the shoot-out lottery. I got to say however, this doesn't hurt as much as losing to Spain in penalties at Euro 2012. That loss was 10X more painful as we pushed Spain to their very limit and that day was a dog fight even having to battle through the disgraceful refereeing from that douche from Turkey.. What's disappointing though is Portugal didn't seem to reflect on the lesson that was learned that day. The decision in which order we would take our pk's was very poor. Once again, our suppose to be best player of this generation and in the world didn't get to take one. How stupid is that? Is Santos to blame or was CR trying to steal the headlines again?

In hindsight, really not feeling too upset though. A couple years back if I could see the future, to know that Portugal would defeat Poland in a penalty shoot out and go on to win the Euros, but lose their bid for the Confederation's cup in a shoot-out, i'd take it in a heart beat and i'm sure not to be the only one feeling that way. Also because nobody winning the Confed's has gone on to win the next year too. Nevertheless, not only did the pk order look foolish, the attempts were pathetic. It's not like Claudio Bravo had to make any world class saves.

Despite everything, i think player wise.. Bernardo has undeniably solidified his starting position in the line up. William had a fine game, and Bruno Alves did also somewhat redeem himself today and for the tournament. Andre Silva continues to excel as our only striker and his goal scoring record speaks for itself. Naturally, we missed Guerreiro, and Joao Mario both whom will be a huge boost to our lineup when healthy. I also see players like Sanches and Bruma if they have good upcoming seasons being key components to our WC 2018 squad. (if we qualify, of course)

A few down sides: The aging defence is self-explanatory and I think Santos needs to figure out what to do with Quaresma and Nani. The development of Gelson Martins is being stunted at the moment and the old guard can't go on forever. Time stops for no one. RQ will turn 34 this September. He brings his assets but speed is no longer one of them. Nani too, has lost a step. and I think the question needs to be asked, can they hang on one more summer? Imagine the enhancement of speed with the likes of Bruma and Gelson on the wings?

The man himself: Cristiano Ronaldo is also a big concern to me. The grueling seasons he has to go through with Real Madrid competing for the league and the Champions league on a regular basis. These past couple seasons, but especially this year it appears that he has hardly much left in the tank for Portugal. Apart from two exquisite passes; one to Quaresma and one to Andre Silva in this tournament, the only way I see Ronnie making an impact is to be handed the ball on a silver plate or he mainly goes anonymous. Another taxing season with Madrid + extra year under his belt is likely to make him a liability for the WC. (if we qualify, of course!)

Back to the main topic. I think Santos made some poor choice substitutions today. I would have liked to see Nani subbed in for Andre Gomes rather than Andre Silva. I've been a defendant of Andre Gomes, he's still young and has time to turn things around but he deserves all the blame he can handle today. 3-4 quality chances at the top of the box that resulted in very tame / lousy efforts on goal. Pode ser que a barriga esteja cheia after the big money move to Barcelona? Btw, Nani for Gomes because Nani has shown capabilities to operate in that central role and in all honesty probably would have scored more times than not given the opportunities Gomes had. Who remembers his playoff goal vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina? Instead A.Silva gets taken out and before we know it, Nani, Ronaldo, Quaresma are once again paired together in that failed 4-3-3 system. Andre Gomes needs to get out of Barcelona and rediscover himself before starting for Portugal again.

Moving forward Tom I pretty much agree with the line-up stated on twitter. One change though, really expecting Sanches to regain form. Euro 2016 hasn't left my memory and I truly believe he has a ton of upside. Strong enough for a DM, and quick enough for box-to-box. Him, Bernardo, and Joao Mario would make one heck of a midfield.

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  1. Guest-Worcester

Portugal IMO had the best team in this tournament and yet we didn't see the best team on the field during any of the games this tournament. I am extremely proud of what happened last year and it will go down as one of the best days of my life...

Portugal IMO had the best team in this tournament and yet we didn't see the best team on the field during any of the games this tournament. I am extremely proud of what happened last year and it will go down as one of the best days of my life and I believe Santos was great with what he had last summer and coached very well. This year, is a different story. We have seen Bernardo, Andre Silva, and Gelson exceed throughout the year. Three impact guys who can change the game on a dime. However, we didn't see them until the Russia game. Bernardo and Andre Silva were the two best attacking players all game today and they are the first two subs out. What do they have to do to gain Santos' trust? One just went to Man city, the other AC Milan and you know after next year Gelson is gone. These guys are on such a short leash with Santos, in yet players like Andre Gomes and William can do no wrong, by all means, William played well today, the only game he did. Andre Gomes is terrible, reminds me of Veloso. How Danilo is not starting is beyond me. Other guys like Nani, Moutinho, and Quaresma are always the go to guys for Santos. They did well in the shootout today haha. This is ridiculous. We play like Greece, in yet this is probably the most talented team we have had since 2006 and yet all we do is sit back. I don't know if it was just me, but did anybody else see Ronaldo's face when Bernardo got taken out? Looked like WTF??? I am so scared of seeing another Bento, in yet it seems like we might be going down that road. Always calling up a good squad, but never a strong 11. We didn't play well and didn't play our strongest squad in yet we only lost to Chile in penalties with their strongest squad, I can only imagine if some of the players were different. My lineup if I was Santos...
Patricio
Cedric-Pepe-Fonte-Guerreiro
Bernardo- Danilo (Neves)-Adrien-Bruma
Ronaldo- Andre Silva
With the likes of Mario and Renato coming off the bench or starting
This team would put fear into teams like Germany.

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  1. Me

Agree with a lot of the comments. We have the most talented group of players coming up in over a decade but Santos still insists on the old guard. Quaresma still has some gas in the tank to give but Moutinho and Nani don't. Especially when we...

Agree with a lot of the comments. We have the most talented group of players coming up in over a decade but Santos still insists on the old guard. Quaresma still has some gas in the tank to give but Moutinho and Nani don't. Especially when we have better players.
Rui Patrício
Cédric, Carriço, Pepe, Guerreiro
Bernardo, William, Adrién, J.Mário
Silva, Ronaldo
Bench: Bruma, Gelson, Quaresma, B.Fernandes, Danilo, Sanches (if he regains form)

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  1. Kenny

If you're upset or disappointed, look on the bright side - No team who has won the Confederations Cup has gone on to win the World Cup the following year.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Is this squad stronger than the Euro 2016 squad? That's impossible to say. What I can say is that I'm as confident in this squad as I was for the Euro."

Fernando Santos
(Portugal coach after announcing the Seleção squad for World Cup 2018)

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