Fresh faces pass Scotland test in a 3-1 victory for Portugal

Scotland 1-3 Portugal

A debut goal for Hélder Costa and a couple of second-half efforts from Eder and Bruma charged Portugal on to a 3-1 victory over Scotland at Hampden Park, this evening, as the Seleção wrapped up a satisfactory international double-header.

In a tight first-half affair, Costa took his chance on the brink of half time to give the European champions a 1-0 lead going into the break. As the Scots prepared a fight-back in the second period, Portugal dealt with the threat that never really came, adding greater comfort to the score-line later in the half with a couple more efforts prior to Steven Naismith's consolation goal.

Fernando Santos, without Rui Patrício, Bernardo Silva and Pepe who were all released from international duty, made a total of ten changes to his first team in relation to the victory in Poland on Thursday, as they took on a Scotland side with absences of their own in the defensive sector.

There was a role to play at both ends for FC Porto's Sérgio Oliveira early on, directing a harmless header on the stretch at Scotland's goal in the 13th minute before giving his own keeper, Beto, a fright moments later when nodding the ball back to the Göztepe shot-stopper, requiring the 36-year-old to tip the ball over the bar.

The Scots pressed on with the aerial route, searching for the head of either Oliver McBurnie or Steven Naismith at the near post before the latter could direct an effort way over the bar in the 22nd minute, as the two sides endured a tense opening to the game.

Portugal replied through Cedric Soares, spotting Bruma's darting run into the box prior to the winger's inability to get much behind his first-time flick-on, as Craig Gordon collected the ball comfortably in the 25th minute.

Bruma followed up with the first genuine chance of the game in the 26th minute, nipping in ahead of a poorly-cleared ball to strike a shot wide when bursting into the box, via a Scott McKenna deflection.

Scotland persisted with wing-play, with Naismith again the target from James Forrest's cross before floating a header just wide of Beto's far-post in the 36th minute, as Alex McLeish's men began to perk up.

Portugal aimed to lay the hosts' growing momentum on ice with chances of their own through Eder and Bruma before landing a definitive blow on the brink of half-time, as Hélder Costa reacted first to a low Kevin Rodrigues cross by poking in the opener from close range, giving the European champions a 1-0 lead going into the break.

The British outfit issued their response early in the second half, with McKenna, courtesy of a set-piece, coming close to grabbing an equaliser in the 55th minute with a diving header hit just wide of the target.

Santos' men quickly regained control of the game, however, adding greater comfort to the task at hand in the 74th through Eder, as the Euro 2016 hero climbed high to head in Renato Sanches' free-kick and double Portugal's lead.

Bruma got in on the act to land a killer blow at Hampden park, crafting his way into the box before finding the top-right corner prior to Scotland's consolation goal on the buzzer, concluding a 3-1 win for Portugal.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Scotland XI: Craig Gordon - Andrew Robertson, Scott McKenna, Jack Hendry, Stephen O'Donnell - Callum McGregor, John McGinn (Andrew Shinnie, 67'), Stuart Armstrong (Kevin McDonald, 77'), James Forrest - Steven Naismith, Oliver McBurnie (Gary Mackay-Steven, 76')

Portugal XI: Beto (Claudio Ramos, 86') - Kevin Rodrigues, Luis Neto, Rúben Dias (Pedro Mendes, 56'), Cedric Soares - Danilo Pereira (William Carvalho, 91'), Sérgio Oliveira (Renato Sanches, 56'), Bruno Fernandes (Gedson Fernandes, 68') - Bruma (Rafa Silva, 91), Hélder Costa - Eder



[0-1] -  Hélder Costa, 43'

[0-2] - Eder, 74'

[0-3] - Bruma, 84'

[1-3] - Steven Naismith, 93'