Portugal 2-0 Czech Republic
Goals: Cancel (33e) and Guedes (38e) for Portugal
That seems far from the time when Portugal was just a vulgar barragist to go to the World Cup.
Four days later its success river against Switzerlandthe Selection quietly continued its march this Thursday night against the Czech Republic (2-0) at the José Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.
Santos’ men started the match in diesel mode: a big half hour of squatting the Czech camp in vain, of being scared on the other side on a cannonball by Jan Kuchta (30e), before switching on the machine for good. On his right side, the formidable João Cancelo found a mouse hole to unsheath first (1-0, 33e)and gave ideas to Gonçalo Guedes, who imitated him a few moments later on a subtly crossed strike (2-0, 38e). At the break, Portugal had already killed all suspense and could kiss Bernardo Silva, a decisive double passer.
A bit more enterprising in the second act, the Czechs had the perfect counterattack to return to the game but Jurecka strangely missed the frame (60e). Opposite, Portugal lowered their footing and failed to score the third pawn, in the image of Guedes, two fingers away from mystifying Stanek before being picked up at the last minute (66e). In the image of Adam Vlkanova who could not fit in his duel against Costa (86e), visitors will never have been able to worry about premises under full control.
Even without a big Ronaldo, the Portuguese showed that they had a margin and retained their first place in Group 2, before moving to Switzerland on Sunday.
Portugal (4-3-3): Costa – Cancelo, Pepe, Danilo, Guerrero – Guedes (Palhinha, 88e), Carvalho (Fernandes, 68e), Neves (Moutinho, 88e) – Ronaldo, Jota (Leão, 80e), Silva (Vitinha, 68e). Coach: Fernando Santos.
Czech Republic (3-4-3): Stanek – Zima, Brabec, Matějů (Král, 80e) – Coufal, Souček, Sadílek, Havel (Jemelka, 46e) – Lingr (Pesek, 46e), Kuchta (Jurecka, 46e), Hložek (Vlkanova, 73e). Coach: Jaroslav Šilhavý.