He did it again! Historic result for Portugal on the way to the European Championship
Roberto Martinez took over the Portugal national team just before the start of the European Championship qualifying rounds. The Spanish coach won all matches in the Euro qualifying, which turned out to be Portugal’s best result in history.
PAP/EPA / MIGUEL A. LOPES / In the photo: Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Horta
Portugal was one of the first teams to qualify for the final tournament Euro 2024. In the last round, however, she could make history in her struggles in the qualifying rounds and achieve complete victories in all 10 qualifying matches.
Fate meant that the last rival in the pursuit of the record was the rather unpredictable Icelandic team. “Vikings” coach, Age Hareideduring the pre-match conference he emphasized that his team was able to score points in Lisbon.
In his style, Roberto Martinez focused on a very offensive lineup, which caused many problems for the Icelanders’ defense from the very beginning. The visitors spent almost most of the first half in their own half, defending against opponents’ attacks.
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They played a fantastic match Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes. The first of the Portuguese charmed with his excellent technique, setting up two “nets” for his opponents. The second one made a great hit in the 37th minute of the match, when he received a pass from Bernardo Silva with his heel and shot from outside the penalty area at the perfect height into the far corner of Hakon Valdimarsson’s goal.
He was also constantly looking for opportunities Cristiano Ronaldowho probably hoped that he would be able to fight for the title of top scorer in these qualifiers, but he also played a great match that day Romelu Lukaku, scored four goals against Azerbaijan. The Portuguese missed these four goals, although the 38-year-old’s scoring achievements in the completed qualifications were excellent (10 goals).
After the break, Portugal slowed down in their attacks, focusing on possession of the ball, on effective exchanges, and constantly moving towards the penalty area. Bruno Fernandes did not stop trying to beat the goalkeeper from a distance, and after one of such attempts, the Iceland goalkeeper made a fatal mistake by knocking the ball straight into Ricardo Horta’s feet.
The Braga player, who had appeared on the pitch moments earlier, easily placed the ball in the net, although for a moment there were doubts whether the winger was in an offside position.
The Icelandic team seemed to be completely helpless in the last minutes, just watching as the ball passed between the Portugal players as if on a string. Roberto Martinez achieved his goal and won all the qualifying rounds, which is nothing new for the Spaniard, after all, as he led the Belgian national team, he finished the Euro 2020 qualifiers in the same style.
Victories of the remaining favorites in the group
The qualifying competition in group J was decided in the previous round, so all matches were friendly in nature. The first 45 minutes were boring at the stadiums in Zenica and Vaduz.
Bosnia and Herzegovina had a terrible result in these qualifiers, gaining points only against Liechtenstein and Iceland. In the last series of games, Savo Milosevic’s players were certain to go to the Euro, Slovakia. Emotions in this match increased at the beginning of the second half, when Patrik Hrosovsky accidentally scored in his own net.
The Bosnians did not rejoice for long, as Robert Bozenik equalized three minutes later. The road to Slovakia’s victory was made easier by a red card for the Bosnians, which was seen by Renato Gojkovic in the 63rd minute. The result was 2:1 for Slovakia, scored by a former Lech Poznań player, Lubomir Satka.
Luxembourg’s players had a successful qualifying round, although without advancing. Despite the heavy loss against Portugal (0:9), they managed to collect as many as 17 points in the remaining matches. Luxembourg added a set of points in the last match against Liechtenstein.
At the beginning of the match, the visiting player, Danel Sinani, was shown a red card. But that didn’t stop us from winning. In the second half, the most effective player in the team, Gerson Rodrigues, scored a goal.