Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Portugal 3-0 Norway: No Ronaldo, no problem for dominant hosts

SoccerNews in World Cup 29 May 2016

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Portugal showed they are far from a one-man team with a convincing victory over Norway on Sunday, as the Lusitanians won 3-0 in a one-sided friendly.

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe both absent following Real Madrid’s Champions League victory, Ricardo Quaresma made his own case with a stunning strike to open the scoring.
Raphael Guerreiro doubled Portugal’s advantage in the second half, curling a brilliant free-kick out of Jarstein’s reach to press his claims to be first choice at left-back for Portugal at the tournament in France.
Portugal’s comfortable victory was wrapped up when Eder finished off Joao Mario’s low cross, with Norway unable to seriously test goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
Fernando Santos’ men, who face Hungary, Austria and Iceland in a potentially tough group, extended their fine run of form to six wins from their last eight games.
Norway narrowly missed out on earning a place at Euro 2016 and Per-Mathias Hogmo’s side have now won only one of their last six internationals.
After a low-tempo opening to the game, Portugal took the lead in spectacular fashion in the 13th minute.

Guerreiro fed Quaresma, who beat Martin Linnes easily then cut inside off the left wing to bend an unstoppable strike across Norway goalkeeper Jarstein and into the top corner.

And the hosts almost added a second goal within a minute, but Eder turned a terrific cross by right-back Cedric Soares wide of the post.

Norway then went close to an equaliser when Lopes misjudged Joshua King’s pace, the AFC Bournemouth striker lifting his shot on to the roof of the net after the goalkeeper had raced off his line.

Veton Berisha’s looping header caused no problems for Lopes after 24 minutes, before King’s speed again created an opening, the striker forcing an error from Jose Fonte but placing his finish straight at the Portugal goalkeeper.
King was bundled over in the box between a combination of challenges by Fonte and Ricardo Carvalho after 51 minutes, but the referee felt it was not a penalty.
Norway continued to press and Valon Berisha hit the crossbar with a header from Anders Trondsen’s terrific left-wing cross.
Portugal’s attack looked light on quality with star man Cristiano Ronaldo not in action due to his Champions League-winning exploits on Saturday, while Real Madrid team-mate Pepe also missed the game.
Ronaldo’s absence freed up set-piece duties for his colleagues, Guerreiro taking full advantage after 65 minutes.
From just outside the box, he whipped a sumptuous left-footed free-kick over the wall and into the top corner, leaving Jarstein helpless.
Portugal, galvanised by fresh legs from the bench, added a third goal five minutes later, Eder timing his run into the box perfectly to slot home a low right-wing cross from Joao Mario.
And the upbeat pre-tournament mood in Porto was summed up when a young pitch invader ran on to plant a kiss on Lopes’ cheek as Portugal eased to victory.

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