After a poor start in the 2020 UEFA European Qualifiers Group B, Portugal got their first qualifying win on Saturday away from home by beating Serbia 4-2. William Carvalho, Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Bernardo Silva were the authors of the Portuguese goals in the duel, held at the Red Star Belgrade stadium, as Milenkovic and Mitrovic scored for the Eastern European National Team.
Fernando Santos’s side, who came from two draws in the opening rounds now move up to the second place with five points in the table with 3 games. Ukraine tops the Group with 13 points in 5 matches.
It was a ‘can’t lose’ game for Portugal. The current Euro Champions were pressed, and a defeat at Belgrade could put everything to lose into the Qualifiers. However, even despite the special circumstances, the Portuguese first half was disappointing.
They struggled a lot to score, but wasted too many opportunities, as the Serbs were dangerous on counters. However, on 41 minutes, Portugal opened the scoring through Carvalho. After a long ball from the defense, the Portuguese midfielder was smart to take advantage of the keeper after Dmitrovic and defender Milenkovic broke through on 41 minutes. 0-1 Portugal.
After the interval, Goncalo Guedes scored on 57 minutes, as everyone thought that Portugal was heading for an easy win in Serbia. Everything changed as Milenkovic’s header went in on 66 minutes, as the hosts began to high-press the Portuguese defense, who struggled to even connect with the front players.
Even despite the absurd atmosphere and pressure, Portugal has something that the Serbs don’t. Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus star showed up and scored from a set-piece from Bernardo Silva on 79 mins. 3-1 Portugal.
The Serbs even pulled another goal back on 84 through Mitrovic in a powerful shot, but Portugal kept the two-goal cushion through Bernardo Silva. 2-4 Portugal.
Following the good 2-4 away win, in the next round, scheduled for Tuesday, Portugal visit the Lithuanian National Team, while the fourth-placed Serb with four points from four matches face Luxembourg, who has the same four points.