That concludes our commentary of the international friendly between Portugal and Qatar! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Portugal are in action again on Tuesday, when they host Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying. Qatar have another friendly the same day when they travel to face the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
An ultimately comfortable match goes the way of the hosts as Portugal see out the 90 minutes with a deserving 3-0 victory. Ronaldo’s simple tap-in after 37 minutes was doubled just three minutes after the restart when Fonte easily beat Al Sheeb from close range for his first international goal. Santos’ side never looked likely to concede as a straightforward shot to the near post from Hassan in the first half was the toughest test faced by Costa today. A late third from Andre Silva added insult to injury as the RB Leipzig striker found the back of the net in injury time – matching their goal output from the last time they faced Qatar. It’s a confident but not spectacular show from Portugal, who have scored three goals in a match, three matches in a row.
90′ + 3′ FULL-TIME: PORTUGAL 3-0 QATAR.
90′ + 1′ The fourth official indicates two minutes will be added to the end of the 90 for stoppages.
90′ He may not have scored, but Leao gets something for his efforts as he’s credited with the assist for Andre Silva’s finish.
90′ 3-0 PORTUGAL! Leao’s wonderfully shaped cross picks out Andre Silva, whose header ahead of Hisham finds the back of the net!
88′ LEAO DENIED BY THE POST ON AN OPEN GOAL! The Milan winger really should have opened his account after timing his run to perfection and controlling a long pass over the top with his chest. A sliding Ahmed dispossesses him momentarily but he’s able to latch back onto it at the far post with the goalkeeper pulled out of position. Leao attempts a sliding poke into the empty net but the woodwork denies him a first ever international goal.
86′ Fernandes teases the free-kick into the penalty area for Pereira, but it’s cleared desperately by Abdelkarim Hassan.
84′ The recently introduced Madibo loses possession in midfield and steps through Fernandes, bringing the Portugal number 11 down to the pitch in a heap. It’s a yellow card for the Qatar midfielder as Portugal are awarded a free-kick.
82′ In the aftermath of Leao striking the bar, Dalot picks up the loose ball and drives towards the near post, squeezing a shot between the woodwork and the goalkeeper’s hand. It looks to be the 3-0, but the referee immediately blows the play dead for a handball in the build-up.
80′ LEAO HITS THE FRAME OF THE GOAL! A lovely curling effort hit with the winger’s in-step from a standing position, the Milan player beats the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper but sends his shot rattling against the underside of the crossbar! It remains 2-0!
78′ This is only the second ever meeting between Portugal and Qatar – with the first coming just a month ago at the Nagyerdei Stadion in Debrecen.
76′ Madibo is also introduced as Boudiaf is taken off by the coach.
Youssef Abdel Razaq Youssef
76′ Youssef is in for Abdulla in an attacking change for Qatar.
75′ Qatar look to be lining up a couple of changes as we enter the final 15 minutes. The visitors have shown very little in this fixture, though perhaps a late alteration could provide the Portugal backline with a test.
73′ A great cross from the right falls to the foot of Andre Silva, who forces a fantastic point-blank save out of the Qatar goalkeeper. The Portugal striker gets a second chance after the ball is parried back into his path, but a weak left-footed effort is caught comfortably.
71′ Matheus’ debut for Portugal is over as Fernandes is sent on.
71′ Santos adds some experience to his midfield as Moutinho is sent on to see the match out. Mario is the man to make way.
Hassan Al Heidos
71′ The captain’s match is over as Al Heidos is replaced by Alahrak with 19 minutes left.
70′ Qatar have scored two or more goals in four of their last eight matches, but the four times they have failed to do so have come in their last four consecutive games.
68′ Portugal’s long, sustained period of pressure is over after Dalot’s low cross is flicked over the crossbar at the first time of asking by Andre Silva – who was unable to direct his effort on-target.
66′ Portugal look far too comfortable in possession as they hold the ball around Qatar’s penalty area. There is a distinct lack of pressing from the visitors, who look unable to win it back in any way other than a goal-kick.
64′ Pereira is given space to shoot after stepping up from defence and he obliges, but it’s a comfortable stooping save for the goalkeeper.
63′ Santos’ two changes after 60 minutes are straight swaps, as Palhinha will step into central midfield – reprising Carvalho’s role while Bernardo Silva will operate on the right wing just as Guedes did to mixed results in the opening hour.
61′ Carvalho is the next to make way, with Bernardo Silva on in his place.
61′ Portugal make a couple of changes on the hour mark as Santos looks to rotate his squad. The first switch sees Guedes replaced by Palhinha.
59′ Silva runs onto the ball and has a shot at goal from distance looking to catch Al Sheeb out of position, but it drifts comfortably wide of the post.
57′ Mario’s corner from the left is hung to the far post for Carvalho, who loses out to the well-positioned Ahmed.
55′ Afif catches Guedes very late from behind and earns himself a yellow card for the infringement.
54′ Portugal play a corner short but get it all wrong in midfield as a long, stray pass out to the right for Semedo is intercepted quite easily by Hatem.
52′ It appears as though Portugal have sent Dalot to the left in the aftermath of Semedo’s introduction, with the full-back quite adept at using either foot despite his more natural role on the right.
50′ It’s taken seven years, but Fonte finally has his first goal for Portugal – after 46 appearances.
48′ FONTE DOUBLES PORTUGAL’S TALLY! 2-0! Mario’s free-kick is taken to the edge of the six-yard box for Pereira, who can only put his header directly towards the goalkeeper. Al Sheeb fails to catch the strike, instead parrying it back into danger where Fonte pops up and places the ball neatly into the back of the net!
46′ Ronaldo departs after 45 minutes and one goal as Leao comes on in his place.
46′ Semedo is in for Mendes as Santos makes a change at the back.
46′ Portugal get the match restarted from the kick-off.
Due to the friendly nature of the match, expect to see a raft of changes in the second half as both coaches will look to shuffle their pack and try out new things. Ronaldo is unlikely to make it through the entirety of the match, though Portugal have shown up today with a wealth of talent on their bench – including Milan’s Leao and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva. Qatar have no other choice but to throw caution to the wind in pursuit of an equaliser, which could leave space at the back for a counter-attack.
The first half comes to a close with Portugal a goal ahead, thanks to Ronaldo’s simple tap-in from six yards out with eight minutes left in the first period. The hosts have expectedly dominated in most categories, attempting eight more shots than their opponents while seeing over 60% possession. The runs of Dalot and Mendes haven’t been dealt with by the Qatar defence, with the goal coming thanks to the attacking ingenuity of the Manchester United right-back. The visitors have done little in the way of attack, with Hassan’s quick effort to the near post the most difficult task of the first 45 minutes for the Portugal goalkeeper. Santos will no doubt be happy with a 1-0 score at this stage in the match, though they could and perhaps should be up by more.
45′ The fourth official indicates two minutes will be added onto the end of the half for stoppages.
43′ Ahmed finds some space just ahead of the right corner of the penalty area and attempts a shot which is saved easily at Costa’s near post.
41′ Dalot is again involved as he’s allowed to charge down the right wing and fire a low cross into the penalty area for Ronaldo – which is turned behind for a corner by a defender at the last second.
39′ No doubt Santos will have to change his team-talk after that goal, as Portugal find the breakthrough with less than 10 minutes to go until half-time. It hasn’t been a vintage performance from the Euro 2016 champions – though they have created enough to be up by more than one goal.
37′ RONALDO MAKES SURE OF IT THIS TIME! 1-0! Matheus sprays a lovely pass over the top of the defence to the far post for Dalot, who instinctively nods it back into the centre of the penalty area for his striker. Salman is unable to get the ball clear – much to Ronaldo’s delight as he stands on the edge of the six-yard box and taps it in!
35′ RONALDO MISSES THE TARGET! Dalot plays a beautiful ball down the flank, which misses the attempted clearance of Salman before curling perfectly into the penalty area for the run of Ronaldo. The goalkeeper rushes off his line but is unable to make a save as the striker gets to the ball first, but an inaccurate attempt sees the Manchester United forward put it wide!
33′ Play is brought to a halt following the awarding of a free-kick as Miguel remains down receiving some treatment. It was a nasty knock to the knee which sent the wing-back to the turf – though he should be okay to continue.
32′ Carvalho is shown the second yellow card of the match, after a mistimed tackle on Miguel in midfield.
30′ Mario takes the free-kick quickly, putting a low, square pass into the penalty area for Ronaldo. Unmarked, the forward looks to hit the effort at the first time of asking, but miscues the chance and gets nothing but air.
28′ Abdelkarim’s mistimed sliding challenge on Mendes earns the Qatar defender the first yellow of the match.
26′ Dalot’s cross from the right finds Ronaldo, who is unable to generate any power on his header as he turns it comfortably towards the goalkeeper.
24′ Portugal have only kept one clean sheet in their last six matches, after managing three back-to-back clean sheets.
22′ GREAT CHANCE FOR DALOT! The Manchester United full-back has space to work with in a central area and fires a quick shot at goal – which misses the far corner narrowly.
20′ Andre Silva fires a swiveled right-foot shot at the first time of asking but the striker misses the target by some distance from 20 yards out.
18′ Mendes intelligently wins the ball back from Miguel, before he’s taken down from behind by the right wing-back. The referee doesn’t seem impressed as he emphasises his point to captain Al Heidos – reminding the side of the match’s friendly nature.
16′ GREAT SAVE! Guedes barrels into the penalty area and draws the keeper off his line before attempting to sneak the ball between the legs of the goalkeeper, who does just enough to turn it behind for a corner.
14′ Danilo lifts a pass over the top for Matheus, who is clattered by a stooping Adbelkarim Hassan during an attempt to clear the ball. The referee doesn’t award the hosts a free-kick, though he does stop play for the midfielder to receive some treatment.
12′ Andre Silva times his run well inside the penalty area and has a first-time strike at goal – sending his effort off the face of the goalkeeper and behind for a corner, momentarily delayed due to Al Sheeb’s need for a bit of treatment.
10′ Pereira – operating today as a centre-back – looks to have instructions from Santos to step into midfield at every opportunity in order to shorten the pitch and dictate play from the back. Naturally a midfielder, Pereira had similar instructions the last time the two sides met, to great effect.
8′ Mendes plays a clever diagonal pass looking for the run of Mario at the edge of the penalty area, but Salman does just enough to get a touch on the delivery – redirecting it for an easy Al Sheeb save.
6′ The Manchester United forward lines up a strike from the set-piece but the well-placed wall does its job as the goalkeeper is kept protected.
5′ Portugal win a free-kick after Matheus is brought down outside the penalty area by an overzealous combination of Hatem and Boudiaf – who give Ronaldo a chance to strike at goal from the free-kick.
3′ Ronaldo cuts inside, taking on two defenders before playing a backheel flick into the penalty area for Mendes. The left-back latches onto the pass and immediately fires a cross into the penalty area, but it’s nodded away from danger by Fonte.
1′ Qatar get the match underway from the kick-off!
Qatar coach Sanchez makes just a single change to the XI that drew Luxembourg 1-0, with goalkeeper Yousof Ali replaced by Al Sheeb.
Santos makes 10 changes to the Portugal XI that beat Azerbaijan 3-0 last time out – as only Andre Silva retains his place. Costa is in for Patricio between the posts, while Fonte and Pereira replace Pepe and Dias at centre-back. Mendes and Dalot are in at left and right-back respectively ahead of Guerreiro and Cancelo, while wholesale changes in midfield see Matheus, Carvalho and Mario replace Fernandes, Palhinha and Moutinho. Andre Silva gets the nod again at striker, while Guedes and Ronaldo send Bernardo Silva and Jota to the substitute’s bench.
QATAR SUBS: Mohammed Jadoua, Ahmed Al Aaeldin, Ali Asad, Yusuf Abdurisag, Musab Al Khader, Ahmad Moein, Ahmed Fathy, Sultan Al Brake, Abdullah Al Ahrak, Youssef Hassan, Meshaal Barsham, Assim Madibo.
QATAR XI (3-5-2): Saad Al Sheeb; Bassam Al Rawi, Tarek Salman, Abdelkarim Hassan; Pedro Miguel, Hassan Al Haydos, Karim Boudiaf, Abdelaziz Hatim, Homam Ahmed; Almoez Ali, Akram Afif.
PORTUGAL SUBS: Rui Patricio, Pepe, Ruben Dias, Nelson Semedo, Joao Moutinho, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Lopes, Rafael Leao, Joao Palhinha, Joao Cancelo.
Portugal XI (4-3-3): Diogo Costa; Nuno Mendes, Jose Fonte, Danilo Pereira, Diogo Dalot; Matheus, William Carvalho, Joao Mario; Goncalo Guedes, Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo.
With 10 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at the team news – starting with our hosts!
Having already qualified for the World Cup by virtue of their status as hosts, Qatar are continuing to play through their friendly fixture list in order to prepare for opening day. A run of three consecutive losses to the United States, Serbia and Portugal was arrested two days ago with a draw against Luxembourg, though coach Felix Sanchez will get another shot at overturning the hosts, who beat Qatar 3-1 in a friendly in September.
Portugal will use this friendly fixture ahead of a World Cup qualifying match against Luxembourg to test the depths of their squad in pursuit of a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions. Fernando Santos is keen to put the disappointment of the Euros behind him in pursuit of a place at the 2022 World Cup – with the Iberians currently two points ahead of second-placed Serbia in group A.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the international friendly between Portugal and Qatar!