The names of the first three qualified for the round of 16 of the World Cup would not swear in the living room of the last four of the tournament. After France and Brazil, Portugal joined these two other major nations in the game to offer themselves a comfortable last warm-up round against South Korea. After Ghana, Cristiano Ronaldo and all his little band threw Uruguay overboard and returned the Celeste to what it is: a great selection of history that does not play the game. Rodrigo Bentancur signed a World-class action, starting from his camp in a rush finished in double contact and hitting Diego Costa, the Porto goalkeeper, but the rest, the South Americans watched this match as if they were absent. Maxi Gomez and his 75th-minute post will also remain a mirage.
Four years ago, in Russia, they had given CR7 and Co no chance in the round of 16 before collapsing in front of France, future world champion. There was not only a difference of intentions between the two opponents last night at the Lusail stadium, that of the final on December 18. Portugal, despite the rumble against Fernando Santos, its coach, remains immensely technical with Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes and formidable in front with Cristiano Ronaldo, the richest unemployed person in the world. The former Mancunian asks for all the balls, with each Portuguese attack and everyone knows what can happen to the carrier who forgets it. It is his call that will allow Bruno Fernandes to deceive Sergio Rochet on the opening. But CR7 would have had it with one more puff.
Nuno Mendes injured
The only regret, basically, with the 2016 European champion is that he has not had the offensive performance of his potential for six years, regardless of the state of form of his five-time Ballon d’ Gold. He defends quite well, masters the game in the middle and despite his offensive talent struggles to take cover quickly. A penalty from the VAR and dusk will get the better of Uruguay, that of Edinson Cavani, runner in a vacuum. Speaking of PSG and one of his exes, the injury of Nuno Mendes (42nd) brings to a third the number of Parisians (4 out of 12) temporarily or permanently out of the tournament after the withdrawal of Presnel Kimpembe and the injuries of Neymar (ankle) and Danilo Pereira (sides) in Qatar. Vitinha, who waxed the bench against Celeste but who should play against South Korea, is somehow warned.