Monday, May 27, 2024

No Cristiano Ronaldo, No Problem; Portugal Hammer Sweden 5-2 To Continue Winning Streak Before Euro 2024

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Cristiano Ronaldo and several other key players were rested for Portugal‘s international friendly against Sweden, however, they didn’t miss any of the star names as the Selecao put Sweden to the sword.

Manager Roberto Martinez‘s winning streak as Portuguese coach extended to 11 matches, having scored 41 goals, Portugal have kept 9 clean sheets, letting in only four including the two they conceded against Sweden on Thursday.

Rafael Leao, Matheus Nunes, Bruno Fernandes, Goncalo Ramos, and Bruma all scored a goal each while Gustaf Nilsson and Viktor Gyokeres were also on the scoresheet for Sweden. The 5-2 victory ensured that Portugal remained in red-hot form heading into Euro 2024. They have been kept in Group F along with Turkey and Czechia, and another team will join the group following the European Championships play-off qualifiers.

While Ronaldo is currently on a vacation with his family in Saudi Arabia, his teammates put on a demolition scoring three goals in the first half without reply.

AC Milan winger Leao opened the scoring for his side, breaking the deadlock after 24 minutes with a brilliant strike into the top corner following a Bernardo Silva shot that came his way. Nunes then doubled the lead in the 33rd minute with a low shot before Fernandes scored a tap-in from close range which was the last kick of the first half.

With the result seemingly secured, the Portuguese side didn’t let their foot off the pedal, bagging a fourth when Bruma hammered home in the 57th minute before Gyokeres finally pulled one back for Sweden.

Goncalo Ramos continued his fine international form scoring the fifth goal just past the hour mark, while Nilsson’s header in stoppage time gave the travelling supporters something to cheer for.

“It was a very important test for us. We worked on defensive concepts, I really liked the new links, the spirit and the commitment was very good. But there are other concepts that we need to work on and improve,” Martinez told Portuguese television RTP.

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return to the fold for the next international friendly against Slovenia on March 27, which will be his side’s final fixture before the beginning of the Euro 2024 championship that will take place in June in Germany.

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