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Portugal 5-2 Sweden (Mar 21, 2024) Game Analysis – ESPN

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Portugal swept past Sweden 5-2 in a friendly on Thursday as manager Roberto Martinez rested Cristiano Ronaldo and several other key players in the build-up to the European Championship in Germany, which starts in June.

The Portuguese stormed into the Euro 2024 finals by winning all 10 of their qualifiers, with Thursday’s result making it 11 wins in a row.

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“It was a good and important test for us,” Martinez told reporters after the game. “Sweden have very good strikers. We worked on defensive concepts and it was a good experiment.

“There are other concepts that we need to work on and improve in our next game at Slovenia. It was great to play against a talented team of this level.”

Portugal celebrate Bruno Fernandes’ goal against Sweden.

Diogo Cardoso/Getty Images


Martinez’s side opened a three-goal lead in the first half thanks to strikes by Rafael Leão, Matheus Nunes and Bruno Fernandes.

Leao opened the scoring in the 24th minute, firing a brilliant strike into the top corner from a rebound after Bernardo Silva burst into the box and unleashed a curling shot off the post.

In the 33rd minute, Manchester City midfielder Nunes sliced through the Swedish defence before darting a low strike just inside the right post to extend the locals’ lead at Guimaraes, before Fernandes tapped in a close-range effort from a Nelson Semedo cross in the last play of the half.

Substitute Bruma extended their lead with first-touch effort in the 57th minute, but Viktor Gyökeres hit back for Sweden from close-range a minute later.

Goncalo Ramos struck from inside the box in the 62nd minute to extend Portugal’s lead before Sweden’s Gustaf Nilsson netted a stoppage time header in the last play of the match.

Portugal will face Slovenia on Tuesday, with Martinez set to bring in Ronaldo among a host of changes.

“The players that will rest in the the next game are Bernardo Silva, Rúben Dias, João Palhinha, Nélson Semedo, Tote Gomes, Rafael Leão, Bruno Fernandes and Goncalo Ramos.

“Hence, eight players will leave and another eight players will arrive at a high level for the second game, with hunger and a lot of energy, I hope.”

Information from ESPN’s Adriana Garcia and Reuters contributed to this report.

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