Paulinho stood out for Portugal while Cristiano Ronaldo was superb off the bench as the Seleccao handed Andorra a crushing 7-0 defeat on Wednesday.
Portugal dominated the proceedings from start to finish, and were on the score sheet just eight minutes into the game as Pedro Neto volleyed home the opener after Sergio Oliveira squared the ball with a deft header. Midway through the first half, the hosts were two to the good, as Paulinho converted Nelson Semedo’s low cross.
There were no further goals in the first half, but Portugal were rampant post the interval. The third goal came ten minutes into the second period, as Renato Sanches calmly finished off a fine move after receiving the ball from Cristiano Ronaldo. Paulinho completed his brace with a brilliant finish with his head from Mario Rui’s cross.
The next goal came from the boot of an Andorra player, albeit in the form of Emili Garcia bundling the ball into his own net from Bernardo Silva’s attempted through ball to Ronaldo, who would have his goal in the 85th minute, heading in from Rui’s cross.
The win was then rounded off when Joao Felix met William Carvalho’s pass superbly three minutes later. Following the 7-0 trouncing of Andorra, The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Fernando Santos’s men.
Anthony Lopes: 7/10
Handed a rare start in Portugal colours, it was as straightforward an outing as they come, with Andorra hardly threatening his goal. A clean sheet to round off the win.
Nelson Semedo: 8/10
Making his 16th appearance for Portugal, Semedo was in his elements while charging up the right flank. Had a role to play in the opener, as it was his cross that found Paulinho, who then headed the ball towards Sergio Oliveira before Pedro Neto scored. Grabbed an assist of his own when Paulinho scored Portugal’s second and continued being a dangerous outlet for the remainder of the game.
Domingos Duarte: 7/10
Handed his maiden cap for Portugal, Duarte had very little to do, with the hosts dominating the proceedings. Hardly put a foot wrong apart from conceding a needless free-kick in the first half.
Ruben Semedo: 7/10
Much like his partner at the heart of Portugal’s defence, Ruben Semedo was largely solid apart from one rash moment early in the second half. Rarely troubled otherwise.
Mario Rui: 8/10
The full-backs were the stars of the show for Portugal and Mario Rui was relentless on the left wing. The Napoli defender created a number of opportunities from his flank and ended the match with a couple of assists, with Paulinho and Cristiano Ronaldo heading in from his pinpoint crosses.
Renato Sanches: 8/10
Part of the three-man midfield unit, Sanches was the most adventurous of Portugal midfielders. The youngster forced Josep Gomes into a fine save in the early exchanges but ended the game with a deserved goal when he gleefully accepted a fine pass by Ronaldo to score his side’s third. Struck up a fine understanding with Nelson Semedo and was in his elements all game.
Joao Moutinho: 7/10
Stationed at the base of the three-man midfield, Joao Moutinho pulled the strings effortlessly in the middle of the park to assert Portugal’s dominance on the game. Let Sergio Oliveira and Sanches do all the work higher up the pitch, making his job even easier.
Sergio Oliveira: 8/10
Oliveira was on the money right from the word go and he showed superb awareness to find Pedro Neto for the opening goal. The 28-year-old continued to look for ways to make a difference thereafter, coming close with an effort before nearly providing another assist later in the half. Taken off at half-time for Bernardo Silva.
Francisco Trincao: 7/10
Deployed on the right flank, Trincao was the least involved of the Portugal attackers in the first half before growing into the game as the minutes ticked. Could have had an assist at the stroke of half-time, but Nelson Semedo’s effort was well saved.
GOAL! Nelson Semedo with the assist for Paulinho's goal against Andorra! pic.twitter.com/Tpadul0Bez
— Benfica Youth 2 (@SLBenficaYouth) November 11, 2020
Turning out for his national side for the first time, it was a Portugal debut to remember for Paulinho. The 28-year-old striker was involved in the first goal before Neto scored. The best was yet to come, though, as Paulinho produced two fine finishes to complete a brace. A few other chances went abegging and he might have been celebrating a hat-trick on another day.
Pedro Neto: 7/10
Another player who was making his Portugal debut against Andorra. Neto scored the opening goal with a clever finish and was heavily involved in most attacks in the first half. Taken off for Ronaldo at half-time, but it was a memorable evening for the Wolves winger.
Bernardo Silva: 7/10
On for Sergio Oliveira at half-time, Silva had a lot of fun post the interval and grabbed the assist for Portugal’s fifth, as Emili Garcia scored from his defence splitting pass.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo comes off the bench to score his 102nd goal for Portugal 👑 pic.twitter.com/VbnFhOFvs7
— Goal (@goal) November 11, 2020
Despite only featuring in the second half, Ronaldo could have easily been celebrating a hat-trick, if he had his finishing boots on. Did the job with his head nevertheless, caressing the ball into the net from Rui’s cross. Also grabbed an assist for the goal that Sanches scored. Showing no signs of the injury he sustained against Lazio this past weekend.
William Carvalho: 7/10
On for Sanches, it was a frustrating evening for Carvalho, who twice put the ball into the back of the net, only to be pulled back for being offside. Ended the night with an assist for Joao Felix’s goal.
Joao Felix: 7/10
A solid cameo for Felix, who produced a spectacular finish late on in the game and could have even had an assist, had Ronaldo finished off his cross. Nearly ended the game with a brace as well.
Diogo Jota: N/A
Given the final 15 minutes, Jota was another whose pass was not finished by Ronaldo.
Danilo Pereira: N/A
On for Moutinho, Danilo helped see the game out.