Cristiano Ronaldo scored again as Portugal secured a comfortable 3-0 victory in an international friendly against Qatar on Saturday.
Portugal kick-started their international window with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Qatar on Saturday. The win serves as a massive boost ahead of an important World Cup qualifier game against Luxembourg in midweek.
The 2016 European champions were by far the better side in this contest, dominating Qatar in every department. While they were made to work hard for finding the opener, a 37th-minute strike from Cristiano Ronaldo did end up opening the floodgates, allowing the hosts to control the game better and create more chances.
The two sides went into half-time with Portugal leading 1-0. In the second half, the hosts enjoyed a brisk start, with veteran defender Jose Fonte scoring from a set-piece situation.
Qatar do deserve credit for remaining resilient for the large part of the game, preventing the opposition from scoring more goals. But at the end, Portugal did manage to add further gloss to the scoreline with a late goal from Andre Silva.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will rank the Portuguese players in their comprehensive win over Qatar this weekend.
Diogo Costa: 6/10
It was a quiet day at the office for Diogo Costa, as Qatar barely managed to threaten the Portuguese defence, mustering only two shots on goal throughout the entirety of the ninety minutes. Not the most difficult clean sheet for the FC Porto goalkeeper.
Diogo Dalot: 7.5/10
Playing ahead of Joao Cancelo, Diogo Dalot produced an impressive display at right-back. He got forward extremely well, providing support to his offensive teammates in the final third. It is apparent that he has what it takes to become a first-team player for Portugal.
Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Portugal against Qatar assisted by Diogo Dalot! 🇵🇹
— The United Zone Podcast (@UnitedZonePod) October 9, 2021
Jose Fonte: 7.5/10
Jose Fonte scored the all-important second goal for Portugal by being at the right place at the right time. It was an impressive return for him, to the starting eleven as he marshalled the backline, preventing Qatar from making any impact.
Danilo Pereira: 7/10
Danilo Pereira offered optimum defensive support for Fonte at the heart of the Portuguese backline. His imposing presence was the back was critical in making life difficult for the Qatari attackers.
Nuno Mendes: 7/10
Much like Dalot, Nuno Mendes offered the offensive support for the Portuguese attackers with his forays down the flanks. His speed was a massive asset for the hosts on the counter. He was later replaced by Nelson Semedo during the final phase of the game.
Matheus Nunes: 7/10
Matheus Nunes received a rare starting opportunity in the Portugal midfield. His aggression and tenacity were useful in Portugal’s second line of press, hassling the Qatari ball-carriers in the middle of the park.
William Carvalho: 7/10
William Carvalho sat in the number six position in the Portuguese midfield. His leadership and defensive work rate were pivotal in helping his team remain resilient and barely allowing Qatar any space to move forward.
Joao Mario: 7.5/10
Joao Mario was the creative hub of the Portugal midfield. He was a menace, especially from set-pieces, with one of his floated crosses from a free-kick resulting in Fonte’s goal just after the restart. It was yet another impressive creative display from the ex-Inter star.
I realize it's vs Qatar, but I still say João Mário is a quality midfielder and very underrated.
— Anonymous Lawyer (@RiffLawyer) October 9, 2021
Goncalo Guedes: 6.5/10
Goncalo Guedes offered a threat out wide, linking up with Dalot to keep the opposition defence busy. His ability to whip in crosses into the box was very useful, especially with Andre Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo lurking inside the box, though he wasn’t able to conjure up too many chances. He was subbed off around the hour mark.
Andre Silva: 7/10
Andre Silva was tasked to operate in the number nine position for Portugal despite the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo. The RB Leipzig forward took his settling into the game but was a useful target man for the home side. He eventually found the back of the net late in the game, latching on to a cross from Rafael Leao.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo played for only 45 minutes after surprisingly being given the start by Fernando Santos. Yet, the Manchester United superstar made a notable impact by scoring the all-important opener in the 37th minute, thereby extending his international goals tally to 112.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 9, 2021
Rafael Leao: 7/10
Rafael Leao replaced Ronaldo at half-time. He was involved in Portugal’s attacking play, notably registering an assist for the late goal from Andre Silva.
Bernardo Silva: 6/10
Bernardo Silva was a 60th-minute substitute for William Carvalho, offering his team more creativity in the middle of the park.
Joao Palhinha: 6/10
Joao Palhinha replaced Guedes, slotting into central midfield with Silva moving out wide. It offered more balance to the Portugal team, helping them see out any potential threat from the opposition.
Joao Moutinho: 6/10
Joao Moutinho offered valuable experience and composure in possession during the phase of the game.
Nelson Semedo: N/A
A late replacement for Mendes. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.