The Portuguese, defeated by the Czech Republic (2-1) and by Spain (0-4) in the two previous rounds of group 6 of Liga A in the first qualifying round, had to win to move on and fulfilled their mission.
The victory was built with goals from Maria Alagoa (22 minutes, penalty, and 65), Maria Negrão (28, penalty) and Margarida Caniço (39), while Pavlina Hrdlickova (69, penalty) and Karen scored for Slovakia Mak (74).
After a relatively balanced start, in which Mak, head wide, even created the first opportunity of the game (four minutes), quickly as Portuguese players took the ascendant, pushing like Slovaks to their midfield.
After a first threat from Margarida Caniço, at 10, Portugal took the lead at 22, by Maria Alagoa, who suffered a penalty (krsiakova’s foul) and accurately converted the ‘maximum punishment’.
The Portuguese team gained even more motivation with the first goal and kept the pressure on, with Beatriz Nogueira incredibly missing the second goal being 24, which came again from the penalty spot, now by Maria Negrão (28), who had been knocked down in the area by Krsiakova .
With Portugal dominating in the match, the third goal came even before the break (39): Margarida Caniço was faster than the opposing defenses in the reload after Filipa Bandeira shot and the ball hit both posts.
The start of the second half revealed a game with a minor, but Portugal remained ‘on top’: Maria Negrão wasted two occasions (56 and 61), before Maria Alagoa raised the count (65), ‘doubling’ in a counting kick (65) hangover after incomplete cutting of the Slovakian defensive.
This was followed by the worst Portuguese phase in the game, resting ‘in the shadow’ of the four goals ahead and allowing Slovakia to respond with two goals: a penalty from Pavlina Hrdlickova (69), after a foul by Joana Prazeres, and a direct corner by Karen Mak (74).
Gradually, Portugal calmed down and the unrest began, with Marta Salvador, isolated, wasting the fifth goal (90 + 3), but qualification for the next phase, which takes place in the spring of 2022, was already sealed.
Game at the Algarve Stadium.
Slovakia – Portugal, 2-4.
In the range: 0-3.
0-1, Maria Alagoa, 22 minutes (penalty).
0-2, Maria Negrão, 28 (penalty).
0-3, Margarida Caniço, 39.
0-4, Maria Alagoa, 65.
1-4, Pavlina Hrdlickova, 69 (penalty).
2-4, Karen Mak, 74.
– Slovakia: Vanessa Stachova, Sofia Jalaksova, Sara Krsiakova, Patricia Mudrakova, Tereza Mrockova, Livia Muckova (Frederika Kovalikova, 46), Karen Mak, Tamara Moravkova (Rebeka Zihlavnikova, 64), Laura Retkesova, Sofia Skerdova (Lenka) Mazuch and Katarina Vredikova (Pavlina Hrdlickova, 46).
(Substitutes: Stela Kucharova, Viktoria Cervenova, Frederika Kovalikova, Juliana Pivarciova, Lenka Mazuchova, Rebeka Zihlavnikova, Karin Pelikanova and Pavlina Hrdlickova).
Coach: Jozef Jelsic.
– Portugal: Íris Esgueirão, Nelly Rodrigues, Joana Prazeres, Maria Miller, Joana Silva, Filipa Bandeira, Leonor Alves (Joana Caiado, 80), Maria Negrão (Marta Salvador, 89), Maria Alagoa, Beatriz Nogueira (Matilde Silva, 75) and Margarida Caniço (Maria Leonor, 75).
(Substitutes: Catarina Potra, Inês Oliveira, Matilde Silva, Ana Cruz, Ana Assucena, Maria Leonor, Cláudia Mendinhas, Marta Salvador and Joana Caiado).
Coach: José Paisana.
Referee: Michele Schmolzer (Switzerland).
Disciplinary action: Pavlina Hrdlickova (70) and Maria Negrão (72).
Assistance: About 100 spectators.