Portugal wins Wales and remains leader in qualifying
Nthe game of the second round of Group 11 of the first qualifying round, decided with goals from Diogo Monteiro (18 minutes) and Rodrigo Ribeiro (86), the Portuguese ascendant was the dominant tone almost from the first minute, but the lack of effectiveness prevented a more voluminous result.
Portugal, which tops the group with six points, secured the ‘passport’ for the Elite Round – it will be, at worst, one of the four best third-placed among the 13 groups -, ending this first phase with Ukraine, on Tuesday Thursday, again at the Estádio Algarve.
The ascendant of the players coached by José Lima helped themselves from the first whistle of the Austrian referee Christian-Petru Ciochirca and, in the tenth minute, Portugal already had half a dozen dangerous shots, with striker José Rodrigues in evidence (03 and 08 )
With first-touch football, constant movements and a very offensive presence from the full-backs, the Portuguese team applied suffocating pressure at certain times, forcing the Welsh defense to work hard.
After João Conceição (11), on top, and Ivan Lima (16) and Afonso Moreira (17), blocked by goalkeeper Camis, the Portuguese ascendant finally paid off in the 18th minute, with an accurate header by Diogo Monteiro, after singing by João Gonçalves.
The Portuguese glow diminished with the first goal, but for just a few minutes, as the Portuguese team intensified the harassment on goal after half an hour, forcing Oliver Camis to add several good saves, in the ‘shots’ of João Gonçalves (33), João Conceição (43) and Ivan Lima (44).
The start of the second half was no exception, although to a lesser degree, with José Rodrigues (46), João Veloso (55) and Afonso Moreira (66) adding to wasted opportunities.
The advantage by the minimal margin given unnerved the Portuguese for a few minutes and, at 76, Cole Fleming wasted a great opportunity to equalize: the goalkeeper Diogo Fernandes ‘filled’ the goal to stop the strike from the forward.
The Portuguese tranquility finally reached 86, with the 2-0, signed by substitute Rodrigo Ribeiro, played by Leonardo Barroso, and in added time Guilherme Santos saw George Abbott avoid the third over the goal line.
Game at the Algarve Stadium.
Portugal – Wales, 2-0.
At the break: 1-0.
1-0, Diogo Monteiro, 18 minutes.
2-0, Rodrigo Ribeiro, 86.
– Portugal: Diogo Fernandes, João Conceição, Diogo Monteiro, Marlon Júnior, Leonardo Barroso, Henrique Arreiol, João Gonçalves (Rafael Luís, 69), João Veloso (Guilherme Santos, 88), Afonso Moreira (Rodrigo Ribeiro, 69), Ivan Lima (João Rego , 88) and José Rodrigues (Gustavo Varela, 79).
(Substitutes: Gonçalo Ribeiro, Luís Gomes, Francisco Machado, Alfa Baldé, Guilherme Santos, Rafael Luís, Rodrigo Ribeiro, João Rego and Gustavo Varela).
Selector: José Lima.
– Wales: Oliver Camis, Alexander Williams (Tanatswa Nyakuhwa, 74), William Andiyapan, George Abbott, Theo Robinson (Charles Crewe, 87), Scott Godden (Sebastian Dabrowski, 59), Sonny Lewis (Finlay Ashworth, 59), Luke Harris, Ben Lloyd , Cole Fleming and Omari Benjamin (Japhet Mpadi, 59).
(Substitutes: James Pradic, Sebastian Dabrowski, Charles Crewe, Alexander Roberts, Japhet Mpadi, Finlay Ashworth, Jaydon Fuller, Tanatswa Nyakuhwa and Troy Perret).
Selector: Richard Williams.
Referee: Christian-Petru Ciochirca (Austria).
Disciplinary action: Yellow card for Sonny Lewis (10), Marlon Júnior (12), João Gonçalves (53) and Japhet Mpadi (67).
Assistance: About 150 spectators.
Also read: Portugal thrash Kazakhstan in opening qualifying for UEFA European Under-17 Championship