A goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo was vital in Portugal’s victory over Liechtenstein in the Euro 2024 qualifying match that took place on November 16 evening.
Ronaldo scored in the 46th minute, and Cancelo scored in the 57th minute.
With early tickets to the final round, Portugal allowed a large number of young players to participate from the very beginning of the competition. Two of them, goalkeeper Jose Sa and defender Toti Gomes, were among those who made their debut with the team. Ruben Neves, otherwise a defensive midfielder, was forced to play as a central defender after being dragged down. On the other hand, the majority of things in the category above are stars. The three players who make up the midfield are Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, and Joao Cancelo. On the other hand, Ronaldo, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota, and Goncalo Ramos are the players who constitute the strikers.
At Rheinpark on the evening of November 16, Portugal defeated Liechtenstein 2-0 in the penultimate round of qualifying for the Euro 2024 tournament. Ronaldo, shown on the right, celebrates a goal that Portugal scored during the match. Image courtesy of the EPA
In addition to the modifications made to the tactical strategy and the player roster, Portugal’s lack of motivation was the primary factor that led to their slow start throughout the match. There was a lack of cohesiveness and effort among the players, which prevented them from overcoming the defense of Liechtenstein. Because of this, the majority of Portugal’s attacks were the result of individual efforts; nonetheless, they lacked the intensity necessary to score goals.
Portugal created the first meaningful opportunity toward the end of the first half of the match between the two teams. The goal of Liechtenstein was attacked by Ronaldo with a scissor volley, and then Ronaldo hit the foot of the goalkeeper, Bruchel himself.
A completely different attitude was displayed by the away squad when they came back after the break. Ronaldo made a shot that hit the post in the 46th minute. After one minute, he entered the penalty area, got the ball from Jota, and then executed a shot with his left foot that found its way into Bruchel’s goal box. Ronaldo has now scored 128 goals for Portugal, setting a new record in the international arena with this accomplishment.
In order to score their second goal, Portugal did not have to wait very long. After Bruchel made the error of going out to stop the ball in the 57th minute, Cancelo succeeded in dribbling the ball past him and kicking it into the goal, thereby securing a 2-0 victory for his team.
In the penultimate round of Euro 2024 qualifying, which took place on the evening of November 16 at Rheinpark, Ramos scored a header in Portugal’s 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein. Image courtesy of the EPA
Following the acquisition of three points, Portugal moved Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, and Bruno Fernandes to different positions. At the halfway point of the second half, Salanovic made a pass to Ruben Neves, but he was unable to overcome goalkeeper Jose Sa. As a result, Liechtenstein lost the opportunity to reduce the distance between themselves and the other team. Although Goncalo Ramos scored a goal for the home team at the very end of the game, the goal was not counted since it was scored while the home team was offside.
This was Portugal’s ninth victory in a total of nine matches that they played to qualify for Euro 2024. They would become the first team in history to win the qualifying round of a major tournament if they were to triumph over Iceland in the final match, which is scheduled to take place on November 19. At the moment, Portugal has scored 34 goals. It is possible that they will surpass the record that was established in the World Cup qualifiers in 2006 if they score two more goals against Iceland.
As of now, Portugal maintains its lead in Group J with 27 points. Slovakia not only finished in second place with 19 points, but they also secured a spot in the championship round. While Iceland was forced to wait for the results of the last round, Luxembourg and Bosnia both quickly gained spots in the play-off phase to compete for tickets. Iceland was the only country that required to wait. The play-off positions are determined by UEFA based on the results of the Nations League and the position of the team in the qualifying group. As a result of having no points, one goal, and 27 losses, Liechtenstein was placed in the bottom spot of Group J.