Friday, December 9th, 2022

Portugal chase late goal

Now 36 years old, there’s a good chance that the 2022 tournament in Qatar will be the Manchester United forward’s last, but that’s assuming that Portugal are able to qualify in the first place.

The Selecao looked to be in complete control of their fate knowing that a win or draw against Serbia on Sunday night would be enough to book themselves a place at the winter tournament next year.

Portugal 1-2 Serbia
And everything was going perfectly for the former European champions as they took the lead in Lisbon after just two minutes with Renato Sanches rattling home an emphatic finish.

However, it quickly became clear that Portugal weren’t going to have everything their own way with Dusan Tadic levelling the scores as his deflected strike baffled Rui Patricio before half-time.

And just when it looked as though Portugal were going to shepherd the game to full-time at 1-1, the visitors sparked unbridled scenes of joy as Aleksandar Mitrović scored a dramatic later winner.

Portugal chase late goal
With Tadic now turning provider, the Fulham striker was able to direct a well-placed header past the Portugal shot-stopper, duly leap-frogging Serbia above Portugal and all the way to the World Cup.

It couldn’t have been a more dramatic plot twist with Portugal’s World Cup hopes now hanging in the balance as they face two play-off games in March to see if they’ll be completing in Qatar or not.

But despite Mitrović’s winner coming so late in the day, Portugal still had a few precious minutes of stoppage time to avoid that entire situation entirely – and Ronaldo even had a chance of his own.

Ronaldo’s questionable decision-making
Well, Portugal fans maybe wished that Ronaldo didn’t have a chance because when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box in the 92nd minute, a volley probably wasn’t the best course of action.

However, that’s exactly what Ronaldo opted to do, chesting the ball when it came to him with less than 90 seconds left on the clock and duly firing it into Row Z with a weak-footed volley.

Naturally, choosing such an ambitious method to try and score as opposed to attempting to find a teammate didn’t go down well with fans

Now, don’t get it twisted, Ronaldo is arguably the biggest clutch player in the history of football and you only need to look at his recent winners against Villarreal and Atalanta to prove that point.

However, how many of Ronaldo’s dramatic late goals have been left-footed volleys on the turn from outside the penalty area? Yes, that’s right, even one of the greatest of all time is still human.

But all that being said, it’s important not to panic too much at this stage because Portugal still have ample opportunity to save their World Cup hopes and Ronaldo will be fired up for the occasion.

Besides, if his heroics against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sweden are anything to go by during their last World Cup play-off endeavour, then you can rest assured that Ronaldo will be playing in Qatar.

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