Portugal with 70% of the ball in the first 45 minutes, no surprise to see them dominating possession. Seven shots, just the one on target – that was Fernandes’ goal. Ronaldo and Jota both sent big chances off target. North Macedonia will be looking to keep this at 1-0 for the first 20 minutes or so after the break, and then throw everything they can at Portugal late on you’d imagine.
First-half comes to an end as Cancelo curls an effort well over the bar. Portugal lead at the break, thanks to that Fernandes strike. North Macedonia gave it away and they were ruthlessly punished. Certainly things to be encouraged by for the visitors, but they really have it all to do now.
Man City duo combine nicely, as Silva finds Cancelo on the overlap. North Macedonia concede the corner. Fernandes can’t beat the first man. There will be just one minute added on at the end of half. Elmas brings the ball forward, looks to cut inside onto his right foot just outside the area. Pepe sticks a leg out to intercept.
Silva then wins a cheap free-kick for Portgual and they can clear the danger. Cristiano Ronaldo bursts into life and makes a great run, and he’s found by an even better ball from Pepe. Can’t get much power on the cutback, it’s blasted into Jota though and it drops for the Liverpool forward. As he loses balance, he fires the shot into the side-netting.
Portugal getting more space to counter as North Macedonia commit bodies forward. Jota has Ronaldo on the overlap but cuts inside, and eventually Portugal play it all the way back to the goalkeeper. Their focus is certainly not on scoring a second goal.
Long period of pressure from North Macedonia around the halfway line, struggling to get further up the pitch. Eventually they lost it, Elmas hacks Fernandes down as Portugal break. Does well to avoid a card. Cancelo beats his man again and fires a cross into the box.
TWO FOR BRUNO!
Portugal are staring down the World Cup ?? pic.twitter.com/SomC5uPyrY
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2022
— Hariş Ahmed (@Iconic_Cr7) March 29, 2022