Portugal could not with Ireland and signed a rude draw (0-0) marked by bad play and the almost absence of chances with which they will play their classification with Serbia on the last day of group A.
Although he is still in first place, he squandered a great chance to maintain the two-point gap he had with Serbia. Now, both teams are tied at 17 and, although with a draw he could reach Qatar, the image he offered in Dublin was not good at all.
The victory of Serbia, 3-1 against Azerbaijan, forced the Portuguese team to at least draw. With one point, he would remain the leader, but he could generate unnecessary doubts. Opposite, Ireland, without any option for anything, was risking the honor and opted to raise a game stuck waiting for an error from their rival to surprise.
Portugal fell into the trap. He was wrapped in a spider web that was difficult to overcome. Ireland, very orderly, barely gave ground. Very well behind, he dried up the Portuguese team, which in the first 45 minutes barely enjoyed chances.
Only André Silva tried with a shot that went far from the left post of the goal defended by Gavin Bazunu. And there wasn’t much else. Only one complaint from Cristiano, who regretted that Jesús Gil Manzano did not take a penalty after receiving pressure from a defender on his body when jumping to head a ball.
Moreover, Ireland, on the other hand, without any pretense of managing the duel, had the clearest with a shot from Robinson that Rui Patricio saved. With very little he created a lot of concern and would continue in the second half, in which Portugal again crashed against a wall that seemed insurmountable.
Until 67 minutes, Portugal failed to disturb Bazunu’s goal. It was Cristiano, with a header, who touched a goal that would have been gold for his team. But it was not the day. It was a duel of few occasions and in which effectiveness was needed. Almost one hundred percent.
There was none and Portugal, on top, was left with one less man due to the expulsion of Pepe in the final stage. It was the swan song of a match that seemed destined for 0-0. But it could be worse. An Irish goal on the horn could have been a tragedy. Luckily for the Portuguese team, the shock, which Will Keane gave in the form of a goal in the 96th minute, was canceled and will depend on itself. Against Serbia, he will live his final judgment.
– Data sheet:
0.- Ireland: Bazunu; Doherty, Coleman, Duffy, Egan, Stevens (McClean, m. 78); Cullen, Hendrick (Hourihane, m. 78); Ogbene (Keane, m. 91), Robinson and McGrath (Idah, m. 61).
0.- Portugal: Patrick; Semedo, Pepe, Danilo, Dalot; Palhinha, Matheus (Moutinho, m. 57), Fernandes (Renato Sanchez, m. 75); Cristiano, André Silva (Joao Felix, m. 75) and Guedes (Leao, m. 57) (Fonte, m. 83).
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain). He showed yellow card to Ogbene (m. 29), Coleman (m. 54) and Doherty (m. 93) from Ireland and Danilo (m. 71) from Portugal. He sent off Pepe for a double warning (m. 72 and 82).
Incidents: qualifying match for the Qatar 2022 World Cup corresponding to group A played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. EFE (HN)