The only thing that I was surprised about was the score line. I was expecting the Czechs to score at least one goal and for the game to end 2-1.
That was not the case however as Portugal won the game one-nil. With the lone goal coming from striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
I also thought that the goals would come early in the game but clearly the teams were playing a tight defensive game since we had to wait until the 79th minute to witness the first goal. Funny thing is, although a tight defensive game it was still clearly dominated by Portugal.
What a thing of beauty that goal was! Just when it seemed that Portugal had lost possession deep in the Czech zone, João Moutinho stepped into the ball and got a way from his man to center the ball perfectly in front of Peter Cech’s net.
Waiting for the cross were Hugo Almeida and Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 showed some amazing athleticism, getting around the defenseman from behind for the diving header.
Ronaldo had an amazing game and the score could have easily been 4-0 what with Cristiano’s wide shot and two shots on the uprights.
Portugal’s next opponent will be Spain, and while they do pose a threat because the Spaniards are such an incredible team, I’m not worried. But before I go on, let’s take a look at the history between these two teams:
|18 Dec 1921||Spain v Portugal||L||3-1||International|
|17 Dec 1922||Portugal v Spain||L||1-2||International|
|16 Dec 1923||Spain v Portugal||L||3-0||International|
|17 May 1925||Portugal v Spain||L||0-2||International|
|29 May 1927||Spain v Portugal||L||2-0||B v A|
|10 Jan 1928||Portugal v Spain||D||2-2||International|
|17 Mar 1929||Spain v Portugal||L||5-0||International|
|30 Nov 1930||Portugal v Spain||L||0-1||International|
|02 Apr 1933||Spain v Portugal||L||3-0||International|
|11 Mar 1934||Spain v Portugal||L||9-0||FIFA World Cup|
|18 Mar 1934||Portugal v Spain||L||1-2||FIFA World Cup|
|05 May 1935||Portugal v Spain||D||3-3||International|
|12 Jan 1941||Portugal v Spain||D||2-2||International|
|16 Mar 1941||Spain v Portugal||L||5-1||International|
|13 Mar 1945||Portugal v Spain||D||2-2||International|
|06 May 1945||Spain v Portugal||L||4-2||International|
|26 Jan 1947||Portugal v Spain||W||4-1||International|
|20 Mar 1948||Spain v Portugal||L||2-0||International|
|20 Mar 1949||Portugal v Spain||D||1-1||International|
|02 Apr 1950||Spain v Portugal||L||5-1||FIFA World Cup|
|09 Apr 1950||Portugal v Spain||D||2-2||FIFA World Cup|
|03 Jun 1956||Portugal v Spain||W||3-1||International|
|13 Apr 1958||Spain v Portugal||L||1-0||International|
|15 Nov 1964||Portugal v Spain||W||2-1||International|
|26 Sep 1979||Spain v Portugal||D||1-1||International|
|20 Jun 1981||Portugal v Spain||W||2-0||International|
|17 Jun 1984||Portugal v Spain||D||1-1||European Championship|
|16 Jan 1991||Spain v Portugal||D||1-1||International|
|15 Jan 1992||Portugal v Spain||D||0-0||International|
|19 Jan 1994||Spain v Portugal||D||2-2||International|
|13 Feb 2002||Spain v Portugal||D||1-1||International|
|06 Sep 2003||Portugal v Spain||L||0-1||International|
|20 Jun 2004||Portugal v Spain||W||1-0||European Championship|
|29 Jun 2010||Spain v Portugal||L||1-0||FIFA World Cup|
|17 Nov 2010||Portugal v Spain||W||4-0||Internationa|
Looking at their history, it doesn’t look good for Portugal, having dropped 17 of their 35 prior contests, and it may very well be the end of the line for the Seleccão das Quinas in this Euro. I hope not and as I said, I’m not worried. While the Spaniards may have the advantage historically, they are also missing key players in Puyol, Capdevilla and David Villa. All players that were key elements in the previous Euro and World Cup Championships.
Nonetheless, I feel that Portugal will have to step up its offense one more notch and not allow for any counter-attack from Spain. They will have to test Casillas early on to try to get him out of his element.
Let’s see what happens Wednesday!