PORTUGAL – TURKEY. At the end of a match that they mastered for a long time before believing they were losing the thread, Portugal dismisses Turkey from the race for the 2022 World Cup (3-1) and offers themselves a final to go to Qatar.
Thank you all for following us for the live commentary of the World Cup play-off semi-final between Portugal and Turkey. Victorious at home, Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates will play their qualification for the 2022 World Cup next Tuesday against the astonishing North Macedonia, who defeated Italy, the reigning European champion (1-0).
The whole stadium held its breath. The Dragao had fallen silent, held in apnea by Burak Yilmaz. A whole stadium, a whole country had their eyes riveted on the Turkish striker, standing two strides from the ball on the penalty spot. There were barely five minutes left in regulation time and the Lille striker, the Turkish captain, had the equalizer at the end of his foot. It was enough for him to ensure his shot to sign a double and tip the meeting into the irrational. But the Kral, so lethal last season on the road to the title of champion of France, was going to fail like its 2021-2022 exercise, gloomy. From the inside of the foot, he sent his ball licking the top of the crossbar of a Diogo Costa who started on the right side but was beaten. The Portuguese people could exult, howl their relief like Jose Fonte, at fault on Enes in the surface. For their part, the Turks blamed the blow. On a misunderstanding, they would have seen themselves playing a very bad trick on the locals, as Serbia did last November when they showered Lisbon and sent Portugal to the play-offs. Fate decided otherwise and in added time, Nunes sealed the fate of a match that should never have flirted with such suspense.
Because Portugal had done everything right for an hour. In the fervor of the Portuguese stadium, Fernando Santos’ men took their opponents by the throat and asphyxiated them in a first quarter of an hour of fire concluded by an opportunistic goal from the excellent Otavio, one of the surprises of the coach sending. After a slump for his side, the Porto player then became the decisive passer at the end of the first period by depositing a delicious curling cross on the head of Diogo Jota, who stung it with application flush with Cakir’s post. The break was made and the start of the second period gave rise to a technical demonstration by Cristiano Ronaldo, invaluable in the service of the collective, and his teammates. Then without warning, Yilmaz found Ünder at the top of the box. The Olympique de Marseille player gave him a brilliant pass, eliminating four defenders. The Turkish captain did not tremble and deceived Diogo Costa on the ground. From then on, Portugal lost the thread and trembled until the penalty missed by Kral. More fear than harm in the end. Author of a first hour of high performance, the Portuguese selection provides the essentials and dismisses Turkey in the race for the Qatari World Cup. However, the mission is not over and he will have to put as much application and drive to overcome, next Tuesday, North Macedonia, falling to the general amazement of Italy (1-0), to see the tiny Middle Eastern emirate and its air-conditioned stadiums.
As always for 16 years, Turkey therefore remains at the dock and will not see the World Cup. The Turkish selection has not played in the competition since 2002 and its epic in South Korea and Japan which saw it take third place.
Portugal remained on a setback against Serbia (1-2). The European champion selection in 2016 has not been beaten twice in a row for 6 and a half years. In the fall of 2015, she lost at home against France on a late goal from Valbuena (0-1), before giving in at the last minute two months later in Russia (0-1, goal from Shirokov) .
While everyone was waiting for a final between Portugal and Italy to know who would have the right to go to Qatar to play the next World Cup, the reigning European champions were surprised in the last moments by Macedonia from the North on a cross shot from Trajkoski. The latter will therefore be the opponent of the Portuguese next Tuesday in Porto.
— Digital Jerseys (@Fasn_Designs) March 24, 2022
Long in control, Portugal were very scared in an uncertain end to the match but snatched their qualification to play in the final of the World Cup play-offs next Tuesday. Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates will have shown greater technical mastery and a lot of offensive drive to defeat the Turks who woke up too late and missed the opportunity to equalize from the penalty spot 5 minutes from the end of regulation time (3 -1).
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) March 24, 2022
03/24/22 – 22:40 – Ronaldo on the bar
Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo offer themselves a last chance in this additional time. Inheriting a ball back on the edge of the area, the Manchester United striker erases a defender who threw himself, weapon from the left but saw his shot die on the crossbar of Cakir. The final whistle sounds.
At the heart of additional time, Nunes frees Dragao and Portugal as a whole. During the maneuver, Leao slips the ball behind the defense in the middle. The newcomer struggles to control the ball and beats Cakir with a cross shot from the left (3-1).
In the axis, at the entrance to the surface, Joao Felix tries from afar. His strike is heavy and pushed back by Cakir on Cristiano Ronaldo who cannot push the ball into the goal, for lack of sufficient support.
There will be five minutes of additional time in this play-off semi-final of the 2022 World Cup between Portugal and Turkey. The latter must absolutely score to equalize and continue to hope.
Fernando Santos is looking to break the rhythm and buy time in this late game by making three changes with the exits of Joao Moutinho, Guerreiro and Otavio, replaced by Nunes, Nuno Mendes and Leao.
The emotional lift is crazy! As a responsible captain, Yilmaz does not let anyone take care of the penalty. In a tense atmosphere, the Lille striker opens his right foot. Diogo Costa starts from the right side on his left but the Turkish ball is too high for him, so high that it bites the top of the crossbar to the delight of the Portuguese. Turkey misses the opportunity to equalize in the 85th minute (2-1).
The game is stopped at Dragao. Mr Siebert has been called in to check for contact in the box between Jose Fonte and Enes. The Portuguese defender kicks the Turkish player in the foot and destabilizes him. The German referee goes to see the images and observes the situation. It indicates the penalty spot.
On a throw-in, Joao Felix goes in the direction of travel and comes to solicit the one-two with Cristiano Ronaldo in the pivot position. the throw-in is subtle and fair but the control of the Atletico de Madrid player is approximate and he allows the defender to come and thwart him. The ball flies out of goal.
Guerreiro pulls away to save the ball from the touch on the left. The Portuguese side then applies to wrap a cross at the far post. Cristiano Ronaldo is too fair but not Otavio who tumbles from the back. The one who had opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour does not control his gesture and believe too much his head which passes to the left of Cakir’s goal. The entire Dragao stadium had held its breath.
The Portuguese lost control of operations. Danilo returns a ball in the axis and puts it at the feet of Calhanoglu. The half-volley in the first intention of the middle of Inter Milan is unfortunately for him too crossed and goes to the left of the goal of Diogo Costa.
Twenty minutes from the end of the game, Diogo Jota is called back to the bench. The striker who scored the second goal for his team is replaced by Joao Felix.
Apathetic until then, the Turkish players seem to reinvigorate like Yilmaz who claims a penalty while he was in the duel with Danilo but Mr. Siebert does not flinch, rightly.
Against all odds, Yilmaz cools the Dragao and comes to restore hope to the Turkish people. At the head of the surface, the Lille striker requests the one-two with Ünder. The Olympique de Marseille player analyzes the situation and with an impressive calm pierces the Portuguese defense with a sublime pass in the race for Kral which ends at ground level. Turkey is revived 25 minutes from the end of the match (2-1, 65th).
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! BURAK ATTI!!!! pic.twitter.com/irZDNDQWdg
— Türkiye #BizimÇocuklar ???????? (@MilliTakimlar) March 24, 2022
03/24/22 – 22:06 – Turkish imprecision
Diogo Jota loses the ball at the center line and allows the Turks to counter but Calhanoglu’s engagement is missed with the relay too strong from Aktürkoglu.
The second period is currently a slow agony for Turkey, which is unable to challenge the technical superiority of the Portuguese. Stefan Kuntz’s men run desperately behind the ball as in this action where it lasted several minutes before Diogo Jota’s cross was caught on the ground by Cakir.
The Portuguese waves multiplied and on the right, Dalot took advantage of the gaping spaces left by Turkey’s three-man defense to move forward. The side avoids the goal exit, takes his time to adjust a center back where Diogo Jota got rid of the marking. The second scorer of the evening fired a volley from the right, 15 meters full axis, but slipped in front of Kabak. His shot goes over.
After Kabak, it was Cakir’s turn to narrowly miss condemning his people. On a long clearance from Diogo Costa, the Turkish goalkeeper comes out far from his goal. A suicidal initiative because Diogo Jota is on the fallout of the ball and takes it away from the chest in front of the opposing goalkeeper. The Liverpool striker tries to take his shot from 25 yards but puts in a little too much. It goes above.
The Turks are under pressure and Kökçü loses the ball in front of Moutinho and Bernardo Silva. The latter directs the game to the opposite right towards Otavio whose center at the far post for Cristiano Ronaldo is boxed with the right fist by Cakir.
Kabak is very close to committing the irreparable. At the entrance to his area on the right, the Turkish defender misses his control and sees Diogo Jota steal the ball from him. The Liverpool striker gets into position and when opening with his right foot to adjust Cakir, Kabak manages to put his foot to take the ball away from the Portuguese. The penalty came close.