MX23RW : Friday, January 18 04:21:40
Jun 7, 2018 at 8.15pm UK
Attendance: 53,014
Guedes (17', 55'), Fernandes (37')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Live Commentary: Portugal 3-0 Algeria - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Portugal's 3-0 victory over Algeria, as the hosts picked up an easy win in their final pre-World Cup friendly.
Live Commentary: Portugal 3-0 Algeria - as it happened
© Reuters

Goncalo Guedes scored either side of a Bruno Fernandes header as Portugal cruised to a 3-0 win over Algeria in Lisbon on Thursday night.

The Paris Saint-Germain wideman converted from a Bernardo Silva knockdown to double his international tally with less than a quarter of the match played.

Fernandes then headed the Selecao into a deserved two-goal lead, before Guedes added his second with a similar goal 10 minutes into the second half.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

7.45pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the international friendly meeting between Portugal and Algeria at the Estadio de Luz in Lisbon. The hosts are playing their final match before getting their World Cup campaign up and running with a huge clash against Iberian rivals Spain in eight days' time, giving manager Fernando Santos one last chance to settle on his preferred XI.

7.47pmTEAM NEWS!

PORTUGAL XI: Patricio; Soares, Pepe, Alves, Guerreiro; Carvalho, Moutinho; Bernardo Silva, Fernandes, Guedes; Ronaldo

ALGERIA XI: Salhi; Ferhat, Bensebaini, Mandi, Medjani, Benmoussa; Bentaleb, Boukhanchouche; Mahrez, Slimani, Brahimi

7.49pmWith this selection, Santos has now officially given minutes to all 23 players in his World Cup-bound squad. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo was always likely to start this evening, and it appears as though he will lead the line on his own, with Andre Silva - his preferred strike partner - among the subs. Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes will provide support, aiming to do enough to hold down a spot in the side.

7.51pmThe three-man midfield is comprised of Joao Moutinho, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes, meanwhile, with Santos fielding something close to the same lineup we can expect to see against Spain in a little over a week's time. A number of Portugal's rising stars from Euro 2016 have faded in the two years since, and this is a side that is still reliant on the old guard - Ronaldo, obviously, being among them.

7.53pmThe visitors performed pretty terribly in qualifying, finishing bottom of their group to miss out on a place in the finals for a fifth time. There is undoubted quality throughout their ranks, though, namely in Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, who is coming off the back of another impressive Premier League campaign - 12 goals scored and a further 10 set up for his teammates.

7.55pmYacine Brahimi has showcased his talent on the biggest club stage, meanwhile, netting goals in the Champions League for Porto, and Islam Slimani is another with an eye for goal - even if he has not been able to show it so much of late. Like Portugal, Algeria will likely go with three up top, and with Bruno Alves being used at the back for the hosts this could be a trickier assignment that it looks.

7.57pmPortugal head into the World Cup on the back of their successful Euro 2016 campaign, when beating the odds to go all the way in France. Ronaldo was a spectator in the final, watching on from the sidelines due to a first-half injury, but there is no doubt that he played a vital role in dragging the Selecao that far. Now, with the eyes of the world on CR7, he will hope to cement his legacy by lifting the World Cup in Russia.

7.59pmSantos's men topped Group B after being pushed all the way by Switzerland. The Selecao won their de factor playoff against the Swiss on the final matchday in October to make it nine victories in a row, having lost their opener against the same opponents. The pressure was on in that final match, but credit to the European champions for getting themselves over the line in an efficient manner.

8.01pmIncluding last summer's Confederations Cup, when finishing third to Chile and Germany, Portugal have lost just five of their last 35 matches, even taking their penalty shootout loss to Chile into account. It is fair to say that Santos's men are incredibly tough to beat, then, as witnessed at Euro 2016 when not necessarily at their best yet still finding a way to lift the trophy.

8.03pmEven after going down 2-0 to Switzerland in their opener, Portugal managed 32 goals in 10 qualifiers. Cristiano Ronaldo was responsible for 15 of those across nine matches, seeing him lead the way in the UEFA scoring charts. The Real Madrid forward added another Champions League crown to his collection last month with victory over Liverpool; now he will be eyeing the World Cup.

8.05pmSince securing their spot at Russia 2018, Portugal have defeated Saudi Arabia and Egypt in friendlies, but have since lost 3-0 to the Netherlands and drawn against United States, Tunisia and Belgium. Momentum can so often prove key heading into major tournaments, but that is not exactly something the European champions are blessed with right now. This final outing, then, could well prove key - no more excuses.

8.07pmAll this is in preparation for the World Cup finals, which in Portugal's case begins with that mouthwatering showdown with Spain in eight days' time. Then comes an equally-important clash against Morocco, before rounding off their group-stage campaign with a match against Iran on June 25th. Progressing into the knockout stages is the absolute bare minimum for Santos and his charges; a run deep into the competition is now expected after their achievement two years ago.

8.09pmIn terms of the visitors, they will be staying at home this summer after a poor qualifying campaign. Ranked 66th in the world, the Greens could only muster a solitary win from their six group matches, seeing them finish behind Nigeria, Zambia and Cameroon. As touched upon a little earlier, though, there is definitely some talent in this squad and Rabah Madjer now has to get the best out of each individual.

8.11pmAlgeria have played five friendlies since the middle of November, beating Central African Republic and Tanzania in the first two of those, before falling to defeats at the hands of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Cape Verde. Not the best of records over the past year or so, and it will not be easy for Madjer to pick his side back up for their next campaign. Victory today against high-calibre opponents would be a good starting point.

8.13pmBoth sets of players have now made their way out on to the field of play at the Estadio de Luz, with kickoff in Lisbon just a couple of minutes away. This is Portugal's last outing before setting off for the 2018 World Cup, while Algeria are now planning for the future after missing out on a place at the quadrennial showpiece. Neither side has been in great form of late, though you would still expect the Selecao to get the job done tonight.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos on May 28, 2018© Reuters

1 minKICKOFF! Following a short pre-match ceremony for Portugal manager Fernando Santos, who takes charge of his side for a 50th time tonight, we are officially up and running in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

3 minFour changes made in total by Santos from the goalless draw against Belgium, with the Selecao appearing to have set out in a 4-2-3-1 formation of sorts, spearheaded by Ronaldo. Five changes for the visitors, who go with a back five tonight.

5 minBernardo Silva cut in from the wing and won his side a free kick early on. Ronaldo sent it against the wall, but it fell nicely to Joao Moutinho and Abdelkadir Salhi had to make a save down low. Positive start from the home team.

5 minSAVE! Patient play from Portugal, with some Cristiano Ronaldo trickery thrown into the mix. It has been a confident start by the hosts, who will see anything other than victory this evening as a huge disappointment.

7 minAlgeria, using a new-look five-man defence, have not really been able to get out of their own final third so far. In fact, it is difficult to remember a player in white getting a touch of any sort! Could be a long night for them.

9 minSHOT! Guedes steals the ball off Bentaleb and lays it off for Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward was never in any doubt about what he intended to do, but his shot from 20 yards was dragged well wide of the opposition target.

11 minAlgeria with their first prolonged spell on the ball, with Bentaleb looking to control things in defensive midfield. Portugal win it back after a minute or so, though, and now it is backs-against-the-wall stuff once again for the visitors.

13 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Ronaldo guides the ball past Salhi with his weaker foot from a slight angle, but the offside flag was quickly up. Even after seeing a replay I still cannot decide whether that was the correct call from the officials.

15 minCedric with an impressive cross into the middle, which none of his teammates could make any telling contact with. Constant pressure from the Selecao, but as of yet they have been unable to find a way past the African nation.

17 minSeventeen minutes played in Lisbon and, while Portugal have completely dominated the match so far, they have managed just one shot on target - that coming from Moutinho inside the opening couple of minutes. Santos will want a breakthrough soon.


19 minPortugal take a deserved lead in Lisbon through Goncalo Guedes! A simple ball over the top was nodded into the youngster's path by Bernardo Silva, but the finish into the bottom corner was equally as impressive as the lay-off itself.

21 minCHANCE! Ronaldo really should have been burying this. The angle was against the Real Madrid forward but that does not tend to stop him, with the shot - possibly saved by Salhi - ending in the side-netting. Guedes was perfectly positioned for a tap-in.

Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the friendly game between Portugal and Algeria on June 7, 2018© Reuters

23 minPortugal looking so dominant in the opening quarter of the match. Bentaleb is again caught in possession but Ronaldo is unable to pick out a teammate with his cutback. The Selecao look good value for a second goal before the interval.

25 minIslam Slimani having to drop incredibly deep to get a touch of the ball. We have barely seen Algeria's attacking players thus far; instead it has been pretty much 25 minutes of solid defending for the visiting side.

27 minSantos will be delighted with his side's performance in the opening half an hour of the match. Algeria yet to get away a shot of any sort, while Portugal have accrued five at the other end and converted from one of them.

29 minBruno Alves gets across well to prevent Algeria from counter-attacking. As bad as the visitors have been so far, there is still just the one goal in it and all it takes is one moment of inspiration and we are all square.

31 minThe Greens are seeing more of the ball now than they did before going behind, but it is all in a comfortable zone for Portugal. No threat whatsoever, despite boasting some impressive talents in their forward ranks.

33 minIt has taken a good half an hour but Algeria have finally grown into the match. Brahimi got away from his man 60 yards from goal and fed the ball to Mahrez, who showed some good footwork and got a cross into the box, only for it to be blocked aside.

35 minAlgeria's best spell of the match culminated in a couple of Mahrez crossed into the centre, both easily dealt with. Portugal get a cross of their own into the area, which Salhi made a real mess of before eventually recovering.

37 minPortugal cruising towards half time now in a west Lisbon. It has been a decent first-half showing from the Selecao, but manager Fernando Santos will no doubt want another goal to show for his side's dominance in the opening 37 minutes.


40 minPortugal have themselves a second goal through Bruno Fernandes's close-range header. Cristiano Ronaldo was the creator, sending the ball near the front post where Fernandes was able to get between two men and direct the ball into the bottom corner.

42 minSHOT! The referee plays a good advantage and Ronaldo feeds the ball through for Bernardo Silva, who should have been doing better from 15 yards. The Man City ace could only send the ball wide of Salhi's goal.

44 minWould not be at all surprising to see Majer revert to a back four at the interval. Bar a three-minute period earlier in the half, Algeria have offered absolutely nothing so far. Incredibly frustrating for the likes of Mahrez and Brahimi.


9.06pmAlgeria got their first shot away shortly before the half-time whistle; Brahimi linking up with Mahrez on the edge of the box and sending a deflected effort wide of the target. Portugal countered but Fernandes opted to backheel to nobody rather than shooting. Portugal take a convincing two-goal lead into the interval.

9.09pmPortugal were on top right from the off, testing Abdelkadir Salhi for the first time with just two minutes on the clock with Joao Moutinho's low effort from close range. Cristiano Ronaldo was wayward with his first shot of the game but fared better from the second as he tucked the ball out of Salhi's reach, only for the offside flag to deny him another international goal.

9.12pmThe European champions did not have to wait much longer for their breakthrough moment, though, thanks to a fine finish from Goncalo Guedes into the bottom corner after Bernardo Silva headed a long ball into his teammate's path. Ronaldo picked out the side-netting two minutes later when Guedes was open for a tap-in, but Portugal did claim a second goal before the interval.

9.15pmBruno Fernandes got off the mark with his first senior goal, showing good desire to get between two opposition men and guide Ronaldo's left-sided cross out of Salhi's reach. Portugal perhaps should have added a third on the brink of half time, with Fernandes failing to pick out a teammate when it would have been easier to shoot, while Bernardo Silva slotted the ball wide from a good position.

9.18pmAlgeria registered just one shot of any note in a first half that saw them completely dominated - Yacine Brahimi's 20-yarder deflecting wide 45 minutes in - as Rabah Madjer's choice to go with a five-man backline failed to pay off. Will the visiting boss make a change or two at the break? We will soon find out...

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Portugal during an international friendly with Egypt in March 2018© Reuters

46 minRESTART! We are back under way at the Estadio da Luz where, somewhat surprisingly, neither manager has made a change. Algeria will therefore stick with their five-man defence, while Andre Silva remains on the Portugal bench.

48 minYELLOW CARD! Salim Boukhenchouche becomes the second Algeria player to be shown a yellow for a his strong challenge. The free kick is awarded some 35 yards from goal, yet Cristiano Ronaldo still takes it on, blasting the ball into the wall.

50 minMahrez desperately attempts to make something happen, but his run towards the opposition box is halted by Pepe. Up the other end, Bernardo Silva's cross into the danger zone is cleared behind for a corner kick.

52 minSAVE! Salhi with some poor handling when a cross comes into the box, allowing Ronaldo to prod the loose ball goalwards. Not sure how much the Algeria keeper knew about it, but he kept the shot out with his leg.

54 minSAVE! Ronaldo with his fifth attempt of the match, belting a long-range free kick down the middle for Salhi to parry away. The Real Madrid ace was then played in over the top, but his squared pass was just out of Guedes's reach.


57 minThis is turning into a stroll for Portugal. Raphael Guerreiro got forward down the left and chipped the ball into the middle for Goncalo Guedes to power a header home - his third international goal. If it wasn't already, that should be game over.

59 minPORTUGAL SUBS! Jose Fonte, a likely starter against Spain next week, takes over from Bruno Alves at centre-back. Mario Rui is also introduced, replacing Raphael Guerreiro fresh on the back of that impressive assist.

61 minCHANCE! Guedes is through on goal but needs a little too long to settle and is put under enough pressure to miss the one-on-one. Mohamed Benkhemassa is introduced for Salim Boukhenchouche in the visitors' first change.

63 minPORTUGAL SUB! Almost what can now be described as a trademark Ronaldo goal, as the superstar forward attempts an acrobatic volley but got his contact all wrong. Ricardo Quaresma is now on for William Carvalho with more than 25 minutes left to play.

65 minPORTUGAL SUB! Wondering if this impressive all-round display from Portugal will tempt Fernando Santos to go with this formation against Spain next week. Andre Silva is still among the subs. Namesake Adrian Silva is now on for Bernardo Silva.

67 minPortugal now going through the motions - it is job done for them. Winning today was always important for Fernando Santos's men, having picked up victory in just two of their six friendlies since qualifying for the World Cup finals.

69 minThe Selecao continuing to look the brighter of the two sides, without truly looking likely to add to their tally. The four second-half changes for the hosts, plus one for Algeria, has not exactly helped with the flow of the contest.

71 minALGERIA SUB! Baghdad Bounedjah, the top scorer in the Asian Champions League, is on for Carl Medjani in Algeria's second change of the evening. Algeria looking to see out the remainder of the match without shipping another.

73 minSAVE! This has been near enough the perfect evening as far as Santos is concerned, as long as his side can get through the next 17 minutes without any injury problems. Algeria's first shot on target - Baghdad Bounedjah picking out Rui Patricio.

75 minPORTUGAL SUB! Andre Silva is finally introduced, but he will no partner Cristiano Ronaldo - he has instead replaced the Real Madrid forward. Joao Mario is also given a chance to impress, with Joao Mourinho going off.

77 minJust 13 minutes to go at the Estadio de Luz and I am pretty sure that both managers would take full time now. Portugal boss Santos will be delighted to have dominated the match and scored three goals, which their overall performance has merited.

79 minNot a lot can be read into the results of these pre-World Cup friendlies, of course, and it must be remembered that Portugal have been on a winless run prior to this one, but today suggests that they will be there or thereabouts in Russia.

81 minSantos will want his players to up the tempo and potentially bag themselves a fourth goal in the remainder of the match. The contest has badly petered out since Portugal's third goal, which wrapped up a comfortable victory.


85 minGOAL RULED OUT! A whole two - possibly three - minutes after Joao Mario converted Fernandes's cross, Craig Pawson rules the goal out for handball in the build-up. VAR being used there, and on reflection it was possibly the right call.

87 minYou just know that VAR is going to cause a huge debate at the World Cup finals, though on this occasion Craig Pawson did appear to make the correct call - even if it did take an age to get there. Three minutes left to play in Lisbon.

89 minSAVE! Baghdad Bounedjah has looked very lively since coming off the bench, directing a difficult back-post header on target for Rui Patricio to produce the save of the game. A strong hand to help the ball over the crossbar.


10.19pmPortugal had to settle for just the three goals in the end, having taken their foot off the gas once opening up a 3-0 lead. Algeria were pretty poor on the night, but Fernando Santos will be pleased with the way his side dominated the game and took their chances.

10.21pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from the Estadio da Luz. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and be sure to join us for coverage of more pre-World Cup friendlies at the weekend. See you then!

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Riyad Mahrez in action during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Leicester City on January 13, 2018
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