MX23RW : Friday, January 18 04:20:24
Mar 26, 2018 at 7.30pm UK

Cancelo (61')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Depay (11'), Babel (32'), van Dijk (45')

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

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the international friendly between Portugal and the Netherlands, which ended 0-3.
Live Commentary: Portugal 0-3 Netherlands - as it happened
© Offside

Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk scored the goals as Netherlands recorded a 3-0 win over Portugal in Monday night's international friendly in Geneva.

Portugal had Joao Cancelo sent off during what was a rotten 90 minutes for Fernando Santos's team, who will open their 2018 World Cup group campaign against Spain on June 15.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.31pmEvening all! Sports Mole's international friendly coverage continues from Geneva as Portugal take on Netherlands in what should be an open and entertaining game of football. Portugal are building towards this summer's World Cup, while Netherlands will be looking for a strong result as Ronald Koeman settles into life as the country's new head coach. Stay tuned!

6.34pmTonight will be the 13th meeting between Portugal and Netherlands in international football. Incredibly, Netherlands have only won one of the previous 12, with Portugal claiming seven wins. It will be their first meeting since an international friendly back in August 2014 – which finished 1-1.

6.37pmThe last competitive meeting between the two nations took place at Euro 2012, with a double from Cristiano Ronaldo sending Portugal into the quarter-finals courtesy of a 2-1 win. Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news for this international friendly in Geneva...


PORTUGAL: Lopes; Cancelo, Rolando, Fonte, Rui; M. Fernandes, Gomes, Adrien Silva; B. Fernandes, Ronaldo, Quaresma

NETHERLANDS: Cillessen; Tete, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Ake, Vilhena; Van de Beek, Propper, Wijnaldum; Babel, Memphis

6.43pmPortugal boss Fernando Santos has rung the changes from the Egypt match on Friday night, with only Rolando and Cristiano Ronaldo keeping their spots in the XI. There is a Portugal debut at full-back for Napoli's Mario Rui, while Bruno Fernandes will win just his fourth cap for the Iberian nation. The experienced Ricardo Quaresma also comes into the team alongside Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes.

Andre Gomes in action for Portugal in June 2017© Offside

6.46pmAs for Netherlands, head coach Ronald Koeman has made seven changes to the team that started against England, with Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay the four survivors. There is a spot in the team for Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake, while Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Davy Propper and former Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel also start.

6.49pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff in Geneva. I shall speak about Netherlands a little bit later, but let's start with Portugal. Fernando Santos's team will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 win over Egypt on Friday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo - who else - scoring twice in stoppage time to turn things around in Zurich.


6.55pmPortugal have not actually lost a friendly since Sweden beat them last March, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by United States back in November. This will be Portugal's second friendly of 2018, but they still have four more to come – including tonight – before the 2018 World Cup gets underway in June.

6.58pmIndeed, the Euro 2016 winners will face Tunisia at the end of May before taking on Belgium and Algeria at the start of June. Portugal's World Cup campaign will officially get underway against Spain on June 15, and they will also lock horns with Morocco and Iran in the group stages of the competition.

7.02pmPortugal have found it difficult to make an impression at any World Cup since they finished third back in 1966. Indeed, they were eliminated in the group stage of both the 1986 and 2002 competition, before finishing fourth back in 2006. They reached the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup, but failed to make it out the group stages during a disappointing 2014 tournament in Brazil.


7.08pmMuch will depend on how a certain Cristiano Ronaldo performs at this summer's tournament. Portugal have a squad packed full of talent and indeed experience, but the Real Madrid superstar will ultimately decide how the nation performs in Russia. If the 33-year-old can produce his top level this summer then there is no reason why Portugal cannot advance deep into the competition.

7.12pmNetherlands, however, will not be at this summer's World Cup after failing to qualify. It has been a difficult few years for the Dutch national team when considering that they also failed to qualify for Euro 2016. They reached the final of the 2010 World Cup and semi-finals of the 2014 competition, however, which is an indication of just how much they will be missed in Russia.

7.15pmRonald Koeman is the individual now in charge of Netherlands, and his tenure got underway with a 1-0 home defeat to England on Friday night. The Flying Dutchman showed bits and pieces against England, but Koeman certainly has a lot of work to do ahead of qualification for Euro 2020.


7.22pmIn terms of what is ahead for Netherlands, they will take on Slovakia in their next friendly on May 31, before facing Italy - who also failed to qualify for the World Cup - at the start of June. Koeman's side will then take on France and Germany in the UEFA Nations League towards the end of 2018.

7.25pmHere we go then; both sets of players are in the tunnel ahead of kickoff in Geneva. There are no points or indeed prizes on offer tonight, but it should be an open and entertaining friendly between two teams packed full of quality. It is Portugal versus Netherlands, and kickoff is just around the corner!

0 minKICKOFF! Portugal kick things off in Geneva...

2 min... far from a full house inside the stadium, but there is a good atmosphere, and those in attendance will be hoping for an entertaining game of football. Ronaldo has already been involved inside the Netherlands box, but the 33-year-old could not gather a long pass from Adrien Silva.

4 minMemphis is playing through the middle for Netherlands tonight, with Babel also in a central position. As for Portugal, Quaresma and Fernandes are supporting Ronaldo in the final third. It has been an open start to events with both teams enjoying decent periods with possession.

6 minIt will not come a surprise to learn that Portugal are looking for Ronaldo at every opportunity, with Quaresma attempting to find the number seven with a deep cross, but De Ligt chests back to Cillessen.

8 minQuaresma looks to have a problem for Portugal after falling to the ground in a wide area. It was Ake that challenged the attacker, and he looks in some pain as he undergoes a bit of treatment.

10 minQuaresma is back on the field for Portugal, who are starting to cause problems in the final third of the field. Netherlands are struggling to gain some ground at the moment.

11 minGOAL! Portugal 0-1 Netherlands (Memphis)

12 minNetherlands take the lead in the 11th minute of this match as Memphis turns a Van de Beek effort into the bottom corner from close range! No messing about from Memphis with that finish!

14 minNot too much to report in terms a response from Portugal, who have struggled to create in the opening 14 minutes of this football match. Ronaldo has not really had a sight of goal thus far here.

16 minPortugal do not look too secure at the back as Memphis continues to find space between the lines. The former Manchester United attacker has been bright as a button for Netherlands in the opening 16 minutes, and he will surely be a key player in Koeman's new-look team moving forward.

19 minRonaldo breaks down the right for Portugal before looking to deliver, but Vilhena is across to make the block. The resulting corner is then played short before Tete manages to clear his lines.

22 minHalf-chance for Netherlands as Wijnaldum collects a loose ball on the edge of the striking towards goal, but his effort was always moving over the crossbar. Not too much from Portugal at the moment.

24 minNot too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last few minutes, and there is no question that Koeman will be pleased with what he has seen in the first 24 minutes of this friendly match.

26 minPossession football from Netherlands as they keep the ball in Portugal's half of the field.

28 minRui breaks down the left for Portugal before delivering low into the Netherlands box, but Ake makes the interception before Cillessen clears down the field. Still 1-0 to the Netherlands here.

30 minRonaldo tumbles just inside the Netherlands box under a challenge from a couple of blue shirts, but the referee is not interested. Ronaldo was absolutely convinced that should have been a spot kick.

32 minGOAL! Portugal 0-2 Netherlands (Babel)

33 minNetherlands double their lead in the 32nd minute as Babel heads a super De Ligt cross into the back of the net! Not sure about Portugal's defending once again it must be said!

35 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and Portugal are struggling here.

37 minPortugal just have not been able to get going in this first 45 minutes. Netherlands, on the other hand, have been careful and considered on the ball, with Memphis and Babel both playing well.

39 minMemphis attempts to collect a deep cross from Tete as Netherlands continue to threaten, but the weight is just too strong. Fonte and Rolando are at centre-back for Portugal tonight, and both look very uncomfortable under pressure. Bruno Alves is on the bench for the Portuguese here.

41 minHalf-chance for Portugal as Fernandes collects a Adrien Silva pass inside the Netherlands box, but his effort is straight at Cillessen, who has had a very comfortable first 41 minutes here.

43 minSAVE! Lopes has to produce a smart save to keep out a header from Memphis!

44 minBOOKING! Cancelo (Portugal) is booked for a poor challenge on Wijnaldum.

45 min+1We are into the first of two additional minutes at the end of the first period here.

45 min+2GOAL! Portugal 0-3 Netherlands (Van Dijk)

45 min+3Netherlands have their third of the night as Van Dijk picks out the far corner with a smart finish following a knockdown from De Ligt in a wide area. Portugal are all over the place here!

45 min+3HALF-TIME: Portugal 0-3 Netherlands

8.19pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Netherlands leading Portugal 3-0 courtesy of goals from Memphis, Babel and Van Dijk. Portugal actually started quite well, but Fernando Santos's side have been hopeless at the back. Brilliant night for Ronald Koeman thus far!

8.24pmSTATISTICS! Portugal actually dominated the first-half possession with 60%, but they only managed two shots during the first 45 minutes, and neither troubled Cillessen between the sticks. Netherlands, on the other hand, had four shots on target from six attempts - scoring three times.

8.29pmBENCH WATCH! Bruno Alves, Cedric, Guedes, Mario, Gelson Martins, Bernardo Silva and Andre Silva are just a selection of Portugal players that will hope for minutes in the second half of this match. Netherlands, meanwhile, have the likes of De Roon, Dost, Kluivert and Stroorman on their bench.

46 minRESTART! Netherlands resume the action here...

47 min... PORTUGAL SUBS! Rolando has been replaced by Neto for Portugal, while Andre Silva has entered the field in place of Andre Gomes.

48 minNo changes from the Netherlands side that performed so well in the first 45 minutes. Portugal boss Fernando Silva will be looking for a lot more from his team in the second half of action.

49 minSAVE! Cillessen produces a wonderful save to keep out a header from Ronaldo, but the offside flag had been raised. Cillessen was not to know though, and it was a fine save.

50 minAndre Silva strikes from a dangerous position following good work from Ronaldo, but Van Dijk is on hand to make the block. Much better from Portugal in the early stages of the second period.

51 minSAVE! Cillessen tips a clever Quaresma effort over the crossbar!

53 minRonaldo dances past the challenge of Ake in a wide position before delivering towards Andre Silva, but Tete does well to make the clearance. Plenty happening in the early stages of the second period.

55 minCillessen does well to palm a Cancelo cross out of the Netherlands box as Portugal threaten.

56 minPORTUGAL SUB! Gelson Martins replaces Quaresma for Portugal.

58 minBrilliant defending from De Ligt as the Netherlands centre-back manages to clear his lines ahead of Ronaldo, who looked favourite to meet a deep cross from Martins. Still 3-0 Netherlands here.

60 minRonaldo dances into a crossing position before lifting the ball towards the far post, but it is comfortable for Cillessen. Still no movement on the Netherlands bench with 60 minutes played.


62 minPortugal are reduced to 10 men as Cancelo is shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Vilhena! It was a really poor challenge, and Cancelo has been given his marching orders!

63 minStrange moments here as a number of fans have decided to enter the field!

65 minWe are back underway, and Netherlands are going to use their bench in a moment.

67 minNETHERLANDS SUBS! De Vrij and De Roon replace Vilhena and Wijnaldum.

68 minPORTUGAL SUB! Moutinho replaces Ronaldo for Portugal.

70 minLittle over 20 minutes of football remaining, and not much in terms of actual football has happened since Portugal went down to 10 men. The amount of changes has interrupted the flow of this match.

72 minBOOKING! De Roon (Netherlands) is booked for a stamp on Martins.

74 minSAVE! Cillessen flies across his goal to keep out a powerful effort from Rui!

76 minThere is no question that Portugal have been better in the second period, but they were really poor in the first 45 minutes. Netherlands boss Koeman will be delighted with what he has seen here.

78 minMartins has been very bright for Portugal since entering the field, with the attacker causing all sorts of problems in a wide position. The Sporting Lisbon winger works some space before looking to pick out the top corner, but his effort was always moving over the crossbar. Much better though.

79 minNETHERLANDS SUBS! Til and Kluivert replace Tete and Memphis.

79 minPORTUGAL SUB! Mario replaces Bruno Fernandes for Portugal.

81 minPortugal are the team on the front foot at the moment as Martins continues to cause problems in a wide position. Kluivert has not yet touched the ball on his Netherlands debut.

83 minThere is no question that Portugal have been the more attacking team in the second period, but they have lacked that cutting edge in the final third of the field. Still 3-0 Netherlands here.

84 minNETHERLANDS SUBS! Berghuis and Fosu-Mensah replace Babel and De Ligt.

86 minNetherlands cannot get out their own half at the moment as Portugal continue to press.

88 minGuedes flicks a Martins cross towards the far post, but Cillessen is out to collect.

88 minComfortable save for Cillessen to keep out a weak effort from Guedes.

90 minSAVE! Cillessen keeps out a flicked header from Guedes - what a save!

90 minOFF-THE-LINE! Van de Beek clears a Moutinho effort off the line!

90 min+2We are into the second of three additional minutes at the end of the match.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Portugal 0-3 Netherlands

9.25pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Netherlands recording a 3-0 win over Portugal in Geneva. What a performance from the Dutch national team! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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