Portugal 4-0 Switzerland: Ronaldo at the double for rampant hosts
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as the hosts collected their first win in UEFA Nations League Group A2.
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Portugal cruised to their first victory in UEFA Nations League Group A2 as Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-0 home defeat of Switzerland.
15' William Carvalho taps in opener
35' Ronaldo blasts in second
39' Simple finish for Ronaldo
68' João Cancelo finishes in empty net
Match in brief: Portugal soar in first-half display
Ronaldo proved instrumental as the hosts swept their opponents aside with an impressive first-half display in Lisbon. The Portugal captain – who struck a hat-trick when these sides last met three years ago today – had not registered in five outings for his country coming into this match, his longest drought for the Seleção for ten years.
It was a free-kick from the former Sporting CP man that led to Portugal’s opener, with his low effort parried by goalkeeper Gregor Kobel into the path of William Carvalho, who tapped home.
Ronaldo then took his international tally to 117 goals with two strikes in the space of five minutes with half-time approaching, sweeping his team's second into the far corner after unselfishly being picked out by Diogo Jota.
Shortly after, that pair combined again, with Kobel unable to hold the Liverpool striker's shot and Ronaldo nabbing the rebound. The 37-year-old could have claimed another match ball in the 43rd minute but prodded João Cancelo's intelligent cross narrowly wide.
In the end, it was the Manchester City full-back who rounded off the scoring, tapping the ball past the onrushing Kobel and slotting into the empty net after good work from club-mate Bernardo Silva.
Carlos Machado, match reporter
The 42,325 fans who attended the game tonight saw Portugal grab a clear win that sent them top of Group A2. The Switzerland resistance ended after the second goal and the rest of the game seemed to be about how many more the hosts could add to their tally, with Ronaldo determined to rack up another hat-trick to his collection. Kobel had to be at his best to deny him another treble late on.
Fernando Santos, Portugal coach: "I am a coach who is satisfied when I win and when the team plays as we rehearsed. We could have scored one or two more in the first half. In the second half, the pace dropped; the players are not machines. Switzerland created some problems, but we always found the right solutions."
Rúben Neves, Portugal midfielder: "We scored a lot of goals, created a lot of chances, played good football. There are always things to improve. That's what we're going to focus on, but I think it was an excellent performance."
Granit Xhaka, Switzerland captain: "We started well and then we lost the game within five minutes. As an away team, we let ourselves be countered – that mustn't happen. We were lucky in the first half that Portugal didn't score two or three more goals."
Gregor Kobel, Switzerland goalkeeper: "The alarm bells are ringing very loudly after a game like this. From the 15th minute, it was a poor game from us. We conceded silly goals."
- Portugal have lost only two of their last 11 international matches against Switzerland (W6 D3 L2).
- The Seleção have lost only one of their previous 14 Nations League matches (W9 D4 L1).
- Portugal have won six of their eight Nations League matches in Portugal (W6 D1 L1).
- Excluding their 3-0 awarded victory vs Ukraine, Switzerland's last win in the Nations League dates back to November 2018 against Belgium.
- Switzerland are without a win in their last seven Nations League matches outside of Switzerland (D2 L5).
Portugal: Rui Patrício; João Cancelo, Pepe, Danilo, Nuno Mendes; Otávio (Rafael Leão 77), William Carvalho (Matheus Nunes 84), Rúben Neves (Palhinha 77); Ronaldo, Diogo Jota (Ricardo Horta 67), Bruno Fernandes (Bernardo Silva 67)
Switzerland: Kobel; Mbabu, F. Frei, Schär, Rodríguez (Okafor 62); Sow (Gavranović 81), Xhaka; Steffen (Bottani 69), Shaqiri (Freuler 69), Vargas; Seferović (Embolo 62)
Group A2 Live now
What happens after the UEFA Nations League group stage?
The four group winners in League A will advance to the knockout finals with, in principle, one appointed as hosts. The semi-finals will be played on 14 and 15 June 2023, with the final and third-place play-off to follow on 18 June.
The teams finishing fourth in the groups in Leagues A will be relegated to League B for the 2024/25 edition.