Tag Archives: Portugal

Portugal 2-2 Uruguay (AET – 4-5 on penalties) (Quarter-final, 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, 4 June 2017)

Overcoming an early setback and ultimately requiring the dreaded spot-kicks, Uruguay eventually emerged victorious from their 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup Quarter-final clash with Portugal. Below are video highlights, a brief summary of the match and, most importantly, @DarrenSpherical‘s armchair talent-tracking…

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(Source: Wikipedia – Check here for all other results and fixtures)

Portugal 2-2 Uruguay (AET – 4-5 on penalties)

2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Quarter-final, 4 June 2017 (YouTube)

Uruguay set up a scintillating Semi-final clash with CONMEBOL rivals Venezuela, after seeing off a Portugal side who easily provided them with their most difficult test yet.

Indeed, within the first minute, their Iberian opponents not only took the lead but also became the first team in the tournament to both score against Uruguay as well as put them in a losing position. This occurred when Federico Valverde was dispossessed by Xadas who slid the ball to Xandre Silva to finish off. It took about ten minutes, but Uruguay did gradually find their way into the game, having a few chances which culminated with the equaliser on 16 minutes. Here, a right-footed corner from Valverde was brilliantly whipped towards the back post, which Nicolás Schiappacasse volleyed onto the bar, with the rebound falling to Santiago Bueno, who headed home. For most of the remainder of the half, Uruguay were more than holding their own despite not creating much, yet in the 41st minute they were left reeling by Diogo Gonçalves’ phenomenal right-footed strike from just outside the area on the inside-left which flew into the top corner.

Thus, Fabián Coito’s men went in at half-time behind, though this state of affairs did not last long. Indeed, after the restart, Agustín Canobbio was fouled in the area and in the 50th minute, Valverde struck home the penalty to make it 2-2. Subsequently, though there were a couple of other chances in the match, both teams appeared to have decided from a relatively early stage that this game was heading to penalties – and so it proved.

After eight well-executed penalties, almost every taker’s nerves then crumbled, with first Portugal’s Pepê seeing his sstrike saved by Santiago Mele. Rodrigo Amaral thus stepped up to claim the glory for Uruguay, yet spectacularly blazed his strike well over the bar. Thus followed three consecutive failed spot-kick efforts, before Bueno struck his home with aplomb to book the South Americans’ place in the final four.

Talent Tracking

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Federico Valverde (No. 16, Real Madrid Castilla) had a curious game, yet again made some crucial contributions. Firstly, he was partly at fault for the opening Portugal goal when he was robbed of the ball seconds beforehand, yet 15 minutes later he crossed in the corner that led to his side’s equaliser and later, he both scored the spot-kick to make it 2-2 as well as converted the all-important first one in the shootout. Otherwise, he whacked a conspicuously bad free-kick off-target in the 72nd minute but overall, his positive actions far outweigh the negatives.

Valverde’s potential future El Clásico rival Santiago Bueno (No. 2, Barcelona Juvenil A) also had a game to remember. It is debatable – though, probably a little unfair – whether to apportion blame at his feet or those of centre-back partner Agustín Rogel (No. 18, Nacional) for the first goal as they were both caught off-guard by Valverde’s unexpected loss of the ball. Nevertheless, he got himself in the fans’ good books 15 minutes later when he was on cue to head home the equaliser and, especially at the very end, when he put away the decisive spot-kick to win the tie.

Otherwise, the role of Santiago Mele (No. 1, Fénix) will certainly be fondly recalled as, though he conceded his first goals of the tournament – not a huge deal he could have done about either – he also remarkably pulled off three successive saves in the penalty shootout. He’s certainly attracted some attention over the past fortnight, building on a quietly impressive qualifying record.

Overall, despite the four goals, this was not really a game teeming with clear opportunities. Still, some additional attacking impetus was injected when Rodrigo Amaral (No. 10, Nacional) came off the bench in the 79th minute – taking the captain’s armband off the largely quiet Nicolás De La Cruz (No. 11, Liverpool, Uruguay) – to make his first appearance since his match-winning opening day cameo. In his 41 or so minutes on the field, he was to demonstrate some of the potential of his exceptional left wand, largely seeking to loft balls into the area as well as play in team-mates.

Indeed, a handful or so of opportunities  – or at least, half-chances – were created for the likes of Rogel and Matías Viña (No. 17, Nacional), with perhaps the most eye-catching being intended for Marcelo Saracchi (No. 6, Danubio) in the 90th minute. Here, he rapidly turned near the halfway line and then hit a great pass with his left peg towards Saracchi, though the midfielder – who also played in some impressive balls of his own earlier in the game – was narrowly beaten to the ball by the goalkeeper.

However, though Amaral showed that, despite injury and fitness concerns, he is still capable of spurring his team-mates on and making things happen, one wonders how he feels following the shootout. Indeed, in rather tragi-comical fashion, for the second Under-20 World Cup in a row this prodigous raw talent missed a crucial penalty. Hopefully for his sake, the fact that, unlike last time, this did not prove to be the decisive kick that knocked his nation out, will at least provide him with some solace.

Lastly, a quick word for striker Nicolás Schiappacasse (No. 9, Atlético Madrid Under-19s). He had a half-chance in the 13th minute when he bypassed an opponent before seeing his shot from a rather acute angle parried for a corner. More significantly, however, three minutes later he hit the crossbar, with the rebound being nodded home by Bueno and he also had a role in the second goal when he played the ball to Agustín Canobbio (No. 19, Fénix), who was fouled for the penalty converted by Valverde.

Ultimately, Uruguay certainly survived some scares and rode their luck, but managed to progress and thus move one step closer to attaining their goal. Though they will be very wary of the threat posed by Venezuela – the only side to beat them in qualifying – they will at least be able to welcome back Rodrigo Bentancur from suspension for this potentially epic Semi-final.

To keep up-to-date with the latest news on the two remaining South American nations at South Korea 2017, please follow @DarrenSpherical on Twitter and check back to Hispanospherical.com for match-by-match talent-tracking articles.

Darren Spherical

@DarrenSpherical

Venezuelans Abroad in Portugal – Catch-up

Portugal

As with the previous articles on Serie A and Ligue 1, this article is at least a week late in publication so no doubt you all know what is coming next, but if Hispanospherical can not always be punctual, it very much likes to be comprehensive, so here comes some not-too-distant memories:

Sunday 31 August 2014 

Primeira Liga

Nacional 2-0 Arouca

For longer highlights, click here.

After four successive defeats that saw them joint-bottom in the league and out of the Europa League, Nacional at last got their season underway with a victory, though things could have been quite different had the visitors converted an early penalty. Indeed, David Simao blazed over the bar from 12 yards and was soon made to pay as the Nacionalistas received a penalty of their own following what looked like a rather unintentional handball. Uruguayan goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea guessed incorrectly, diving to his right as Mario Rondón placed the spot-kick straight down the centre for his first goal of the season; Nacional fans will be pleased to see that, despite murmurs of discontent earlier in the year, the well-regarded Venezuelan remains in Portugal after the transfer window’s closure. The second goal came after 59 minutes as Marcos Matias crossed a corner into a very foggy penalty area and the South Korean Hyun-Jun Suk managed to hook the ball into the net, though how much anyone on either side could see of this is anyone’s guess. Following this victory, Nacional have shot up to 11th in the league and have a real chance to get their season back on track in their next match away to struggling Estoril, who not so long ago you may recall were defeated 5-1 by the other team in this league who are of interest to us…

Monday 1 September 2014

Primeira Liga 

Rio Ave 4-0 Boavista

Rio Ave romped to victory over 2000-01’s surprise champions to put themselves top of the pile with a 100 per cent record and a goal difference of +10, making light work of a side that, having recently fallen on hard times, required an election in the summer to return them to the Primeira Liga from the third tier, thus bypassing the Segunda Liga altogether. Following the dramatic midweek Europa League triumph, Jose Mourinho’s first senior club as a player (keep that fact warm in your back pocket until the end of the season when it may well be time to whip it out) capped what must be one of finest weeks in its history, though as Yonathan Del Valle was sidelined, he again missed out on a share of the glory. The Venezuelan is believed to be on the mend, but must have mixed emotions about having started the two previous league games and yet not actually being on the pitch when any of their 11 league goals have been scored.

This time around, two goals came in each half, with those in the first period coming courtesy of a fantastic free-kick by Brazil-born naturalised Belarusian, Renan Bressan, in the 26th minute and, two minutes later, the young Brazilian Diego Lopes, who continued his promising start to the season by coolly slotting home a low cross. After 59 minutes, Lucas, another Brazilian – this time wearing Boavista colours – earned his second yellow card for a recklessly high challenge on Emmanuel Boateng and, consequently, the home side strolled to victory with two late additional goals. Both of these came from crosses from the right, the third of the evening by midweek Europa League supersub Esmaël Gonçalves and the fourth was nodded home in stoppage time by the Ghanaian Boateng.

Sunday 31 August 2014

Segunda Liga

Porto B 0-1 Santa Clara

Santa Clara manager Cláudio Braga could not help but laugh with glee as Porto’s Angolan goalkeeper Kadú was responsible for an absolute howler for what should have been a routine save from a tame free-kick in stoppage time, thus gifting the away side a victory that their play did not merit. Playing in a back line featuring Mexican World Cup defender Diego Reyes, Victor García started his second game in a row though for unknown reasons – possibly relating to his fitness – was withdrawn at half-time. Throughout the game, Porto really did dominate the chances but will be cursing their fortunes – and trying not to admonish Kadú too much – as Ruizinho Furtado’s embarrassing winner means they now sit in 21st, one place off the relegation zone, with 4 points in 5 games.

Venezuelans Abroad – 30 Aug 2014 Midweek Round-up (Portugal)

Two of the Venezuelans who play for Portuguese teams and who are regularly tracked on this site played in the UEFA Europa League this midweek just gone – click here for more details – but one was left at home and was in domestic action. 

Portugal

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Segunda Liga

Feirense 1-2 Porto B

The previous day in front of over 45.000 fans, Porto’s senior side ensured their progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 3-0 aggregate victory over Lille, yet here in the Portuguese second-tier watched by a crowd that was 1/40th the size, Victor García made his first start of the season to shore up the B side’s back-line. Indeed, though earlier this month García appeared to be flirting with a place in the first-team squad, having reportedly been handed the number 50 shirt, his return to the B side in his number 52 shirt will have been very much appreciated by manager Luís Castro as he achieved his first victory both of the season and since his reinstatement following last season’s brief two-month spell in charge of the first team. Both teams had chances in what was a rather feisty game with nine yellows (four for the home side, five for the away) and one late red card for Tonel of the hosts, who may well have been the victim of some Porto play-acting. Nevertheless, the away side emerged victorious with goals from two 20 year-olds: Gonçalo Paciencia from the penalty spot and Frederic Maciel with a well-placed strike just outside the area. The B side, quite possibly with García still in their ranks, now have a good opportunity to move up from 17th in the league as they have a home match tomorrow against Santa Clara, a side just one point above them. 

Venezuelans Abroad – 30 Aug 2014 Midweek Round-up (UEFA Europa League)

Thursday 28 August 2014

UEFA Europa League – Play-off Second Leg

Rio Ave 1-0 IF Elfsborg (2-2 on aggregate; Rio Ave through on away goals)

The early Portuguese pace-setters sensationally made it through to the group stage of the Europa League for the first ever time with one of the most Route One goals you will have seen since Luis Suarez’s second and – some might say, tragically – last goal in the World Cup against England. It had been a very frustrating match for the home side when, in the second minute of stoppage time, goalkeeper Cássio pumped a clearance upfield that a Swedish Steven Gerrard played into the box with a defence-splitting header which was then opportunistically poked into the net by Esmaël Gonçalves. Yonathan Del Valle was not available for this game due to injury but he will have an opportunity to star in the group phase as Rio Ave have been drawn in the tough Group J, alongside the perennially awkward Dynamo Kiev and two sides who fell at the final hurdle of Champions League qualification, Steaua Bucharest and Aalborg. 

Thursday 28 August 2014

UEFA Europa League – Play-off Second Leg

Torino 1-0 RNK Split (1-0 on aggregate)

Over 20,000 people saw Omar El Kaddouri score what proved to be the tie-winning goal from the penalty spot after 22 minutes as Torino held on against their Croatian opponents. El Kaddouri had a chance to double the lead just after the break following a goalkeeping fumble from Darmian’s cross that allowed the ball to fall invitingly into the Moroccan’s path but the goalkeeper Vuković recovered to block the shot. Josef Martínez, who scored in the second leg of the last round, came on as a substitute after 64 minutes for the Brazilian Bareto, who had started as Fabio Quagliarella’s strike partner. Although Martínez did not score, he will at least have further opportunities to do so in the group phase as his side have been drawn in Group B alongside Copenhagen, Club Brugge and HJK Helsinki, teams Torino may feel superior to but who possess significantly more European experience. 

Thursday 28 August 2014

UEFA Europa League – Play-off Second Leg

CD Nacional 2-3 Dinamo Minsk (2-5 on aggregate)

Hopes were high that Nacional could overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg when Marco Matias converted a 30th-minute penalty but these were immediately dashed as Udodji headed home for the Belarusians, leaving their Portuguese opponents needing three goals to qualify. This proved to be an insurmountable task though aficionados of the headed goal will be pleased to know that there are four of these beauties to be enjoyed here, culminating in Udodji’s winner after 63 minutes. Mario Rondón was a prominent threat for the home side, particularly in the first half, when he set up some opportunities and nearly scored soon after the Minsk equaliser as he closed down the dithering goalkeeper, blocking a clearance that went agonisingly across the goalmouth. With his side out, it will be interesting to see if there are any transfer developments regarding Rondón in the upcoming days as he has spoken of wanting to move to a bigger league though claimed a month ago that he would be content to stay and show the rest of the continent what he can do in the Europa League.

Thursday 28 August 2014

UEFA Europa League – Play-off Second Leg

Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 AEL Limassol (5-1 on aggregate)

Jonathan España was an unused substitute and Jaime Moreno was not in the squad as the Cypriot side were comfortably defeated by North London’s second-best team. Early on in the first half, Limassol’s Moroccan goalkeeper Karim Fegrouch rushed towards the edge of the area and brought down Kyle Naughton, causing not only a penalty and a yellow card but also a severe injury and an unavoidable substitution. However, seven minutes after the foul, his Spanish replacement, Pulpo, pulled off a good save to deny Harry Kane, though the young Englishman did redeem himself by getting his side off the mark at the end of the half. Soon after the break, Paulinho made himself some space and struck home the second and the third came from the penalty spot, though not from Kane but rather his compatriot Andros Townsend.