Kathmandu: Portugal easily defeated Azerbaijan 3-0 in the World Cup qualifiers at Baku Olympic Stadium on last night.
Goals from Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva and Diogo Jota ensured that Fernando Santos’ men earned a favorablekkk result in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo. He left the national team to train with his new club Manchester United over the weekend.
The men’s all-time top goal scorer was suspended for the game after picking up a yellow card. He was booked for removing his shirt as he celebrated his second goal in the 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland.
It was a very routine outing for the 2016 EURO winners as they dominated possession. They also had five times more shooting chances than the hosts and did not concede a single shot on target.
Portugal looked sharp from the get-go and created a couple of chances early on but the decisive ball into the final third was missing. They then scored two goals in quick succession as Bernardo Silva produced a remarkable first-time finish from Bruno Fernandes’ cross in the 26th minute. Just five minutes later, Andre Silva scored from close range.
Azerbaijan rarely provided any threat in the final third and even when they found themselves in good positions, their shooting was just wayward.
Portugal continued to be the dominant side in the game and their persistence paid off nicely. Diogo Jota also found the back of the net in the 75th minute to put the game’s outcome beyond doubt.
With this win, Portugal went atop the Group A standings but automatic qualification is still not guaranteed. Here, we take a look at the five talking points from the game.