Portugal had to come from behind on Tuesday night to defeat Luxembourg 3-1 and join Serbia with 7 points at the top of Group A.
Luxembourg took an early shock lead via Gerson Rodrigues but Liverpool’s Diogo Jota pulled Portugal level just before the half.
In the second half, Ronaldo put them ahead and Palhinha scored his first national team goal to round out the 3-1 victory.
Moris; Jans, Chanot, Gerson, Goncalves Pinto (Martins 65); Martins (Skenderovic 88), O. Thill (S. Thill 58), Barreiro Martins, V. Thill (Deville 58), Rodrigues; Sinani (Muratovic 88)
Lopes; Mendes, Dias, Fonte, Cancelo; B. Silva (Palhinha, 68), Sanches, Neves (Oliveira 89); Felix (Neto 41), Ronaldo, Jota (R.Silva 68)
Scorers: Rodrigues (30); Jota (45+2), Ronaldo (51), Palhinha (80)
Red: Chanot; Yellows: Jota, Dias, Sanches
We spent the first half an hour playing at walking pace, with no intensity in either end of the pitch. I had to tell the players that we wouldn’t win the game on quality alone and had to add intensity to our play,’ he said.
‘If we only rely on our quality, any opponent can cause us difficulties. We suddenly remembered that, we grew into the game and got the equaliser which was vital.
‘In the second half we won every ball, we played with intensity and suddenly Luxembourg looked like a different team.’
“We already knew what we had to do, the manager reinforced that at half-time, in order to change the result. He asked me to do what I know how to do well, give dynamism to the game, but I think the whole team reacted well to the (Luxembourg) goal.”
“It was very exciting to have scored my first goal. It was a very special moment, especially with this group of players with such quality.”
🏆 WCQ ⚽️
🇵🇹 1-0 Azerbaijan
Serbia 3-2 Ireland
Serbia 2-2 🇵🇹
Ireland 0-1 Luxembourg
Azerbaijan 1-2 Serbia
Luxembourg 1-3 🇵🇹
➡️ Group A
🇵🇹 7 (+3)
Serbia 7 (+2)
— PortugueseSoccer.com ⚽️ (@PsoccerCOM) March 30, 2021