Portugal and Czech Republic battle for supremacy

Image copyright: Getty Images


2022/23 UEFA Nations League

League A - Group 2
Matchday 3

Portugal v Czech Republic

Estadio Jose Alvalade
Lisbon, Portugal
Thursday, 9 June 2022
Kick-off is at 19h45  
Portugal and the Czech Republic will battle it out for top spot in Group 2 at the halfway stage of the UEFA Nations League when they clash at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Thursday, June 9.
The Selecao lead the group on goal difference ahead of the Czechs after thumping Switzerland 4-0 on Sunday, having kicked off their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Spain last week.
Fernando Santos' side have lost just once in their last 11 matches and are unbeaten this year after ending 2021 with a 2-1 loss to Serbia in their final World Cup qualifier.
That defeat meant that the Portuguese had to navigate the playoffs and they beat Turkey 3-1 in the semi-finals before seeing off North Macedonia 2-0 to book their ticket to Qatar.

Fernando Santos
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Cristiano Ronaldo took his international tally to an astounding 117 goals with a brace against the Swiss and Santos waxed lyrical about his skipper.
"The captain is the best in the world. He arrives. When you say he's the best in the world... how many more words are needed? I've said this I don't know how many times," he declared. 
"These exhibits are nothing out of the ordinary. Support from fans? He's captain of the team, he's the ultimate example."
The Czechs opened their Group 2 account with a 2-1 victory against Switzerland and they came within a few minutes of beating La Furia Roja on Sunday.
Inigo Martinez equalised in the 90th minute to rescue a 2-2 draw for the Spaniards, who battled back from a goal down on each occasion after Jakub Pesek (4') and then Jan Kuchta (66') had given the hosts the lead in Prague.  

Jaroslav Silhavy
Image copyright: Getty Images
Jaroslav Silhavy admitted his defensive approach almost worked to perfection, but is still thrilled with his team's placing after two games.
"The players worked hard, I think our tactics were right. It was a bit defensive, but I don't think we could approach this game in any other way and the players felt it themselves," he told UEFA's official website.
"I have to say that even in my dream I would not have imagined that we would have four points after two games in this group. Tomas Soucek said we were disappointed after the draw against Spain. It says it all."

Head-to-Head record:

Matches - 3
Portugal - 2
Czech Republic - 1
Draws - 0

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Published: 06/09/2022