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24.03.2021 » Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan. The World Cup qualifiers started with a win!

Cristiano Ronaldo not happy with Portugal's performance

Portugal have won their first qualifier game for the FIFA World Cup, after beating Azerbaijan by 1-0 in Turin, thanks to an own goal from the visitors. Cristiano Ronaldo played the whole game, but couldn't score tonight...

It's been an unusual year in many aspects, but Portugal made sure that the 3 points wouldn't escape them in their first game for the qualifying stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The reigning European champions hosted Azerbaijan in Turin, at the Allianz Stadium, but couldn't deliver the fans at home the performance they were hoping to watch. In these COVID times every outcome seems unpredictable and sports fans seem to be not only betting in their favorite teams to win, but they're also turning more attention to casino cashback offers and other gambling opportunities. Nevertheless, a win is a win and the 3 points were welcomed by Fernando Santos and his men. The only goal in this game took place in the 37th minute of the first half, when Azerbaijan's captain Maksim Medvedev, deflected a cross into his own net to give the hosts the precious lead. Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score, despite 8 shooting attempts throughout the 90 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Portugal vs Azerbaijan
Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan
- Goals and highlights:

All Cristiano Ronaldo actions vs Azerbaijan:



Ronaldo couldn't score...

Cristiano Ronaldo didn't find the route to goal this Wednesday night, but no one can really say he didn't try it. The Juventus forward had several attempts to shoot at goal, but it just wasn't his night and he would finish the game without scoring any goal. Ronaldo has already scored 102 goals for the Portuguese National Team since he first debuted in 2003 and he's only 7 goals behind the Ali Daei's record for the most goals ever scored at an international level.

Tonight, Portugal did manage to leave the pitch victorious, despite the lack of dynamism and at times, even the lack of a competitive mindset. That's one the dangers strong teams face when they play against weaker sides and tonight, if wasn't for an unfortunate own-goal from the Azerbaijan National Team, we could very well be writing about a shocking and surprising goalless draw! Luckily, that wasn't the case...

The stage picked for tonight's encounter was the Allianz Arena in Turin, essentially to avoid multiple COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Premier League clubs, as hosting this game in Portuguese soil could have lead to a series of issues and setbacks. However and against all odds, Juventus' stadium didn't really work as a talisman for Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates, as their performance left everyone a bit disappointed...

Cristiano Ronaldo leading Portugal attack in the a World Cup qualifier in 2021



3 points in the bag...

Portugal dominated possession from the beginning to the end and there were moments in the game where the European champions even had more than 75% of possession. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, were happy to give the control of the game to the hosts, hoping to frustrate them with a packed defensive line and eventually surprise from set-pieces or a quick counter-attack. However and while the first part was achieved somehow, Azerbaijan never really managed to threaten the Portuguese defense.

The opening and closing goal was scored in the 37th minute of the first half and it was the result of a quite clumsy play. Wolverhampton's midfielder, Rúben Neves, put in a good cross with his right foot into Azerbaijan's box and a misjudgement from the visitors' goalkeeper forced Maksim Medvedev to get hit by the ball and unintentionally send it to the back of his own net. Just like that and after so much struggle to break the deadlock, Portugal saw Azerbaijan's captain gifting them the much-wanted goal.

The script of the game didn't change much after the break, as both teams played the same roles. Portugal kept bossing the game, but for one reason or another they just couldn't score on their own. Azerbaijan seemed happy with the scoreline, since it allowed them to dream with a fortunate goal in any moment of the game and eventually bring home something positive out of it. That's not what happened though and at the end of the day, Portugal were satisfied for collecting the 3 points and starting their qualification campaign with a win.

Cristiano Ronaldo raising his right arm



Portugal line-up vs Azerbaijan:

Goalkeeper: Anthony Lopes
Defenders: Nuno Mendes, Rúben Dias, Domingos Duarte, Cancelo
Midfielders: Rúben Neves, João Moutinho, Bernardo Silva
Attackers: Pedro Neto, Cristiano Ronaldo, André Silva.



Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Portugal
vs
Azerbaijan
1
Goals
0
29
Shots
4
14
Shots on goal
0
10
Corner kicks
0
9
Fouls commited
11
1
Yellow cards
1
0
Red cards
0
66%
Ball possession
34%



Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is on March 27, against Serbia. You can watch Serbia vs Portugal, Italy vs Northern Ireland, Spain vs Greece, England vs San Marino, USA vs Jamaica, and Germany vs Iceland, all matches provided from our soccer game pages.

Portugal next game:
Serbia vs Portugal
kick-off time (27-03-2021):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:45
Jakarta
(Indonesia)
| UTC/GMT+6: 01:45
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+4.30: 00:15
Italy (Turin) |
UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Spain
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 11:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / espn.com / bbc.com / beinsports.com

Cristiano Ronaldo showboating in Portugal vs Azerbaijan

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