21.03.2022 » Can Portugal beat Turkey in the World Cup playoffs?
After a somewhat surprising loss against Serbia on November 14 of last year, Portugal saw their rivals clinching the top spot of Group A and stealing their ticket to the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, that will be hosted in Qatar by the end of the year. The result came as a huge shock to the Portuguese nation, as it basically meant that the Seleção would be forced to play two playoffs in order to buy their entrance to the World Cup. As if that wasn't bad enough for a nation that got used to play in every major competition in the last two decades, they had Turkey drawn in their semi-finals round and the winner of Italy and North Macedonia in a potential playoff final. Nevertheless and according to many sports bookmakers and experts like ufa222.info, Portugal are still favorites to qualify to the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
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Ronaldo's Last World Cup?
At the age of 37 and after having won almost every trophy a football player can aspire to, Ronaldo still dreams with lifting the first World Cup title for his nation. The closest the Portuguese National Team has ever been of winning this competition was back in 1966, when the Seleção lost against England in the semi-finals just before beating the Soviet Union in the third-place game. At the time, a young man called Eusébio carried the Portuguese Team by scoring 9 goals in the tournament...
Ronaldo is certainly aware that this will be his last chance to leave his mark in a World Cup tournament and the first step in order to achieve that is precisely to avoid further upsets in the upcoming playoffs. There will be no margin for errors from now on, as the semi-final playoff will be disputed in a single-leg game, meaning that whoever wins this Thursday clash will automatically advance to the playoff final against either Italy or North Macedonia.
Four years ago, Portugal ended up falling at the hands of Uruguay in the World Cup's Round-of-16, with Ronaldo scoring a total of 4 goals in the tournament. The Portuguese superstar started his campaign with right foot by scoring a hat-trick against Spain in their opening game, then proceeded to score the winning goal against Morocco, but failed to score his last two appearances of the tournament (Iran and Uruguay). Since the beginning of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo already scored 7 goals in World Cup games, but he is still 9 goals behind the all-time top scorer, the German Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals...
History and recent form
On paper, Portugal are heavy favorites for their encounter against Turkey scheduled for this Thursday. One of the details that lean the balance towards the Seleção is the fact that it's going to be a single-leg playoff, with Portugal having the advantage of playing this game at home. In highly competitive games like these, the home factor could play a huge role in deciding who leaves the pitch victorious.
The Portuguese National Team have lost 3 of their last 10 games (Germany, Belgium and Serbia), but have alson won 5 of their last 7 games. On the other hand, Turkey lost 4 of their last 10 games (Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Netherlands), but in terms of their recent form they have also won their last 3 games. The last time Portugal and Turkey faced each other goes back to 2012, in a friendly match won by the Turks, with a 3-1 scoreline.
In terms of competitive games, Portugal seems to have history on their side, as they beat Turkey in all their 3 previous encounters in major competitions. The first time happened in 1996, with Portugal beating Turkey 1-0 in the EURO 96, then four years later the two sides met again and the Portuguese National Team grabbed the win thanks to a 2-0 victory in the EURO 2000 quarter-finals. The more recent clash took place in 2008, with Portugal repeating the 2-0 result, this time in a EURO 2008 group stage encounter.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal is on March 24, against Turkey. You can watch Portugal vs Turkey, Mexico vs USA, Brazil vs Chile, Wales vs Austria, Italy vs North Macedonia, and Sweden vs Czech Republic, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.
Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Turkey kick-off time (24-03-2022):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 03:45
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:45
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 01:15
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:45
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:45
Sources: ronaldo7.net / espn.com / businessinsider.com / uefa.com