30.03.2022 » Portugal didn't disappoint and qualified to the 2022 World Cup
Once again, Portugal managed to grab their ticket to another FIFA World Cup, but they made sure to keep the suspense going until the last day of the qualifiers. Just like it happens many times in esports betting at http://gg.bet/en/esports, tonight's game was pretty much a "David and Goliath" story, with Portugal obviously playing the favorites' role. Fernando Santos' men, who had finished in the second place of Group A last November, right behind Serbia, were forced to go through a 2-round playoff against Turkey and North Macedonia. Luckily to Ronaldo and all his fellow countrymen, the Seleção didn't disappoint and started by making easy work of Turkey last week, just before securing their entrance to the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup by beating North Macedonia by 2-0 earlier tonight, at the Estádio do Dragão. Ronaldo assisted Bruno Fernandes for the opener, but the Manchester United's midfielder was particularly inspired and would score a second goal that basically sealed the deal for the Portuguese National Team.
Portugal - Road to the FIFA World Cup 2022:
Portugal was not wanting to play around...
The odds were on Portugal's favor ahead of tonight's clash against North Macedonia, as not only the Portuguese side clearly possessed more talented and experienced players, but they were also granted the advantage of playing this decisive game at home, more specifically in Porto, at the Estádio do Dragão. It was in front of a fierce home crowd that Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates gave their opponent almost no chances to fight for a positive result, as Portugal never lost their focus and intensity in a game that would decide which team was going to advance to the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.
It took roughly 30 minutes for the opening goal to be scored and unsurprisingly it would be Ronaldo playing a decisive role in the attacking play. The Portuguese forward showed how unselfish he can be at times and with a soft and delicate touch on the ball, he assisted his club teammate, Bruno Fernandes, who had no difficulties in shooting the ball and beating Dimitrievski for the first goal of the night. At that point, everyone in the stadium knew that the most important objective of Portugal's strategy had just been completed and that it was now up to North Macedonia to start taking more risks...
However and judging by the way the game unfolded in the remaining minutes of the first half, but mainly for what we saw in the second half, Portugal kept their composure until the end and never allowed North Macedonia to put them under pressure. More than that, the visitors never got to hit a single shot on target until the referee's final whistle and Portugal even managed to extend the lead to 2-0, when Bruno Fernandes finished off a perfect cross from Liverpool's Diogo Jota.
A very peculiar World Cup...
With the much-wanted World Cup ticket secured tonight, it's now time for Portugal to start preparing a somewhat singular competition, which will be hosted by Qatar during the upcoming months of November and December. It's going to be interesting to see how everyone adapts to play such a big and important competition by this time of the year. As if that wasn't challenging enough, we can expect a lot of players to struggle with the tough conditions offered by Qatar during November and December...
The 2022 FIFA World Cup draw will take place in Doha, this next Friday (April 1) and there's obviously a great level of anxiety ahead of this moment. Portugal will be included in the first seeds set next to Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England and Spain, which immediately leaves any of these nations out of their way, at least in what the group stages concerns. Nevertheless, there are still many other big sharks lurking around in lower level seeds, and nations like Germany, Netherlands, Mexico or Uruguay are potential opponents for Portugal in this Friday's draw.
Nevertheless and before we even know what the group stage will look like, most sports bookmakers are already ranking Portugal as one of the top seed nations with less chances of actually wining the upcoming World Cup trophy. From the 8 teams listed on top seed set, only Qatar comes behind Portugal in terms of the odds to win the tournament. Can Portugal and Ronaldo surprise the experts?
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United is on April 2, against Leicester City. You can watch Manchester United vs Leicester City, Celta de Vigo vs Real Madrid, Liverpool vs Watford, Burnley vs Manchester City, Chelsea vs Brentford, and Wolverhampton vs Aston Villa, all matches provided from our football streaming game pages.
Manchester United next game:
Manchester United vs Leicester City kick-off time (02-04-2022):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 00:30
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 23:30
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 22:00
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 18:30
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 18:30
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 17:30
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 13:30
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 12:30
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 09:30
Sources: ronaldo7.net / uefa.com / bbc.com / cbssports.com