Portugal moved nearer to automated World Cup qualification on Thursday regardless of a poor 0-0 draw with Eire that left them needing one other level of their ultimate sport at dwelling to Group A rivals Serbia to safe their spot in Qatar. Portugal narrowly prevented a shock loss to Eire two months in the past thanks to 2 last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo targets and appeared completely happy to take a degree in opposition to the fourth-placed Irish realizing a superior purpose distinction to Serbia put them within the driving seat.
They must do it with out Pepe, nonetheless, after the skilled central defender was despatched off late on for a second bookable offence. In an evenly-contested first half of few possibilities, Ronaldo was foiled by a tremendous block from Eire captain Seamus Coleman however the Manchester United ahead was in any other case stored effectively below wraps by the hard-working hosts.
Chiedozie Ogbene, who plies his commerce fairly just a few rungs beneath Ronaldo within the third tier of English soccer with Rotherham United, ought to have completed higher with a near-post header simply earlier than halftime in his first worldwide begin.
Eire’s efficiency in Faro marked a turning-point in Stephen Kenny’s 14-month reign, throughout which he has blooded spectacular kids like teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu however waited 12 video games for a victory, final month’s 3-0 win in Azerbaijan. Taking part in in entrance of a full home on the Aviva Stadium for the primary time for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic started, Kenny noticed extra encouraging indicators on Thursday, significantly from striker Callum Robinson, taking part in with the boldness of a person who had scored 5 targets in his final two internationals.
Lacking Bernardo Silva by means of harm with the Manchester Metropolis maestro within the type of his life, Portugal additionally opted to not threat Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Diogo Jota being suspended for Sunday’s table-topping conflict and it confirmed all through.
Europe #WCQ standings replace
Azerbaijan 1-3 LuxembourgRepublic of Eire 0-0 Portugal
Mark your calendars now: It is winner-takes-all in Lisbon in 3 days’ time as Portugal host Serbia pic.twitter.com/hanGM4fuuj
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 11, 2021
Ronaldo, who grew to become the all-time main scorer in males’s worldwide soccer in opposition to the Irish final day trip, virtually added purpose quantity 116 with the most effective probability of the sport on 67 minutes however his glancing header slipped narrowly huge. Regardless of their higher possession, significantly with the additional man, Eire did little to threaten Rui Patricio’s purpose and Ronaldo went shut once more on the demise.
Within the different group sport, Gerson Rodrigues took his whole within the marketing campaign to 5 targets by placing twice as Luxembourg beat bottom-placed Azerbaijan 3-1. Luxembourg will safe third place in the event that they keep away from defeat of their ultimate sport in opposition to the Irish.