01.09.2021 at 19:45 Estádio Algarve, Faro-Loulé
2 - 1
Republic of Ireland
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
World Cup Qualifier / PROG-match
Ronaldo 89 mins,
Ronaldo 90+6 mins,
John Egan (45)
The Republic of Ireland were denied a deserved point or more in Portugal due to two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo in what was an excellent performance from the away side and a very bitter pill to swallow.
2nd Sep 2021
Ireland went ahead thanks to a John Egan right on halftime but it was undone by a brace of goals by Ronaldo added on time. Stephen Kenny handed Jamie McGrath his first start for Ireland and Aaron Connolly returned to the side.
Despite early chances for the home side after Portugal won a series of corners, all were dealt with, as captain Seamus Coleman led a solid defensive line. Portugal was awarded a penalty after Jeff Hendrick was deemed to have brought Bruno Fernandes down in the area.
After a lengthy delay due to a VAR check, Gavin Bazunu did excellently to deny Cristiano Ronaldo with a brilliant low save to his right. Ireland went close from a Jamie McGrath corner which found its way to Aaron Connolly at the back post but his curling effort went wide.
After a clever counter-attack, Connolly’s initial shot found its way to Seamus Coleman but Rui Patrício was alert to the danger. Diogo Jota went close for the hosts but the post denied him as Bazunu looked to have it covered. Ireland continued to press and Adam Idah was central to each attack and he laid the ball off to Connolly on the edge of the area but it curled over.
Ireland had another great chance as Connolly broke free of the defence on the left but his shot was blocked at the near post by Rui Patrício after the stopper came out to close down the angles.
Ireland took the lead from the resulting corner as Jamie McGrath delivered a pinpoint cross from the corner which was met John Egan at the near post which was guided past Patrício into the back of the net.
Another fine save by Bazunu denied Diogo Jota right on half time as his volley was collected on the second attempt. The second half saw both sides test their respective defensives but the best of the opportunities fell to Ireland as Jamie McGrath played an excellent through ball to Aaron Connolly but he couldn’t make the opportunity count.
Bruno Fernandes went close for the hosts but his curling effort just went past Bazunu’s far post. Connolly went close again following a John Egan knockdown but his volley went wide. Shane Duffy denied Portugal a certain equaliser as a cross from the right was blocked on the line by the defender and from the follow-up attempt, Bazunu calmly saved.
Bernardo Silva had a fantastic opportunity after taking the ball into the area but his shot was well blocked by Adam Idah for a corner. Bernardo Silva got in behind the Irish defence following a Ronaldo cross but his effort went over the bar. Portugal continued to press but Ireland\'s defence held firm with Adam Idah spearheading Ireland\'s pacy counter-attack.
Joao Mario had a great opportunity to restore parity only for an excellent block by Josh Cullen, from a resulting free-kick Bazunu once again denied Ronaldo from a free-kick as he pushed it clear.
Ronaldo did equalise for Portugal, however, as a cross from the right was met by the Portugal talisman on the eighteen-yard line to head it past Bazunu.
He would get his second goal in the 95th minute in Portugal\'s last attack with Ronaldo scoring his second to seal the win for the home side and deny Ireland a well-deserved point, which could have been all three.
Portugal: Rui Patrício, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Raphaël Guerreiro (Nuno Mendes 61), João Palhinha (João Moutinho 72), Cristiano Ronaldo ©, Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes (Joao Mario 61), Rafa Silva (André Silva 46), João Cancelo (Gonçalo Guedes 82), Diogo Jota.
Subs not used: Anthony Lopes, Diogo Costa, Nélson Semedo, Danilo, Domingos Duarte, Otávio, Rúben Neves.
Republic of Ireland: Gavin Bazunu, Seamus Coleman, Shane Duffy, John Egan, Josh Cullen, Matt Doherty, Adam Idah (James Collins 90), Jeff Hendrick, Jamie McGrath (Jayson Molumby 90), Dara O’Shea (Andrew Omobamidele 35), Aaron Connolly (James McClean 71).
Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher, James Talbot, Ryan Manning, Conor Hourihane, Troy Parrott, Harry Arter, Daryl Horgan.
Booked: Jeff Hendrick, Dara O’Shea, Aaron Connolly, Matt Doherty, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sent off: None
Man of the Match: John Egan
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)