Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan: Ronaldo and Co start 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a win


Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan: Cristiano Ronaldo and Co lay siege to visitors’ goal but they need a goalkeeping gaffe from minnows to start 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a win

  • Portugal had 29 attempts on goal, 14 of which hit the target on Wednesday night
  • The hosts needed a gaffe by the Azerbaijan goalkeeper to break the deadlock  
  •  Mahammadaliyev punched a cross against Medvedev and in to his own net 
  • Ronaldo had eight attempts on goal but could not get on the scoresheet

Portugal produced a rusty display in their opening World Cup qualifier at home to Azerbaijan on Wednesday but still made a winning start with a 1-0 victory in Turin.

Maksim Medvedev fumbled the ball into his own net after a mix-up with goalkeeper Shahrudin Mahammadaliyev to break the deadlock in the 37th minute of a game moved to Juventus’ stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel to Portugal.

Portugal dominated possession but could not break down Azerbaijan again despite having 29 attempts on goal, 14 of which hit the target.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co lay siege to visitors' goal during the 2022 World Cup qualifier

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co lay siege to visitors’ goal during the 2022 World Cup qualifier

The hosts needed a gaffe by the Azerbaijan goalkeeper to break the deadlock in first-half

The hosts needed a gaffe by the Azerbaijan goalkeeper to break the deadlock in first-half

The Azerbaijan goalkeeper punched a cross against Maksim Medvedev and in to his own net

The Azerbaijan goalkeeper punched a cross against Maksim Medvedev and in to his own net

MATCH FACTS

PORTUGAL (4-3-3): Lopes, Cancelo, Coutinho Meneses Duarte, Ruben Dias, Tavares Mendes, Bernardo Silva (Oliveira 88), Joao Moutinho (Bruno Fernandes 45), Neves (Alves Palhinha Gonçalves at 88), Neto (Ferreira Silva 63), Andre Silva (Sequeira 75), Cristiano Ronaldo

GOAL: Medvedev (37) 

AZERBAIJAN (4-4-1-1): Mahammadaliyev, Medvedev, Huseynov, Badalov, Krivotsyuk, Huseynov (Nurievat 45), Mahmudov (Isaevat 85), Mustafayev (Ibrahimliat 45), Salahli, Emreli (Alasgarovat 85), Ghorbani (Seydaevat 85),

All-time scorer Cristiano Ronaldo had eight attempts on goal but had a frustrating evening at his home stadium for the second time in four games after Juventus’ shock 1-0 defeat by Serie A strugglers Benevento on Sunday.

Ronaldo went closest with a late free kick which was tipped away by keeper Mahammadaliyev, who was kept busy all evening and repelled second-half efforts from substitutes Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix.

Portugal visit Serbia on Saturday in their next Group A game while Azerbaijan face World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar in a friendly before hosting Serbia in their second qualifier.

Portugal had 29 attempts on goal, 14 of which hit the target on Wednesday night

Portugal had 29 attempts on goal, 14 of which hit the target on Wednesday night 

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes came on a substitute at half-time

 Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes came on a substitute at half-time

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