Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes are among the Manchester United players who are aiming to keep their World Cup dreams alive for Portugal tonight.
Having missed out on an automatic spot in the Qatar final, they are set to face Turkey in a play-off. The defeat tonight (7:45 p.m.) will mark the end for Ronaldo & Cie on the road to Qatar.
Ronaldo and Fernandes will be joined by Diogo Dalot at Porto, while Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva are also expected to be involved. The winners will face the winners between Italy and North Macedonia.
After making a sensational return to United last summer, Ronaldo scored 18 goals in his second stint. He scored six goals for Portugal in a European qualifying group that also included Serbia and Ireland.
Follow our Porto scoring updates and Ronaldo’s latest attempts to reach the World Cup below…
Work done tonight. More to come next week.
A nervous night
Manchester United superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have moved closer to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after helping Portugal to a crucial victory over Turkey. Diogo Dalot was also part of the starting line-up in a dramatic 3-1 win at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.
Failing to qualify in the group stage, Portugal were drawn against Turkey in the first of two encounters which are, in effect, a shootout to qualify for the 2022 final. Ronaldo and his international teammates are set to close, now, having set up a decisive game with North Macedonia after their heroic result over Euro 2020 winners Italy.
Read our match report here.
A little bit closer!
It’s all over and Portugal have booked a date with… North Macedonia next week for a place in the Qatar World Cup.
Incredible late drama Palermo saw Italy concede in added time to be beaten by minnows and miss out on a second successive World Cup, less than a year after winning the Euros.
95 MIN – PORTUGAL 3-1 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
GOAL PORTUGAL! 3-1
Nunes scored at home and it’s game, set and game.
Shortly after this strike, the full-time whistle sounded in Porto.
92 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-1 TURKEYLiam Wood
Luck for Ronaldo!
You’ve seen him score before – but he might have to settle for a scoreless night.
Five minutes have been added by the referee and we are already more than halfway.
90 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-1 TURKEYLiam Wood
Towards the final stages
Turkey will continue to throw everything they have at Portugal in the final moments. However, their big chance has come (and gone) and they might not get another one. Two minutes to play and whatever the referee adds.
Mourinho OFF, Nunes ON.
Otavio OFF, Leao ON.
82 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-1 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
Penalty for Turkey! Missed by Yilmaz
An absolutely HUGE moment after the intervention of the VAR.
WOW! Turkey received a late penalty and Yilmaz skimmed it from 12 yards!
Drama and many things…
77 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-1 TURKEYLiam Wood
Luck for Otavio!
So close ! A great opportunity from the head for Otavio and it misses.
It came against the run of play and a superb performance from Guerreiro.
Will there be another purpose in this one? Demiral picks up a yellow.
70 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-1 TURKEYLiam Wood
VAR check for Turkey penalty
VAR checks a penalty appeal from Turkey after Yilmaz fell. Not given.
Diogo Jota OFF, Joao Felix ON.
67 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-1 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
GOAL TURKEY! 2-1
Yilmaz offered Turkey a surprise lifeline…
It seemed to everyone that Portugal were close to holding their ground and securing victory, but with around 23 minutes to play, Ronaldo and his teammates still have some work to do here.
62 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Turkey will have to stick or twist
At some point, Turkey will have to take risks and, perhaps, send a second leader.
But to do this, they must at all costs avoid being further back against Ronaldo and company.
57 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Lucky for Jota!
Jota might have settled the accounts on the spot…
Route one from Portugal this time around as Costa picks up the in-form Liverpool starlet. However, from distance and with the keeper looming, Jota shoots over the crossbar. It would have been and perhaps should have been game, set and match.
55 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
The story so far – Portugal in charge
You get the feeling it could be a numbers thing for Portugal if they score early enough.
However, with another high-octane showdown coming up, they might choose to see this one with the edge they have. There is certainly no need to risk too much at this stage.
H/T – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
“Look at the power and precision”
Some half-time quotes from Don Hutchinson in the Sky Sports commentary box.
I can’t even tell you how good a header is. It was a nice ball from Otavio, but there is still a lot to do. Look at the power and precision of Diogo Jota.
Here are the players and play has resumed in Porto.
H/T – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
Scores from elsewhere in Europe
A snapshot of the situation after 45 minutes.
Italy 0-0 North Macedonia
Portugal 2-0 Turkey
Sweden 0-0 Czech Republic
Wales 1-0 Austria
H/T – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
One more step towards the World Cup?
It’s the half-time whistle and Portugal take the lead.
Stay tuned for further updates from the Estádio do Dragão.
It’s been a successful night (so far) for captain Ronaldo and his teammates.
42 MIN – PORTUGAL 2-0 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
GOAL PORTUGAL! 2-0
Diogo Jota makes it 2-0 and it will be far from here.
You have to say it was an impressive finish.
The united trio Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and this man Cristiano Ronaldo are seemingly on the verge of fulfilling their World Cup dream. Except monumental return…
40 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Fonte saves the day for Portugal
A clearance from Jose Fonte to keep Turkey at bay.
At the other end, a promising counter fails when Jota slips up at the last moment. Ronaldo, too, steps in and does the same on what appears to be a greasy surface. Five to go.
37 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Yellow card(s) for Jota and Celik
It took half an hour but we have our first real flashpoint.
Some purses and players from both teams are warned.
32 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
United superstar Ronaldo on the attack
Ronaldo comes to life and wins an attacking FK for Portugal.
In truth, the captain didn’t have much to do there as the game settled down.
He meets the ball and misses the header – but was offside!
30 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Coin to Turkey
Turkey have come back to it since Otavio’s first goal.
Costa makes a routine save and the ball is returned for a corner.
25 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Focus the key to Portugal’s victory
Based on the opening 25 minutes, it could be a walk in the park for Portugal if they stay focused.
Turkey offered no real threat other than the moments presented by their opponents. Kutlu nods on the counter as Portugal look to break, once again, amid muted calls for a penalty.
22 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Here comes the noise!
Turn up the volume if you can to hear the sound of Portugal;
17 MIN – PORTUGAL 1-0 TURKEYTHE IMPORTANT EVENT
GOAL PORTUGAL! 1-0
Porto starlet Otavio opens the scoring on home soil.
It also comes from a rebound, after Diogo Jota hit the frame.
No more than Portugal deserves.
17 MIN – PORTUGAL 0-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Portugal dominate – the story so far
Beyond a golden chance for Jota, there has been plenty of possession from the home side and it seems only a matter of time before they break the deadlock. Ronaldo may not have sharpened his shooting boots yet, but the United superstar was openly involved in the game.
Still aimless here at the Estádio do Dragão.
12 MIN – PORTUGAL 0-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Lucky for Jota!
A superb delivery from Fernandes and Jota squanders a big chance.
10 MIN – PORTUGAL 0-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Dalot started well for Portugal
Even in a team that includes Ronaldo and Fernandes, the main attacking threat has come from Dalot.
He continues to move forward at right-back and that seems like an avenue Portugal look set to take.
All three combine as Ronaldo ignites. He blames the pitch!
7 MIN – PORTUGAL 0-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
A cautious start in Porto
No chance to talk about it in the opening exchanges. One would expect that to be prudent, at times, given what is at stake for both nations. Will the attacking composition chosen by Portugal make the difference?
That’s with several top picks missing.
3 MIN – PORTUGAL 0-0 TURKEYLiam Wood
Ouch! Celik and Ronaldo clash
A first clash of heads sees Celik leave momentarily.