PORTUGAL V NORTH MACEDONIA - AS IT HAPPENED
World Cup Qualification UEFA / Matchday 1
Estádio do Dragão / 29.03.2022
End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: PORTUGAL 2-0 NORTH MACEDONIA
A routine win, and a promising one for what the home side could achieve in Qatar. As for North Macedonia, they have shown they could be a contender to qualify for the Euros.
VITINHA ON FOR MOUTINHO.
THREE MINUTES ADDED
A corner for Macedonia comes to nothing and now Portugal break before Felix stumbles.
FELIX FOR SILVA
FERNANDES OFF, MATHEUS ON
NIKOLOV FOR ELMAS
FERNANDES SET FOR A NEW DEAL
PORTUGAL SITTING BACK
They have had 65% of the ball so far today, which demonstrates the control they've exercised. Leao breaks forward, finds Carvalho, and Bernardo Silva's cross is cleared briefly until Leao wins it back.
Fernandes strides up the inside left, squares the ball to Ronaldo at the near post, but a brilliant slide tackle from Velkovski rescues the situation.
LEAO AND CARVALHO ON FOR OTAVIO AND JOTA
That should make the defensive side a tad sturdier, and Leao is quick enough to exploit any breaks that the visitors might offer up if they press.
KOSTADINOV OFF, ASKOVSKI ON
It had been coming for the former Leeds man. He barges over Otavio on the edge of the box and it's not the kind of challenge you're allowed to do anymore.
BARDI FIRES IN A CROSS
Maybe it's a shot, but it goes through the legs of a few players and not much comes of it. North Macedonia have offered increasingly little in this half.
Jota and Alioski exchange their considered views about geopolitics after spat when they tangle with one another, and they Joao Cancelo and Musliu get themselves booked for the afters.
GOAL! PORTUGAL 2-0 NORTH MACEDONIA - FERNANDES SCORES
That's two. Pepe breaks up an attack from North Macedonia and releases the ball to Fernandes, plays it forward and races into the box to reach a ball floated into the path from Jota, and he half-volleys home with a calm finish.
FERNANDES IN FORM
Since his last season with Sporting Lisbon the man has been flip hot.
PORTUGAL KEEP THE BALL
And they play it all the way back to Diogo Costa. They were running down the clock here, and that is probably a greater risk than it is worth.
TRAJKOVSKI OFF, CHURLINOV ON
He stoops at the near post and tries to glance it goalwards, but it flies well over. There's another change coming...
NORTH MACEDONIA PUSHING
But Bardi fouls Pepe and they have the chance to clear their lines and take the pressure off. Pepe was waiting for that challenge and too the chance. They have over half an hour to play yet, so this cynical approach is a tad risky.
A SUB FROM HALF TIME
FERNANDES VIDEO CLIP
Watch the goal here.