Cristiano Return Boosts Portugal’s Attacking Threat

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo returned to help his country to a convincing 3-0 victory over Algeria in their final warm-up friendly ahead of the World Cup.

Although the Real Madrid man failed to get on the scoresheet – he had a goal chalked off for offside – he set up Bruno Fernandes’ first goal for his country, the Selecao’s second, and his influence enabled Portugal to look much more potent in attack.

Without a recognised centre-forward in their 4-2-3-1 formation, Ronaldo – winning his 150th international cap – Bernardo Silva, Fernandes and two-goal Goncalo Guedes combined impressively in the attacking positions, their movement a constant headache for the beleaguered Algerians.

Indeed it would now be a shock if 21-year-old Guedes does not start in their first game in Russia, against Spain, on 15 June.

The reigning European champions also face Morocco and Iran in Group B.

Algeria, ranked 66 in the world by FIFA, reached the knockout phase of the World Cup in 2014 but failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 2006 and offered little attacking threat in the friendly despite fielding Leicester City’s want-away forward Riyad Mahrez, which was held in rainy Lisbon.

 

 

 

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