Portugal’s FIFA World Cup Recap

Written By Lara Silva

After a strong performance the week before, Portugal was knocked out of World Cup on December 10 after losing against Morocco.

Portugal began in Group H for this year’s FIFA World Cup 2022, along with Ghana, Uruguay, and Korea. Portugal was able to beat Ghana (3 – 2) and Uruguay (2 – 0), while later losing against South Korea (2 – 1). 

However, it made up for its loss a few days later when Portugal beat Switzerland 6 – 1. This was Portugal’s biggest-ever victory in the knockout rounds of the World Cup and the third time the country reached the quarter-finals.

In this 6-1 victory, Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos opted to replace Cristiano Ronaldo with Gonçalo Ramos, who was the man of the night, scoring three goals on his first international debut.

Sadly, four days later, Morroco beat Portugal 1 – 0 in a less impressive performance for Portugal. Fans and players were equally devastated. Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram in an emotional message to fans, saying that his life long dream of winning a World Cup had ended. 

Portugal World Cup Match Recaps

Portugal – Ghana (3 – 2)

Portugal beat Ghana 3 – 2 in their opening game for Group H, marking their fifth successive game without defeat against African sides at the World Cup. In this match, Cristiano Ronaldo made history by becoming the first male player to score at five World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022). 

There were no goals in the first 64 minutes until Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal. Andre Ayew then scored a goal for Ghana at 73′. At this point, tension fills the stadium as the teams are tied.

However, only five minutes later, at 78′ Joao Felix scores a goal after a long pass from Bruno Fernandes. Portugal is in the lead again with 2 – 1 against Ghana!

No more than two minutes later, Rafael Leao scores at minute 80 after another assist by Bruno Fernandes. Things are looking good for Portugal.

At 89′, Ghana scores another goal after substitute Osman Bukari takes the game to 3 – 2.

At minute 90, 9 more minutes are added to the game. There’s still time for a tie. Ghana’s players make a couple of attempts at Costa’s goal but fail. Portugal wins 3 -2.

Portugal – Uruguay (2 – 0)

Portugal’s second game was eventful. Portugal advanced to the round of 16 after beating Uruguay 2 – 0, both goals scored by Bruno Fernandes. Bruno Fernandes scored twice at 54′ and 90 + 3′, the last goal during a penalty and was crowned man of the match.

Regarding the first goal, Cristiano Ronaldo thought he touched the ball in the first goal with his head. However, it was then shown this wasn’t the case, and the goal was credited to the Manchester United midfielder.

South Korea – Portugal (2 – 1)

Portugal lost against South Korea on December 2, although it still passed on to the next phase. South Korea seemed to have a strong defense tactic to keep the ball away from Portugal. 

At minute 5, Portuguese forward Ricardo Horta scored a goal with an assist by Dalot. At 27′, South Korean defender Kim Young-gwon scores the first goal for Korea. 

By halftime, South Korea and Portugal are tied 1 – 1. Throughout most of the second half, the score remains the same. It seems the game will go into extra time. However, at 90+1′ Korea’s Hwang Hee-chan scores after an assist by H. Son.

Portugal – Switzerland (6 – 1)

In possibly Portugal’s best performance, the national team beat Switzerland 6 – 1. Portugal had reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the third time, after 2006 and 1966.

Goncalo Ramos made his international debut extra special, scoring three goals.  He scored his first goal at 17′ with an assist by Joao Felix.

Pepe then took the match to 2 – 0 at 33′ after an assist by Bruno Fernandes. The first half of the game showed Portugal in the lead, playing a strong game.

A few minutes into the second half, Gonçalo Ramos scored at 51′, taking the match to 3 – 0. At 55′, Raphael Guerreiro scores after an assist by Ramos.

Three minutes later, at 58′, Manuel Akani scores for Switzerland, taking the match to 4 – 1.

At 67, Gonçalo Ramos scores the 5th goal after another Felix assist.

Cristiano Ronaldo enters the game at 73′, substituting Joao Felix. Ricardo Horta replaces Gonçalo Ramos, and Rafael Leao replaces Bruno Fernandes.

At 90 + 2′, Rafael Leao scores the final 6th goal after receiving the ball from Guerreiro. 

Morocco – Portugal (1 – 0)

The Morocco – Portugal game was both a stressful and historic match. Throughout the match, Portugal’s performance wasn’t as high as expected, although the stats remain in the country’s favor, with 74% possession and 85% pass accuracy. 

At minute 41′, Youssef En-Nesyri scored a historic goal for Morocco that remains the only goal scored during this match and ultimately gave Morocco the win. Although there was still hope in the second half, Portugal was not able to score a goal. 

Morocco became the first African team to qualify for the World Cup semi-final, making this a historic win. 

Portugal World Cup Players

Goalkeepers

  • Diogo Costa
  • José Sá
  • Rui Patrício

Defenders

  • Diogo Dalot
  • João Cancelo
  • António Silva
  • Danilo
  • Pepe (1 goal)
  • Ruben Dias
  • Nuno Mendes
  • Raphael Guerreiro (1 goal)

Midfielders

  • João Palhinha
  • Rúben Neves
  • Bernardo Silva
  • Bruno Fernandes (2 goals)
  • João Mário
  • Matheus Nunes
  • Otávio
  • Vitinha
  • William Carvalho

Forwards

  • André Silva
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (1 goal)
  • Gonçalo Ramos (Top Scorer – 3 goals)
  • João Félix (1 goal)
  • Rafael Leão (2 goals)
  • Ricardo Horta (1 goal)

Is this Ronaldo’s last World Cup?

This was likely Ronaldo’s last World Cup. In his interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo said that he wants “to finish at 40. I think 40 will be a good age, but I don’t know, I don’t know the future.”

Ronaldo will turn 38 in February 2023, so he will be over 40 in the next World Cup. Regarding the Euro 2024, Ronaldo has previously said he would like to play and obtain another victory for Portugal.

Ronaldo’s retirement age has not yet been confirmed, however. 

Has Portugal won any World Cups?

Portugal has never won a World Cup. However, it did win UEFA European Championship in 2016 after a final against France, as well as the UEFA Nations League in 2018. 

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