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Portugal brush off Ronaldo’s absence to outclass Sweden



Goals from Bernardo Silva and a brace from Diogo Jota gave Portugal a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden in the European Nations League on Wednesday.

The hosts did not feel the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo due to a positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) test. Ronaldo remained in quarantine and they proved more than equal to the task.

William Carvalho could have given the home side the lead in the opening minutes, but his header came back off a post and bounced away to safety, while Sweden’s defence struggled to deal with Portugal’s pace and precision.

Silva opened scoring in the 21st minute, as Portugal won the ball back in the middle of the field and quickly countered, with Jota firing a pinpoint pass to Silva in the penalty area for a perfect first-time finish.

Marcus Berg went close to equalising for Sweden with a powerful shot which hit the post, but the more the Swedes attacked, the more vulnerable they were to Portugal’s lightning-quick counter-attacks.

Jota got on the scoresheet just before halftime, lashing home Joao Cancelo’s cross from deep on the right to make it 2-0.

He added a superb third with a solo run and thumping shot in the 71st minute.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson will miss his side’s next game against Croatia, following his second yellow card of the tournament, issued after the 57-year-old expressed his frustration with refereeing decisions that went against his team.

With 10 points from four games, Portugal top League A Group 2 on goal difference ahead of France, who beat Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb.

The Swedes are bottom of the group, after slumping to four straight defeat.

Victor Okoye

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