Portugal’s World Cup hopes left hanging by a thread after shock defeat against Serbia in qualifiers
Portugal failed to book their berth for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after losing 2-1 to Serbia last night.
Portugal only needed a draw from their final group game but were shocked by two goals from the Serbians.
While Serbia have now booked their ticket for Qatar, Portugal must take part in the play-offs in March to qualify for the World Cup.
Renato Sanches gave the Selecaos the lead in the second minute of the match, but it was all Serbia after that.
Dusan Tadic’s 33rd-minute strike drew the game level before Aleksandar Mitrović stole the show with an injury-time winner.
Cristiano Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure on the pitch after the final whistle and had an animated discussion with head coach Fernando Santos.
Ronaldo has hinted that it will possibly be his last World Cup, and failing to qualify for the finals itself will not please the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Going into the match, Portugal knew a draw would suffice to qualify for the World Cup.
By contrast, Serbia needed a victory to qualify for the tournament.
This worked in favour of the Eagles as they approached the match with plenty of courage.
Portugal seemed tentative and scared of losing.
It was made worse by taking an early lead, after which they stopped playing adventurous football.
Serbia settled into the match comfortably, building their momentum before eventually delivering the fatal blow.