Portugal lose top spot following their defeat to Switzerland...

Portugal lose top spot following their defeat to Switzerland

 Sports Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 02:37 PM, 13 June 2022  

Portugal lose top spot following their defeat to Switzerland

Portugal lose top spot following their defeat to Switzerland

Portugal left Cristiano Ronaldo at home and lost its unbeaten record in 2022 and the lead of its Nations League group on Sunday.

Switzerland forward Haris Seferović netted a goal in the 57th second which was enough for a 1-0 win in Geneva despite late pressure by Portugal including two scoring chances for 39-year-old captain Pepe playing as an emergency forward.

Portugal’s slip, after letting Ronaldo skip the last game of a long season, let Spain take first place in Group 2 with a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic in top-tier League A.

Goals midway through each half from Carlos Soler and Pablo Sarabia lifted Spain one point clear of Portugal after four rounds. The last two rounds will be played in September.

Portugal had gone unbeaten in five games this year starting with two wins in its World Cup qualifying playoffs in March and including a 4-0 rout of the Swiss last weekend.

The Swiss had gone in the other direction with a five-match winless run since qualifying for the World Cup ahead of group rival Italy in November.

Portugal barely had time to miss Ronaldo or touch the ball much, when falling behind within one minute. A quick series of passes linked by Xherdan Shaqiri lined up right back Silvan Widmer for a dangerous cross.

It found Seferović, who plays in Portugal for Benfica, to guide a header into the far bottom corner of the net.

Shaqiri was preparing to take a penalty kick 10 minutes later after his cross struck the hand of left-back Nuno Mendes, but a video review found a foul in the center circle in the buildup.

Starting on the bench after a tiring season in England and the Champions League, Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota were sent on after an hour and within seconds Silva lashed a shot that was punched clear by Swiss goalkeeper Jonas Omlin.

Omlin impressed with eight saves though almost gifted Silva a goal in the 67th. His misjudged pass from the goalmouth rebounded off Portugal forward close enough to the ’keeper that he could dive on the loose ball.