Portugal 7-0 Andorra: Renato Sanches impresses as debutants shine in easy win
Renato Sanches ended a long wait for a Portugal goal as Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix scored in a comfortable friendly win over Andorra.
Pedro Neto and Paulinho scored on their Portugal debuts while Renato Sanches impressed and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in a 7-0 rout of Andorra.
Handed his first international outing in Wednesday’s friendly at Estadio da Luz, Neto put Portugal ahead early on, with Braga forward Paulinho soon getting in on the act.
Called on from the bench at half-time, Ronaldo – who missed some golden chances before scoring Portugal’s sixth – set up Sanches for his first international goal since Euro 2016, with Paulinho then doubling his tally.
Emili Garcia netted an own goal as Andorra’s defence crumbled under the quality at Portugal’s disposal, with Joao Felix hammering in to round off the scoring late on.
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It took just eight minutes for Neto to grab his debut goal, with the Wolves youngster slamming home on the half volley after Sergio Oliveira and Paulinho combined.
Sanches went close with a low long-range strike which was saved by Josep Gomes, who was beaten for a second time when he failed to keep out Paulinho’s toe-poke.
Ronaldo should have done better after coming on as a half-time substitute, with the Juventus star heading over from close range, but he turned provider for Portugal’s third goal after 56 minutes, teeing up Sanches to sweep in a strike that opened the floodgates.
Paulinho’s brilliant header from Mario Rui’s cross put Portugal four up just after the hour mark, before Ronaldo looped another attempt over.
Ronaldo thought he had created another goal when he bundled it through to William Carvalho, only for the offside flag to cut the celebrations short, though Portugal had a fifth when Garcia diverted Bernardo Silva’s cross beyond Gomes.
After missing another gilt-edged chance, Ronaldo finally had his goal when he headed in from point-blank range, with fellow substitute Joao Felix wrapping things up in the 88th minute.
Final da partida! Portugal goleia Andorra antes do jogo com França! #VamosTodos #VamosComTudo pic.twitter.com/lRMTi0Zhck
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) November 11, 2020
What does it mean? Rampant Portugal roll on
Since losing to Uruguay in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup, Portugal have suffered just one defeat – against Ukraine in Euro 2020 qualification.
It is a run of one loss in 22 games for Fernando Santos’ side, whose focus will now switch back to ensuring they will be in a position to defend their Nations League crown.
Sanches ends his scoreless streak
Sanches was a breakout star as Portugal won Euro 2016, but the midfielder endured a fall from grace before reviving his career at Lille.
At 23 he still has the potential to become a key figure for the national team, and turned in an impressive all-round display, completing 98 per cent of his passes in the opposition half.
That performance was capped off with a fine finish, his first for the senior team since he netted against Poland on June 30, 2016.
Ronaldo’s all-action cameo
Portugal registered a total of 25 attempts, with 14 of those on target.
Seven shots came from the lively Ronaldo, who assisted Sanches’ goal, headed over twice and prodded wide from three yards out prior to converting a cross from Rui – who had two assists on the night – with five minutes left.
Santos will hardly have learned anything from the victory from a defensive standpoint, however, with Andorra failing to muster a single effort at goal.
Portugal will face an altogether sterner task when they host France in the Nations League on Saturday, before they travel to Croatia three days later.