Fernando Santos explains how Cristiano Ronaldo helped Portugal beat Turkey

Fernando Santos explains how Cristiano Ronaldo helped Portugal beat Turkey

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has explained how Cristiano Ronaldo helped his strategy beat Turkey on Thursday night in the World Cup Qualifiers playoff.

Santos started Ronaldo upfront as well as Manchester United duo Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot and his decisions paid off in the first half when his side led 2-0 at half-time.

Otavio opened the scoring early in the game before Diogo Jota scored a header late in the first half to double the lead.

Cristiano Ronaldo played a huge role in the first goal, watch the goal here, after he ran behind the defence line, kept his cool inside the penalty box before squaring the ball into the area that resulted in the goal.

In the build-up to Jota’s goal, Ronaldo kept his side in control of the ball in what looked like a tight area and somehow, his team-mates benefited from it and scored the second goal.

Ronaldo had a few chances to get himself onto the scoresheet but failed to do so. Regardless of that, Fernando Santos still believes the Manchester United forward helped Portugal by putting fears into the Turkey side.

“My strategy against Turkey worked,” said Santos after the game. “Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score but it bothered Turkey.

Fernando Santos heaps praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal beat Turkey
Fernando Santos heaps praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal beat Turkey

“Ronaldo opened up space, our other players scored comfortably. Ronaldo played a tremendous game.

“We analyzed Ronaldo for the goals. When he doesn’t score… Cristiano played a tremendous game like the whole team.

“He played a game of work and intensity. He didn’t score, but that doesn’t detract from the excellent performance he did. This is noteworthy.”

Source: [Maisfutebol]

Portugal will now face North Macedonia in the World Cup Qualifiers playoff final after the latter knocked out Italy in the injury time with a 1-0 victory in Italy.