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Brilliant Bruno strikes again! Fernandes leads Portugal to win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Euro qualifier

Portugal kept their 100 percent record in Euro 2024 qualifying going thanks to a Bruno Fernandes brace and a goal from Bernardo Silva.

  • Bosnia made things difficult
  • Couldn’t deal with Portuguese quality in the end
  • Ronaldo and Co. make it three wins out of three

TELL ME MORE: The early stages were dominated by the hosts but it took until the 22nd minute for either goalkeeper to be worked. It was the visitors who came closest first as 21-year-old defensive debutant Adrian Barisic swung in a cross-cum-shot that nearly caught Diogo Costa out, but the Porto stopper clawed it away. Portugal had the ball in the Bosnia-Herzegovina net less than a minute later through a trademark Cristiano Ronaldo header, but the offside flag correctly curtailed the celebrations. The visitors then turned things up a notch and should have gone ahead six minutes later through Edin Dzeko, but he failed to convert a gilt-edged opportunity.

Just as it looked as though the first-half would end goalless, Bernardo Silva latched onto a crisp Bruno Fernandes through ball and simply lifted it over the onrushing Ibrahim Sehic, breaking the deadlock on 44 minutes with the only real piece of quality either side could muster in the first 45.

Roberto Martinez’s side enjoyed much of the possession early in the second half, playing almost exclusively inside the Bosnian half without really putting Sehic under significant pressure. Portugal’s incessant possession eventually paid off as Fernandes doubled Portugal’s lead on 77 minutes. Second-half substitute Ruben Neves whipped in a wonderful cross from the right that was met by Fernandes, who buried his header beyond Sehic to take the game away from Bosnia. The scoring wasn’t done just yet, though. It was the Manchester United midfielder again who struck a beautiful half-volley into the top-right corner inside second-half stoppage time.

WHAT NEXT PORTUGAL?

 Martinez’s side look dead-set on qualifying for next summer’s Euro 2024 finals and, looking at Group J, it’s hard to see where they’ll drop points. Martinez’s side travel to Iceland on Tuesday to complete this round of international fixtures.

THE MVP:

 Bruno Fernandes is often overlooked in the context of this Portugal side with the likes of Ronaldo and Felix often taking the headlines. However, the midfielder was mercurial in this latest Portugal victory. He provided the assist for Silva’s first-half chip and netted a couple of his own late on, too. His performance epitomised the patience of Martinez’s side and helped them win what was just another step on the road to Germany 2024.

THE BIG LOSER: Cristiano Ronaldo

 is usually the focal point of Portugal’s plans but he had a very quiet night at the office. He was nowhere near his usual best and was marshalled quite well by the likes of Sheffield United’s Anel Ahmedhodzic. It’s just as well for him that a couple of his teammates stepped up to the plate otherwise Portugal may well have stumbled.

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