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Euro 2020 Qualifiers | Ukraine 2-1 Portugal: Three reasons why Portugal lost the match

Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Feature
15 Oct 2019, 12:07 IST

#2 Andriy Pyatov was in inspired form

Pyatov put up a commanding display in goal.
Pyatov put up a commanding display in goal.

While Portugal might have been insipid in the first-half, they upped the ante considerably after the break thanks to the changes made by Fernando Santos.

With Ukraine holding a two-goal advantage, Andriy Shevchenko understandably instructed his players to sit back and hold on for the requisite one point to ensure their qualification.

The hosts were content to let Portugal have all the possession and given the quality of attacking players within the Portuguese ranks, this was a recipe for disaster.

Shot after shot were peppered at the Ukrainian goal, but their defense remained resolute, with goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov putting in a masterclass performance.


Andriy Shevchenko.
Andriy Shevchenko.

The legendary 35-year-old had a running battle with Cristiano Ronaldo on what was his 89th cap and even though the Juventus star ultimately got the better of him with a 72nd-minute penalty, it took nothing away from what was a five-star display.

In total, Portugal had 24 shots on the Ukrainian goal, forcing Pyatov into nine saves (with five of those coming from the boots of Ronaldo).

Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo.

While Ukraine deserve immense praise for their doggedness against Portugal even after going down to ten men, the difference between victory and defeat on the night was down to the performance of their goalkeeper.

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