Portugal beats Sweden off Ronaldo absence

Portugal beats Sweden off Ronaldo absence. Goals from Bernardo Silva and a brace from Diogo Jota gave Portugal a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden in the Nations League on Wednesday as the hosts cracked on despite the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo because of a positive COVID-19 test.

Ronaldo’s only contribution to the game was a post on Instagram around kickoff time asking on his teammates as he remained in quarantine, and they proved more than equivalent to the task.

William Carvalho could have given the home side the lead in the opening minutes but his header returned of a post and bounced away to safety, and Sweden’s defense struggled to deal with Portugal’s pace and precision.

Silva opened the scoring in the 21st minute as Portugal won the ball back in the center of the field and quickly countered, with Jota firing a precise pass to Silva in the penalty area for a perfect first-time finish.

Marcus Berg went close to evening out for Sweden with a powerful shot which hit the post, but the more the Swedes attacked the more vulnerable they were to Portugal’s lightning-brisk counter-attacks.

Jota got on the scoresheet just before half-time, lashing home Joao Cancelo’s cross from deep on the right to make it 2-0, and he added a superb third with a solo run and thumping shot in the 71st minute.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson will miss his side’s next Nations League game against Croatia following his second yellow card of the tournament, the 57-year-old indicating his frustration with refereeing decisions that went against his team.

With 10 points from four games, Portugal top Group 2 in League An on goal difference ahead of France, who beat Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb. The Swedes are bottom of the group after slumping to four straight defeats.

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