Written by Dan Anjos
Portugal were able to win their first 90 minute game in the tournament to book their place in the final. What a tournament it has turned out to be for them.
Rui before hand probably was thinking he would have a very hard game against him with Wales being one of the tournaments high scorers as well as Bale being in form surely meant he would concede a goal, especially with the absence of one of the Euros best Centre backs so far in Pepe. But whenever he was called upon he has done well and ended up keeping his 2nd clean sheet of the tournament. Portuguese fans will be going into the final knowing they have a good goalkeeper.
Cedric Soares- 8/10
Cedric had one of his finer performances in a Portuguese shirt. He was defensively sound and attacking offered two great chances, one within 5 minutes and the second he robs the ball high up in the Welsh defence but no goal came from it. His energy was definitely on show when despite being 2 nil up and with 10 minutes to go he was still willing to look for the overlap. Surely he starts in the final over Vierinha.
Fonte played well in keeping Bale fairly quiet as well as his distribution was sharp whilst also defensively doing a job. Even when Wales bought on Church and Vokes for aerial ability, Fonte dealt with it well. Also being the first time he partnered with Alves, no lack of communication was shown by them two.
After that stupid Kung Fu kick on Kane I doubted I was going to see him play in the Euros but with Carvalho’s old age and Pepe missing meant he had a chance. He played well, we did not miss Pepe as much as would have been perhaps expected, he can sleep with his head high knowing he delivered a performance closer to the ability that got him a 22 million euro move to Zenit.
Recently signing for Dortmund, he knew his only focus was on the national team, no transfer stories to disturb his concentration. He certainly played just as well as Cedric did on the other side but he offered an assist from a short corner which opened the result for Portugal. The left back place is his for years to come.
Danilo Pereira- 7.7/10
Filling in for William Carvalho due to suspension, he played well in breaking up the play while also not losing the ball in the first form of attack. Whilst his passing isn’t as good as Carvalho’s, his aerial presence and ability to destroy play is probably higher meaning he helped out the defence very well. In contention to start the final, either it is him or Carvalho. Both have played well enough to start, it is up to the manager now.
ESPN named Adrien Silva as their man of the match. He was his usual self of hardworking, creative, combative midfield play, a very modern box to box player. He ran his socks off and kept Joe Allen very quiet just like he had done versus Modric in one of the previous rounds. The Sporting Lisbon captain will be delighted with his performance and is a certainty to start the final too.
He was more of his usual self, passing the ball and also driving with it on the counter. His best performance of the tournament so far. The only thing he will be disappointed in is not scoring after the ball came to him from Nani’s shot. After that performance I do not see him not starting in the final.
Probably his worst game in the tournament but he still did not do awful. He is only 18, despite any nonsense claims that he is not. At that age players still do make mistakes like giving the ball way cheaply amongst other things but he always looked positive on the ball and will definitely be starting in the final for his muscle,power,speed and technique, he offers a lot of dynamic to the midfield.He should be proud of his Euro perfomances nonetheless.
Nani has definitely been one of Portugal brighter lights, he now has 3 goals in 6 games plus 1 assist. He is showing he can actually play as a false striker role, he pushes out wide well as well as doing the hard work defensively and dropping into the midfield to make it a 5 instead of 4. He will be delighted with his performances so far and his move to Valencia is rightly deserved. At the age of 29 and with over 100 caps for Portugal he will be remembered as always being in the shadow of Ronaldo but his career is actually a very good one by his own right.
In my preview I said if Ronaldo turns up we win, and he turned up for 5 mins and we won. People suggesting he has had an awful tournament must not be looking at the fact in 6 games he has 3 goals and 3 assists. I think we just expect supernatural things from Ronaldo all the time, he is now 31 and has played over 60 games this season. He cannot be scoring hat tricks every game, he will be happy with his efforts versus Wales. His first goal is almost a routine finish for him whilst the assists is a shot that turned out to be a good pass. He nearly scored once more with a free kick brushing the top of the net whilst also side netting the ball after taking on Hennessey.
Subs-Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho, Andre Gomes. They all done what they had to do when they came on but they were not on long enough to make an impact of the game so that is why they are not getting rated.
Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Ludovic Peron