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UEFA Nations League

Late Winner Seals Second Spot For Ronaldo's Portugal

UEFA Nations League

Result: Croatia 2-3 Portugal

Date: 17 November 2020

Venue: Stadion Poljud

A last-gasp strike from Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias handed Portugal a 3-2 win over Croatia, who still managed to avoid relegation from League A.

Portugal had the first opportunity of the game in the 19th minute. Mario Rui got forward down the left and floated a wonderful cross into the box towards Cristiano Ronaldo, who rose over his marker to meet it, but couldn't quite get there and could only glance it wide with the faintest of touches.

Niko Kovacic gave the hosts the lead in the 29th minute. A sloppy clearance from Ruben Semedo saw the ball played straight at Mario Pasalic in the box. The Croatia forward controlled and fired a low cross in towards Kovacic in the middle and the midfielder's first effort was saved, but Rui Patricio couldn't hold it and Kovacic smashed home the rebound.

Croatia should have been 2-0 up in the 36th minute. Josip Juranovic met a left-wing cross at the back post and got a free header on it, but could only nod wide of the far post with Patricio stranded.

Six minutes after the interval, Croatia defender Rog clattered into Ronaldo from behind, catching him on the ankle with his studs and was shown a second yellow card.

The Seleccao immediately capitalised on their numerical advantage. Ronaldo struck the free-kick at goal from some distance and Dominik Livakovic could only parry it back into the danger zone to Ruben Semedo, who squared for a completely unmarked Ruben Dias to slot home.

On the hour mark, Dejan Lovren missed his interception as the ball was played through to Jota, who got to the byline - drawing Livakovic out - before cutting back for Joao Felix to scuff the ball into the corner past a sliding Domagoj Bradaric.

Kovacic fired Croatia level in the 65th minute. Nikola Vlasic held the ball up in the box and played it back to the edge of the area for Kovacic, who raced onto it and sidefooted a low effort that curled away from Patricio and went in off the left-hand post.

Bernardo Silva missed a sitter with ten minutes to go. Trincao fired a sweetly-struck volley at goal that Livakovic could only parry into the path of Silva on the right side of the box. The Manchester City man hit the ball into the ground as the goalkeeper closed him down, but the bounce took it over the bar.

However, he would not live to regret that miss too much as Dias grabbed his brace in the 89th minute after pouncing on a goalkeeping error from Livakovic, who dropped the ball at his feet to allow him to tap in to the net from close-ra


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