Portugal Triumphs Over Finland in Euro 2024 Warm-Up

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In a night of creativity and some missed chances, Rúben Dias, Diogo Jota, and Bruno Fernandes, with a brace, led Portugal to a 4-2 victory against Finland at Estádio José Alvalade. This was the first of three preparatory matches for Euro 2024.

Portugal started strong, controlling possession and creating numerous chances. Rafael Leão’s early attempt lacked power and accuracy, setting the tone for the evening’s mix of creativity and inefficiency.

By the 12th minute, Nuno Mendes set up Diogo Jota with a clear scoring opportunity, but Jota failed to capitalize. Vitinha’s dangerous incursion into the Finnish box three minutes later also ended without a goal, as his cross was intercepted by goalkeeper Hradecky.

The breakthrough came soon after. Vitinha’s corner from the left found Rúben Dias, who headed the ball in, giving Portugal a deserved lead. The goal energized the team, which continued to dominate but struggled to find the second goal until just before halftime. A penalty awarded via VAR was calmly converted by Diogo Jota, making it 2-0.

Coach Roberto Martínez made several substitutions at halftime, bringing on Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Dalot, Gonçalo Inácio, Pedro Neto, and Gonçalo Ramos. Portugal resumed the match with intensity, with João Cancelo narrowly missing an early chance.

Bruno Fernandes extended the lead in the 56th minute with a beautiful curled shot, assisted by Francisco Conceição. However, Finland responded with a spirited fightback. Teemu Pukki, a familiar name from English football, scored twice within four minutes (73′ and 77′), bringing unexpected tension to the match.

Despite the Finnish rally, Portugal remained focused. Bruno Fernandes secured the win in the 85th minute with his second goal, ensuring a 4-2 final scoreline that reflected the home side’s overall dominance.

Francisco Conceição nearly added a fifth, hitting the post late in the game. Portugal’s performance, though marked by some defensive lapses, was largely positive as they gear up for tougher challenges ahead.

Portugal’s starting lineup: José Sá; João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, António Silva, Nuno Mendes; João Palhinha, João Neves, Vitinha; Rafael Leão, Diogo Jota, Francisco Conceição.

Finland’s starting lineup: Hradecky; Niskanen, Jensen, Ivanov, Alho; Suhonen, Peltola, Nissilä; Antman, Källman, Talvitie.

Next, Portugal will face Croatia at Jamor on Saturday, followed by a match against Ireland at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro. These games will serve as the final preparations before heading to Germany for Euro 2024.

Moment of the Match: Rúben Dias’ opening goal set the stage for what seemed to be an easy win, despite Finland’s spirited second-half response.

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