Portugal 1-0 Azerbaijan: Mehemmedeliyev almost managed a draw against European Champions

Cristiano Ronaldo-Portugal

An own goal from Maksim Medvedev in the first half handed Portugal a narrow win in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Portugal commenced their World Cup Qualifiers campaign with a narrow win over Azerbaijan but it wasn’t the best of displays from the defending Euro Champions.

Despite starting with the likes of Andre Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pedro and Bernardo Silva, Portugal put on an unimpressive show and in fact, they needed an own goal from Maksim Medvedev in the first half to see off the visitors.

This was partly because of Sahruddin Mehemmedeliyev, the Azerbaijan goal-keeper who kept the star-studded Portuguese attacks at bay through-out, till one of his saves went for an own goal, on the rebound from Medvedev.

Ronaldo was coming off a disappointing defeat against Benevento and it clearly reflected on his performance as he failed to make a bigger impact.

Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes came as a substitute at the break but he couldn’t influence the game like he often does for United.

Talking about the stats, Portugal had a total of 29 goal attempts in which 14 shots were on target.

Ronaldo had a go at goal on eight occasions but all proved futile bar the late free-kick, which most found the back of the nets before being tipped away by Azerbaijan goalkeeper. 

Prior to the game, Portuguese manager Fernando Santos insisted that Ronaldo wouldn’t be affected by criticisms he had been facing of late at Juve and would give his best efforts to the national team. However, it turned out as the opposite in the end.

Portugal will be up against tough-looking Serbia in the second game of World Cup Qualifiers this Sunday.