Portugal vs. Switzerland – preview

At Lusail Stadium on Tuesday, Group H champion Portugal will take on Group G’s runner-up Switzerland after both teams advanced to the World Cup’s knockout round with two victories out of three.

A crucial spot in the quarterfinals is at stake as two teams who had very different results in their final group matches square off in one of only two all-European matches in a diverse last 16.

Portugal had a strong start to their campaign for Qatar 2022, meaning that they only needed one point in the final round of group games to guarantee themselves the top spot and automatic entry into the knockout stages.

It appeared that the Selecao would breeze through when Ricardo Horta, one of several new players introduced for the occasion by coach Fernando Santos, gave them the lead against South Korea in the fifth minute.

However, their opponents pulled off one of the numerous comebacks that have defined the first fortnight of the finals, tying the score before halftime and then scoring a dramatic goal in the 91st to defeat them 2-1.

Portugal, despite suffering their first defeat, advanced as the group’s top team thanks to Uruguay’s victory over Ghana, and they are now trying to advance to the round of 16 for the first time since 2006, when they ultimately placed fourth in Germany.

After seeing his team defeat Ghana 3-2 to open the World Cup and then add a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday with two goals from Bruno Fernandes, Euro 2016 champion Santos can conceivably aim to break new ground this winter.

A Eusebio-related Despite their success at the youth level and third-place finish at the 1966 World Cup, the Iberian country of Portugal has never advanced to a senior international final.

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