Portugal 4-0 Nigeria: Bruno Fernandes stars as Ronaldo-less hosts breeze past Super Eagles


Nigeria offered little to trouble Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal as Fernando Santos’ side cruised to World Cup warm-up victory on Thursday.

Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Portugal eased to a 4-0 victory over Nigeria in their sole World Cup warm-up game, despite missing captain Cristiano Ronaldo through illness.

Fernando Santos’ side produced a dominant performance in Lisbon on Thursday amid continued furor over Ronaldo’s absent Manchester United scrum interview.

Fernandes’ first-half double, the second from the penalty spot, set Portugal on course for their last outing against Qatar before Goncalo Ramos scored after Emmanuel Dennis missed a second-half free-kick.

Joao Mario added a late fourth and Portugal will now turn their attention to next Thursday’s Group H opener against Ghana as they look to reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in four tournaments.

Fernandes failed in the opening tests but made amends after nine minutes when he converted Diogo Dalot’s short pass.

Joao Felix curled narrowly wide before Bright Osayi-Samuel was adjudged to be a player inside the area, with Fernandes sending Francis Uzo the wrong way with his free-kick.

A raft of changes at half-time did little to alter Portugal’s dominance, although Samuel Chukwueze forced a rare save from Rui Patricio before Uzoho tipped over from Joao Felix.

VAR believed Dalot had pushed Osayi-Samuel inside the area, although Patricio saved Dennis’s penalty before Ramos sealed victory by tapping home Raphael Guerreiro’s unselfish pass.

A simple offload from Joao Felix set up the final goal as Joao Mario poked into an empty net.

What does it mean? Santos’ side in cruise control ahead of Qatar

The ongoing controversy surrounding five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo could easily have derailed Portugal, even if it failed to show in a routine win.

Santos’ side dominated from the first minute without their talisman and will be confident of escaping Group H, which also includes Uruguay and South Korea.

However, Ghana and Uruguay – the latter with the likes of Federico Valverde, Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez – will have much tougher tasks than Nigeria in Qatar.

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