Nations League: Joao Cancelo and Goncalo Guedes lead Portugal to victory against the Czech Republic

Portugal overcame the Czech Republic 2-0 on Thursday to take a two-point lead in Group A2 of the Nations League. Joao Cancelo and Goncalo Guedes scored in the 33rd and 38th minutes, respectively, as Portugal maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign with a 2-0 victory in Lisbon. They are already two points ahead of Spain after winning two and drawing one of their first three games.

“We had a wonderful game,” Guedes stated. “They attempted to cancel us out, and they succeeded. We had hoped for more goals, but it was a significant win.”

The Czech Republic was equal on points with its opponents at the start of the match but fell to third as Spain beat Switzerland 1-0 in Geneva.

“Portugal demonstrated their quality,” Vaclav Jurecka, a Czech forward, stated. “In the first half, they converted both of their opportunities. I could have scored with my opportunity as well, but I aimed for the top corner and missed. I’m sorry I couldn’t provide more assistance to the team.”

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In what has been a good couple of weeks for Fernando Santos’ side, the Czech Republic will go to Spain on Sunday, while Portugal will have the opportunity to expand their lead when they face Switzerland away.

Portugal had to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar via the play-offs, defeating Turkey and North Macedonia to escape an ignominious departure.

But this victory came after a 1-1 draw away to Spain in their first match, followed by a 4-0 thumping of Switzerland in the second, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice.

Cancelo also scored there, and the Manchester City defender scored two goals in as many games against the Czechs by scoring soon after the half-hour mark.

It came from Bernardo Silva’s superb move on the right flank when he wriggled away and found his City colleague inside him, who blasted in.

Bernardo was at its center again five minutes later, weaving between Guedes and sweeping a beautiful finish past Jindrich Stanek.

In the second half, the Czechs looked threatening on the break, and a goal would have tied the score, but Jurecka missed a three-on-two opportunity.

Ronaldo came close to adding a third goal for Portugal, but Stanek stopped his first attempt of the game.