The Manchester United midfielder starred to salvage a win after an otherwise disappointing performance from his side.
Bruno Fernandes scored a wonderful goal and was a constant source of creativity as Portugal grabbed a valuable away win to bolster their Euro 2024 qualification hopes. He was the difference maker in a night were Cristiano Ronaldo consistently misfired, with the Selecao stumbling to a 1-0 victory.
Slovakia enjoyed some promising moments in the early goings, putting two efforts on target in the opening 10 minutes. Portugal responded with a chance of their own, but Bruno Fernandes’ tame effort was easily saved. But he didn’t miss when given another chance. The Manchester United midfielder slalomed through the Slovakia defence and found the bottom corner with a driven strike to give Portugal a 1-0 lead on the stroke of half time.
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The hosts could have leveled things early in the second half, as Ivan Schranz ran through on goal, only to skew a shot outside the post. But Portugal were mostly comfortable for the rest of proceedings — if rather ineffective in front of goal. Ronaldo missed a handful of chances, and was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off for sliding in dangerously on Martin Dubravka.
Still, the Portugal defence did enough to see off Slovakia, who never really threatened at the other end as time wound down. The Selecao will have to play better in the future — and will surely need more from their captain — but they will certainly take a tricky away win.