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Portugal 1-2 Serbia - Portugal player ratings as Fernando Santos and co fail to secure direct qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar


Fernando Santos and co fail to secure direct qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

1. Rui Patricio: 4

Apart from a few set-piece claims, the Portuguese keeper was way below par on a night when Portugal needed the veteran keeper to be at his best.

He couldn't make a regulation training save when Dusan Tadic fired in at goal which crawled beyond the goal line. He couldn't do much with Mitrovic's winner.

2. Joao Cancelo: 5

Despite being prolific at club level, Joao Cancelo has been yet another player who has been way below par while representing Portugal.

He was booked earlier on in the game with a rash challenge, but he never got himself up to speed after the equalising goal from the Serbs.

He was also uncomfortable while he was in possession of the ball.

3. Jose Fonte: 6

The veteran centre-back came in place of the suspended Pepe at the back. Started the game really well as he passed the ball well and kept the Portuguese moving forward with intent.

He made a few interceptions during the game and was pretty reliable throughout the game. Although, had to take responsibility for the winner from Mitrovic as he was left unmarked.

4. Ruben Dias: 5

Just as Joao Cancelo struggled to make inroads against the Serbs, Ruben Dias couldn't stamp his authority at the heart of Portugal's defence. He struggled to deny the movement of Dusan Tadic and Vlahovic.

He should take the same amount of responsibility as Jose Fonte for the crucial goal that could cost Portugal a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

5. Nuno Mendes: 6

The young rising left back will be key to Portugal's football in the years to come. He got his opportunity to start in the game with Raphael Guerrero missing out through injury.

The left back was tidy in possession and looked to burst forward with pace up front, although his movements were curtailed by the Serbs.

He had a few dodgy moments by the end of the game and got himself in a few physical battles as well. Came in at the far post and made a crucial intervention from a Serbian cross before they got the winner.

Even though Portugal slipped up on the night, this game will be a good learning curve for Nuno Mendes for his growth as a player and it may give him a few sleepless nights as to what he could expect at the international stage.

6. Renato Sanches: 7

The midfielder who burst his way into the international scene in the Euro's in 2016 opened the door for Portugal in the second minute of the game as he kept his cool, took his time and slotted home the opener for the Portuguese fans to rejoice.

He lost possession of the ball a few times and got booked as well later on in the game.

He couldn't build on with a good performance after scoring. He was eventually substituted later on in the second half after a series of giveaways.

7. Danio Pereira: 7

He was rock solid in all that he did on the night. He won a few aerial battles and kept things simple while he was on the park.

He came close to finding the back of the net. During the final stages of the game, he was deployed further behind to accompany Fonte and Ruben Dias.

He got subbed off as Portugal chased for an equaliser.

8. Joao Moutinho: 5

It was a quiet night for yet another veteran in this Portuguese side. He couldn't really make his presence felt in the middle of the park.

Failed to impress and was subsequently taken off after getting booked.

9. Bernardo Silva: 8

The Manchester City midfielder was impressive on the night and worked hard for his rewards.

He did really well to tip the ball away from Gudelj and found an easy pass to Renato, who found the opening goal.

After being left out in the game against Ireland for a knock that he carried, he gave the home fans a lot to cheer for when he had the ball on his feet. Displayed a few dribbles in the game as it was a good sign that he grew in confidence.

Surprisingly, he was subbed off later on in the second half. It was a strange decision from Fernando Santos as he took off his best player on the field. Seems like the coach was satisfied with the 1-1 draw and looked to see the game off.

In our opinion, it was a really poor decision from the coach which might have cost him the game and a direct place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

10. Diogo Jota: 6

The Liverpool ace kept pushing forward to threaten the opposition as much as he could. Always a constant source of energy as he works hard to reap a few rewards.

He was left isolated up front at times as the long balls from the back were directed towards him. He couldn't win them with his relatively short stature.

He didn't keep the ball well at times during the game.

11. Cristiano Ronaldo: 5

On a night when Portugal needed him to deliver "again", their superstar failed to deliver, although he tried.

He had a few moments in the game where he could make a significant contribution in the game. Worked hard on and off the ball.

He had tested the Serbian keeper and had a freekick glaze over the top of the bar. He dropped much deeper later on in the game to help his side in midfield, which left Jota isolated up front.

He had an ambitious effort on goal in the closing stages of the game, but he got it horribly wrong off his left foot.

As always, Ronaldo didn't shy away from holding back his emotions during the game as he was utterly disappointed with the outcome of the game.


12. Joao Palhinha: 5

Came in the second half to protect the lead. Showed a few glimpses that he was up for the challenge to secure a safe pathway for Portugal to the World Cup, but his presence of mind was questioned late on in the game as Serbia equalised.

13. Bruno Fernandes: 3

Seems very hard to remember a time when Bruno had a good day on the field in a must win game for Portugal against the big sides.

He gave away the ball needlessly on many occasions. He couldn't link up well with Ronaldo and Jota up front. Struggled to get going.

He is feeling the heat in Portuguese colours as he can't deliver as he does for Manchester United. Poor.

14. Joao Felix: N/A

Feel sorry for the lad as he was thrown into the game with barely few minutes left in the game.

He's not able to get into the starting XI for Portugal on a regular basis. It's been a tough year for him.

15. Ruben Neves: N/A

He is yet another talented player within the Portuguese side who finds it difficult to get into the starting XI despite his abilities on the ball and his speciality in set-pieces.

It seems as though the experience of Joao Moutinho is keeping Neves out of the starting XI for Portugal.

16. Andre Silva: N/A

Thrown into the game in stoppage time. Can't blame the striker for failing to contribute.