Portugal have set up a 2022 World Cup play-off final date with North Macedonia on March 29 as Fernando Santos’ side edged out a 3-1 semi-final win over Turkey.
The hosts dominated the first 45 minutes as Otavio and Diogo Jota deservedly gave them a 2-0 lead at the break with 2016 European champions seemingly having one foot in the final.
However, their struggles to find a third goal after the restart left the door open for Turkey, and Cengiz Under slipped in Burak Yilmaz to fire the visitors back into the contest.
But despite that swing in momentum for Turkey, Yilmaz’s 86th minute missed spot kick ultimately ended their chances as substitute Rafael Leao wrapped it up in added time.
Portugal vs. Turkey as-it-happened
90+4th Min: PORTUGAL CLINCH IT………..3-1!!!!
The substitute combine as Leao pokes through to Nunes to clinch it for Santos’ hosts.
PLUS HUGE NEWS AS NORTH MACEDONIA TAKE A 1-0 LEAD OVER ITALY
90th Min: Five Minutes Added ON!!
Triple change from Santos to edge the clock down as Rafael Leao, Nuno Mendes and Matheus Nunes come on and Otavio, Guerreiro and Moutinho head off. Kutlu is taken off for Turkey with Serdar Dursun on.
89th Min: Joao Moutinho is booked for timewasting as we head into added time.
86th Min: WHAT A MISS!!
Costa gives a wiggle of the hips and Yilmaz BALOONS his spot kick over the bar!!! An awful penalty from the veteran hitman.
84th Min: PENALTY TURKEY
Substitute Unal latches onto a loose ball inside the box and he is caught by Jose Fonte…..it will be Yilmaz to take for Turkey.
82nd Min: Late changes for both sides as William Carvalho replaces Fernandes for Portugal with Dorukhan Tokoz and Yusuf Yazici on for Kokcu and Celik.
80th Min: Demiral is booked for a pull on Otavio as the game heads into the final ten minutes in Porto.
75th Min: Should be three for Portugal……….Raphael Guerreiro does brilliantly to rescue a lost cause and flash in a cross but Otavio heads wide. BIG MISS!!
Can Turkey get something in the final stages?
70th Min: Booking for Calhanoglu after he catches Otavio as Joao Felix comes on for Jota.
67th Min: Change for Turkey as Enes Unal comes on for Kerem Akturkoglu.
66th Min: Out of NOWHERE……..TURKEY HAVE A GOAL!!!
Some neat interplay on the edge of the box creates an overload and Under’s pass feeds in Burak Yilmaz to fire past Costa!!!
63rd Min: Portugal want a third goal in this game as Otavio breaks past the Turkey offside trap but his pass to Ronaldo is hoofed cleared by Merih Demiral.
57th Min: Another chance for three for Portugal as Costa’s long ball forward releases Jota in behind but his lofted effort drifts just off target. Changes incoming from both sides.
50th Min: Portugal looking to pick up where they left off after the restart as Silva steps inside and tests Ugurcan Cakir before Kabak’s slip almost lets Jota in on goal.
46th Min: We are back in action in Porto
Otavio and Jota’s goals have put Portugal in a commanding position at the start of the second period with Santos’ hosts now 45 minutes away from the final
In the other semi final, Italy are drawing 0-0 at home to North Macedonia!!
45th Min+2: HT: PORTUGAL 2 TURKEY 0
Fernando Santos’ side are in full control at the break as Otavio has made the crucial difference with a goal and an assist in the first 45 minutes. Ronaldo and co will already have one eye on the final on March 29!!!
42nd Min: 2-0 PORTUGALLLLLLLL
Portugal are in the driving seat as Otavio hangs up a cross to the far post and Liverpool star Jota peels away to nod the hosts 2-0 up.
41st Min: Portugal are starting to retake control on the night as Ronaldo’s slipped pass to Jota is cut about by a retreating Ozan Kabak.
36th Min: Double booking as Jota and Celik clash on the far side…..both players will need to watch their step from now on.
32nd Min: Ronaldo is caught by Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu. Fernandes swings the free kick in and offside Ronaldo heads just wide.
26th Min: Turkey are slowly coming into this game as Orkun Kokcu wrestles clear in midfield and his bouncing long rage effort forces a stop from Diogo Costa.
21st Min: Almost a rapid response from Turkey in their first real attack of the game as Cengiz Under races in behind and dinks a cross to the back post but Berkan Kutlu heads wide under pressure from Diogo Dalot.
15th Min: GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLL PORTUGAL
Portugal have dominated the opening stages and the home side take the lead!!!! Ronaldo feeds Silva on the edge of the box and and the Manchester City star cannons one against the post but Otavio stayed alive to steer home the rebound!!!
10th Min: HUGGGGGE CHANCE FOR PORTUGAL
Fernandes whips in a superb free kick into the box but Jota can only lunge in and stab his effort over the bar!!
7th Min: Portugal dominating possession in the early stages with Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota looking to pick holes in the Turkey defence.
4th Min: A positive start from Portugal here as Zeki Celik gets back to win an important header inside the Turkey penalty area.
1st Min: WE ARE UNDERWAY IN PORTO
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