Portugal finds themselves on the brink of achieving a flawless 100% record in European Championship qualification for the first time, following a hard-earned 2-0 victory against a determined Liechtenstein team at the Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz.
Facing Konrad Fünfstück’s side, who had endured 21 consecutive losses across all competitions and sat at the 200th spot in the FIFA world rankings, Roberto Martínez’s team expectedly dominated. However, Liechtenstein’s goalkeeper, Benjamin Büchel, showcased their readiness by making a fine save from Rúben Neves’s powerful long-range strike, the only shot on target from the visitors in the opening 20 minutes against a resilient Liechtenstein defense.
Gonçalo Ramos missed a prime opportunity to break the deadlock before the half-hour mark with a point-blank header from João Cancelo’s cross. Later, João Félix and Cristiano Ronaldo both had their attempts without success, with Ronaldo seeing a close-range strike hit the post early in the second half. However, he redeemed himself within a minute, netting his 128th senior international goal after a well-weighted pass from Diogo Jota. Cancelo added Portugal’s second in the 57th minute with a precise left-footed strike after Büchel was caught off his line.
Despite a chance for Dennis Salanović to reduce the deficit, Liechtenstein couldn’t capitalize as José Sá thwarted the opportunity. Although Félix and Ramos found the net, both goals were disallowed – Félix’s due to offside and Ramos’s after a VAR review.
The 2-0 scoreline fairly reflected the match, acknowledging Portugal’s occasional lapses and Liechtenstein’s ability to frustrate their more illustrious opponents. Liechtenstein aims to end their 22-match losing streak as they face Luxembourg, striving to avoid a pointless European Championship qualification campaign.