Bruno Fernandes scored a late brace as Portugal eased to a 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday to maintain their perfect record in Euro 2024 qualifying.
Bernardo Silva opened the scoring just before the break at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, and Manchester United star Fernandes headed in the second with 13 minutes remaining.
He then got his second, and Portugal’s third, in stoppage time and Portugal have now scored 13 goals and conceded none while winning their opening three matches in Group J.
As a result they sit top of the six-team section, two points clear of Slovakia and five above Luxembourg, with the top two sides advancing to next year’s finals in Germany.
Roberto Martinez’s Portugal side visit Iceland on Tuesday when another victory will take the Euro 2016 winners a step closer to securing qualification.
“Our attitude as a team was spectacular but the difficulty for us was more to do with mental fatigue than anything physical,”
“We played more with our hearts than our heads. We still need to develop our full potential.”Said Martinez, who was not fully satisfied with the display.
Cristiano Ronaldo wore the captain’s armband and played all 90 minutes as the 38-year-old men’s international appearance record-holder won his 199th cap.
However, the forward now playing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia did not manage to add to his record 122 international goals — he found the net with a header midway through the first half only to be denied by an offside flag.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s commitment to the national team is exemplary,”
“He is a unique player in world football, and he is very important in our dressing room.”Said Martinez.
Silva, who helped Manchester City win the Champions League last weekend, opened the scoring a minute before the interval, finishing first-time after Ronaldo and Fernandes combined to set him up.
Bosnia, with 37-year-old Edin Dzeko leading their attack, could not find an equaliser and Portugal struck again on 77 minutes as Fernandes headed in unmarked from a Ruben Neves cross.
Fernandes then sealed Portugal’s victory when he controlled on his chest at the edge of the box and finished on the half-volley.