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Portugal 2-0 Czech Republic: Selecao move top of Nations League group
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Daniel Lewis
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Goncalo Guedes scored Portugal's second goal
Goncalo Guedes scored Portugal's second goal

Portugal moved two points clear at the top of Nations League Group A2 with a 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic in Lisbon on Thursday.

The two sides entered the contest at Estadio Jose Alvalade level on four points apiece after two rounds of fixtures, and it was Portugal who took control at the summit.

Joao Cancelo blasted the home side in front from a tight angle and Goncalo Guedes added a second before half-time, with both goals assisted by Bernardo Silva.

The Czech Republic were unable to find a route back into the contest as they were leapfrogged by Spain – 1-0 winners over Switzerland – in second place.

Portugal had to see out a spell of early pressure, with Michal Sadilek volleying over from a good position, before taking a 33rd-minute lead.

Cancelo, who rounded off the scoring in Portugal's 4-0 win over Switzerland last weekend, took a pass from Silva in his stride and fired past Jindrich Stanek into the far corner.

Silva played in Guedes for Portugal's second, the Valencia winger picking his spot beyond Stanek to leave the Czech Republic with a mountain to climb with 38 minutes played.

Diogo Jota was denied by Stanek as Portugal attempted to extend their lead further and Guedes had a strong penalty appeal rejected when challenged by Sadilek in the box.

Cristiano Ronaldo was also thwarted by the opposition keeper, while Adam Vlkanova missed a big chance at the other end after a mix-up, but Portugal comfortably saw out the win.

What does it mean?

With wins over Switzerland and the Czech Republic, following a 1-1 draw away to Spain in their opener, Portugal are well positioned at the top of Group A2 at the midway point.

Fernando Santos' men have lost just one of their 11 games since last year's rescheduled Euro 2020, winning nine of those and keeping seven clean sheets in the process.

The Czech Republic have not looked out of place in the top tier of the Nations League thus far, having previously held Spain, but they can have no complaints about this defeat.

Brilliant Bernardo

Portugal's first goal was made in Manchester, with City team-mates Cancelo and Silva combining nicely down the right, before the latter teed up Guedes for Portugal's second.

Silva now leads the way at the top of assists charts in the 2022-23 Nations League with three in three matches.

Cristiano kept quiet

Ronaldo scored his 116th and 117th international goals against Switzerland four days ago, but he was unable to extend that record tally any further against the Czech Republic.

The Manchester United superstar had three shots, two of those on target for a value of 0.24 in terms of expected goals (xG) value, without finding the net.

What's next?

Portugal's final fixture of the 2021-22 season is a Nations League tie away at Switzerland on Sunday, the same day that the Czech Republic travel to Spain.


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