The Seleção let a 2-0 lead slip against Tunisia at the Estádio Municipal de Braga as they build up to the World Cup. André Silva and João Mário put Portugal ahead but defensive lapses allowed the Eagles of Carthage back into the game.
With Ronaldo unavailable alongside Sporting’s Rui Patricio, Bruno Fernandes and Gelson Martins, there were opportunities for others to stake their claims for a starting spot in Russia.
Rúben Dias took his chance and looks likely to start at the World Cup. Ricardo Pereira and Raphaël Guerreiro were shaky in defence but the midfield was strong, particularly Bernardo Silva and João Mário. Ricardo Quaresma’s cross found André Silva for the opener which is good new moving forward.
Player Ratings (0-10)
Anthony Lopes 6: Largely forgotten with Rui Patricio’s stranglehold on the goalkeeping position, Lopes had a strong game despite conceding twice. Might have done better for Badri’s goal but it was struck with venom, had no chance to deny Ben Youssef for Tunisia’s second.
Ricardo Pereira 6: Combined well with Bernardo early on as he looked to overlap and cut inside. Got drawn inside and lost Badri for Tunisia’s opener. Loves to attack but has to work harder on the defensive end. Taken off in the 72nd minute for Cédric Soares.
Rúben Dias 6: The 21-year-old got the start and had a strong game overall. Some key interceptions early on, bailing out Pepe and produced a number of clearances. Could have done better to deny Tunisia the equaliser.
Pepe 6: Portugal supporters will be glad to see Pepe healthy and providing leadership at the back. Vital to the side, he did his job well before being withdrawn for José Fonte in the 63rd minute.
Raphaël Guerreiro 5: Gave the ball away early on a risky run but went unpunished. Beaten for pace by Naguez and continually sloppy on the ball, losing Tunisia’s right-back once again in the build up to Badri’s goal. Replaced by Mário Rui at half-time.
William Carvalho 6: A few wayward passes early on before a lovely long ball found Mario in the box. Headed in Quaresma’s free kick from an offside position. Tracked back and produced some timely challenges but not as dominant as he can be.
Bernardo Silva 7: Dangerous runs, driving at the defence and constantly getting teammates involved. Bernardo made space for Ricardo to drive into and combined particularly well with João Mário. Went on a Messi style dance on the edge of the area in the second half, bamboozling two defenders before his shot hit the post. Off for Gonçalo Guedes in the 72nd minute.
Adrien Silva 6: Provided solid box-to-box production without doing anything fancy, staying narrow and always attempting to move the ball forward. Often underappreciated, he did the simple things well before coming off for Manuel Fernandes in the 63rd minute.
João Mário 8: Easily man-of-the-match, heavily involved early on as he drifted across the pitch and combined with Bernardo. Had a shot blocked but responded with a sweetly timed half-volley that rocketed past Hassen to make it 2-0. Won free kicks in dangerous positions, drove into the box with regularity and should have bagged his second after taking too much time when Bernardo’s shot off the post fell straight to him in front of goal. Replaced by João Moutinho with 10 minutes remaining.
Ricardo Quaresma 7: A shaky start with cheap giveaways in dangerous positions and failed to pounce after Hassen gifted him a golden opportunity to score. Popped up right wing however and floated a cross to the far post for André Silva’s opener. Unlucky not to pick up a second assist with his free kick headed in by William from an offside position. Got tired late on as he played the full 90 minutes.
André Silva 6: Headed Ricardo’s cross wide and had some wayward touches and shots. Headed in Quaresma’s cross for his 12th international goal but looks a bit rusty after a terrible season in Milan. Skewed a shot well wide after the ball fell to him at the penalty spot but the goal will hopefully build some confidence.
José Fonte 6: Came on for Pepe in the 63rd minute. Didn’t have much to do, but could have done better for Tunisia’s equaliser as he appeared to let the ball go rather than attempt a clearance.
Mário Rui 6: On for Guerreiro in the second half, the Napoli man struggled to get involved offensively as Tunisia pressed forward down his side through his opposite number Naguez.
Manuel Fernandes 6: Replaced Adrien Silva in the 63rd minute and struggled to get involved and make an impact on the match.
Cédric Soares 6: On for Ricardo in the 72nd minute, he didn’t have much time to get involved and did little of note.
Gonçalo Guedes 6: Replaced Bernardo in the 72nd minute, shot wide and overcooked a cross to Quaresma at the far post. Like most of his fellow substitutes, couldn’t get into the game and will hope to start against Belgium.
João Moutinho N/A: Replaced João Mário with 10 minutes remaining, tried to influence the game from a deep position in limited playing time.