Portugal ties with Israel 3 and aims to play the play-offs for the World
Portugal had an unsuspected savior in Tel Aviv. This time it was not Cristiano Ronaldo but Fabio Coentrao, that in the minute 93, in a bizarre move, rescued with his goal, the 3-3, one point for Portugal. The draw takes Paulo Bento's men away from the first place in Russia, that this Friday he will have the opportunity to become almost unattainable if he wins Northern Ireland, but at least avoid disaster: a defeat would have left the stage open for a World Cup without Cristiano, a catastrophe for football and advertising brands.
It can be said that Portugal did not deserve to lose. Had pride, was fierce and produced many more opportunities than Israel, but it was a calamity in defense (Pepe did not understand with Bruno Alves and the selection played with too much distance between the lines) and was unable to take advantage of Bruno Alves' initial goal. Israel overcame and tied in a phenomenal maneuver by Majorcan player Hemed, who shot the left half turn. Portugal took the initiative, but fell into the israeli trap, that let him dominate and came out with intelligence. Ben Basat shot Rui Patricio before the break in a counterattack and the situation became critical for Portugal in the minute 70: Gershon marked the 3-1 off a corner.
Paulo Bento, who initially played with the same system that led him to the semi-finals of the Eurocup (dynamic midfield with Veloso, Mourinho and Meireles) accumulated forwards and courage to try to turn the situation around. Hélder Postiga did the 3-2. Cristiano, that started from the left wing but then moved across the field (played the ninety minutes and ended up visibly tired), He tried to avoid the shipwreck but he was very vigilant. The Portuguese cargo was successful in discounting.
Coentrao, curiously raised in the same neighborhood as Postiga (Las Caxinas is in luck) went with faith to the area on a hanging ball that, predictably, should end up in the hands of Aouate. After touching the crossbar and rejecting on a defender, Coentrao pushed her almost involuntarily into the net and Portugal thus prevented her from choking her lunch. The world Cup, or at least the repechage, still possible.