Tunisia fight back to draw and expose Portugal's defensive weaknesses

By On May 30, 2018

Tunisia fight back to draw and expose Portugal's defensive weaknesses

Portugal Tunisia fight back to draw and expose Portugal’s defensive weaknesses

• Giroud on target as France beat Republic of Ireland in Paris
• Balotelli scores on return for Italy in win over Saudi Arabia

Tunisia’s Fakhredine Ben Youssef scores his side’s equaliser in Braga
Tunisia’s Fakhredine Ben Youssef scores his side’s equaliser in Braga. Photograph: Armando Franca/AP

Portugal’s defensive frailties were again exposed as England’s first group stage opponents Tunisia hit back from two goals behind to hold the European champions to a 2-2 draw in a World Cup warm-up on Mon day.

Portugal, who rested their captain and leading scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, after he played in Saturday’s Champions League final for Real Madrid, went ahead through Andrá Silva’s header from Ricardo Quaresma’s pinpoint cross in the 22nd minute.

The midfielder João Mário doubled the lead when he rifled in a shot from outside the penalty area and Portugal, who face Spain, Morocco and Iran in their World Cup group, seemed to be in control.

The cracks began to appear five minutes later, however, when Anice Badri was left alone inside the penalty area to fire past Anthony Lopes and pull one back for Tunisia who face England on 18 June in Volgograd.

Portugal’s defence imploded in their previous game, a 3-0 friendly defeat by the Netherlands in March, and gave their coach, Fernando Santos, more cause for concern in the 64th minute.

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They failed to clear a free-k ick properly and, when the ball was played back in, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef got between four defenders to slide the ball home with the hosts appealing in vain for offside.

Elsewhere Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir staked their claims for France’s World Cup opener as they struck to condemn the Republic of Ireland to a 2-0 friendly defeat amid a torrential Parisian downpour.

Chelsea’s Giroud scored from close range and then saw the keeper Colin Doyle’s howler hand Fekir a second before the half-time whistle sounded on a night when Didier Deschamps’ Russia-bound side turned in a slick display.

Mario Balotelli returned to Italy duty with a bang following a four-year absence as his first-half goal set the tone for a 2-1 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia in St Gallen.

  • Portugal
  • Tunisia
  • France
  • Republic of Ireland
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Source: Google News Portugal | Netizen 24 Portugal

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