Newly-crowned Nations League champions Portugal will look to get their Euro 2020 qualification campaign on track when they face Serbia in Belgrade on Saturday. Fernando Santos‘s side may have picked up their second piece of silverware in the space of three years over the summer, but they are winless in Group B and need to turn things around if they are to qualify for the defence of their European Championship crown via those means.
FULL TIME: Portugal 4-2 Serbia
Goals Detail: Portugal
William Carvalho 42′
Goncalo Guedes 58′
Cristiano Ronaldo 80′
Bernardo Silva 86′
Goals Detail: Serbia
Nikola Milenkovic 68′
Aleksandar Mitrovic 85′
June’s Nations League triumph may not have surpassed Euro 2016 as the greatest moment in Portugal’s football history, but their 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final is nevertheless another trophy in a cabinet which, before 2016, was conspicuously empty.
Santos’s side can justifiably consider themselves among the leading nations in world football right now, then, which has made their start to qualifying all the more disappointing.
The reigning European Championship holders have drawn both games so far, and both at home too having been held to a goalless stalemate by Ukraine and then a 1-1 draw in the reverse meeting with Serbia in March.
Portugal therefore find themselves fourth of five teams in Group B – behind Ukraine, Luxembourg and Serbia – and even maximum points from their upcoming double-header against Serbia and Lithuania would not be enough for them to catch the leaders at this stage.