Portugal defeat Qatar, earn progress to the Round of 16.
Action from the match between Qatar and Portugal during the FIFA U-20 World Cup which was held in Hamilton, New Zealand yesterday. Qatar will play their must-win final Group C clash at the same venue against Senegal on June 6.
By Our Correspondent/Hamilton, New Zealand
A brilliant double by striker Ivo yesterday helped Portugal crush Qatar 4-0 as the high-scoring Europeans cruised to a one-sided win at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Ivo found the net twice (42 and 66) - including a spectacular strike off a scissor kick - after Andrea Silva opened the scoring in the 34th minute of the Group C clash.
Substitute striker Joao Vigario added the fourth in the second half (74) as Portugal forced their way to the top of the group and a place in last 16 with their second successive win.
Portugal - coached by Helio Sousa - on Sunday hammered Senegal 3-0 to pick up maximum points from their first game.
Portugal have now scored 23 goals in their last eight U-20 World Cup games against just 10 from the rivals.
For Felix Sanchez-coached Qatar, it was their second successive loss in the tournament following their 1-0 defeat to Columbia at Waikato Stadium.
With their loss to Portugal on Wednesday, Qatar have now gone 395 minutes since they last scored against Russia at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1995.
In another Group C clash on Wednesday, a spirited Senegal side held South American giants Colombia to a 1-1 draw.
Portugal, who have shown a penchant for scoring goals in key games, on Wednesday dominated the play with their customary ball possession and set-piece moves in a game mostly played in pelting rain.
However, It was Qatar who snapped out of their cagey start with a flowing move when midfielder Akram Afifi escaped his marker and chipped a ball for midfielder Ahmed al-Sadi standing inside the Portugal box.
Al-Sadi went for a scissor kick but missed the ball as Portugal avoided an early alarm in the third minute.
Four minutes later Portugal's Rony Lopes curled in a beautiful corner which was smartly headed away by Qatar defender Salem al-Hajri. In the 10th minute, striker Jassim al-Jalabi curled in a beautiful ball from the half-line for al-Sadi who flicked one from inside the box but Portugal goalkeeper Andre Moreira blocked the move swiftly.
A couple of minutes later, al-Hajri blocked a well-timed shot from Portugal's Rafa right in front of the Qatari goalmouth to keep his side in the hunt.
In a clear attempt to control the game, Portugal forwards struck often in the first 20 minutes but Qatar defenders Fahad Shanin, Serigne Abdu and al-Hajri combined well to thwart the dangers.
In the 27th minute, Qatar recovered from a goalkeeping mistake just in time as striker Silva was denied an easy goal.
A gentle back pass by defender al-Hajri was quickly picked up by Silva as a panic-stricken Qatar goalkeeper Hassan charged out his box to clear the ball.
Metres out of his own box, Hassan dished out a sliding tackle but the goalkeeper slipped on the wet pitch allowing Silva a second shot at the goal.
Silva's shot was eventually blocked by al-Hajri who had swiftly returned to the box after his silly blunder seconds ago.
However, after dominating the play in the first half, Portugal produced a sublime field goal to open the scoring in the 34th minute. Forward Gelson Martins outran his marker close to the Qatari box before chipping one towards Silva with his left-foot.
Silva, who missed a chance to score a few minutes ago, arrived to meet the ball with a sliding left-footed deflection from close range.
Eight minutes from the first half, Silva attempted another deflection on a pass from Ivo but the Portuguese forward missed the target with the Qatari goalkeeper beaten by the flight of the ball.
Minutes later, Ivo scored a spectacular goal in the 42nd minute.
Midfielder Rony Lopes fired a cross from the left flank which was deflected by a Qatari defender inside his own box. The unintended deflection lobbed towards Chico Ramos who headed the ball in the direction of Ivo standing a few meters away.
In one swift move, the 20-year-old produced a scissor kick to slot the looping ball home.
In a spirited move moments into the second half, Qatar forward Almoez Ali hoodwinked his marker and fired in a low ball towards the Portugal net but his shot missed the target.
Minutes later, Silva produced a snap-header from close range but Qatar goalkeeper Hassan dived to his right to pouch the ball.
To assert their dominance over Qatar, Portugal hammered their third goal courtesy Ivo who headed home on a looping pass from Nuno Santos in the 66th minute.
Vigario added a fourth in the 74th minute with a deft touch into the Qatar net after a goalmouth melee.
Qatar will play their must-win final Group C clash at the same venue against Senegal on June 6.
The same day, Portugal will clash against Colombia in Dunedin.
Gulf Times Newspaper 2015 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).