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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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The teams are below. The big news is that Pepe is absent from the Portugal starting XI.

keano

Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane says he is “envious” of what Wales have done at the Euros.

“I didn’t think they were great (in the early stages),” continues Keane.

“They must have great confidence and self-belief.

“I think it’s the toughest game they’re gonna have in the tournament.”

“Any team with Ronaldo is going to have a chance.”

3Mins

Wales start confidently with plenty of possession but then Joe Allen gives it away sloppily to Ronaldo.

However, the Real Madrid star is tackled well by Ashley Williams as he runs towards the box.

6Mins

Portugal probe before Joao Mario plays the ball straight out of play.

The occasional inspirational Ronaldo moment aside, Portugal have been underwhelming in this tournament in the final third so far.

10Mins

Wales have looked a little nervous in recent minutes, sloppily giving the ball away on a few occasions

They looked as if the occasion got to them against England in the group stages — Chris Coleman will be hoping the same doesn’t occur tonight.

11Mins

Collins beats Ronaldo to a header.

The Real Madrid star isn’t happy, and replays suggest he has a point — the defender had his arm around his opponent there.

15Mins

Both sides are cancelling each other out at the moment.

It’s been tight and tense, with no clear-cut chances yet.

17Mins

Joao Mario drags a shot just wide from the edge of the box after decent, intricate build-up play.

Portugal just starting to show signs now that they’re beginning to click in attack.

18Mins

Bale finds a bit of space for the first time in the game.

He drives towards the box and his cross is deflected off Fonte for a corner.

19Mins

Decent move by Wales from the corner.

With Portugal expecting a delivery into the box, Ledley instead squares it to Bale on the edge of the area, and the Real Madrid star fires just over.

23Mins

Another driving run by Bale as he evades the challenge of clubmate Ronaldo.

His cross narrowly evades the onrushing King, as Rui Patricio collects it gratefully.

Moments later, the goalkeeper is forced into action again, as he does well to catch a powerful Bale strike.

25Mins

Great turn by Robson-Kanu to escape his marker.

Again, King narrowly fails to get on the end of the subsequent cross by the striker.

30Mins

Decent spell of possession for Portugal, but it ends with Cedric blasting well over.

They haven’t looked like being able to open up Wales yet.

32Mins

Another misplaced pass, this time by Joe Allen, brings a Wales attack to an abrupt end.

It’s been a very cagey start to the match, with both sides reluctant to take risks.

38Mins

Still little in the way of goalmouth action.

Portugal have been passing the ball around patiently, but mostly sideways or backwards in recent minutes.

41Mins

It’s almost as if both sides are waiting for something to happen.

It already feels as if we might have to prepare for extra-time and penalties.

45Mins

Half-chance, as Ronaldo heads wide.

Chester went up with him and seemed to do enough to put his opponent off.

45Mins

So half-time, and it’s been disappointing so far in terms of entertainment.

The fact that there has been just one shot on target (by Gareth Bale) in the entire match thus far says it all.

Neither side has looked capable of breaking the other team down in an extremely cagey affair.

Portugal have had more possession and territory, though Wales have looked sharp occasionally in attack.

With at least 45 minutes left to play, this game is very much there for the taking as far as both sides are concerned.

49Mins

Joe Allen brings down Silva as Portugal earn a free kick about 50 yards from goal.

The second half has continued in a scrappy, stop-start fashion.

51Mins

Out of nothing, Portugal score!

A corner is flighted into the box and Ronaldo evades Chester before heading home powerfully to give his side the lead.

54Mins

Suddenly, Wales have a mountain to climb.

Ronaldo’s innocuous shot is deflected into the net by Nani to double Portugal’s advantage.

55Mins

Wales are set to make a change in reaction to that setback.

Vokes is set to come on…

58Mins

It’s an adventurous move by Wales.

Defensive midfielder Joe Ledley is replaced by Sam Vokes, with Wales set to go two up top.

63Mins

Wales break and Bale chips it through to Vokes.

However, the striker can’t quite bring the ball down, allowing Alves to intercept.

Down the other end, Ronaldo’s free kick shaves the crossbar.

64Mins

Wales make another change, as Church replaces Robson-Kanu.

Coleman’s side are going for broke now.

66Mins

Big chance! Hennessy parries Nani’s shot right into the path of Joao Mario, who shoots just wide.

Meanwhile, Wales make a final change — midfielder Jonathan Williams is on for defender James Collins. Looks like they’ll go four at the back now.

71Mins

There is an air of desperation to Wales’ play now. They’re giving the ball away needlessly and not attacking with any real conviction.

Coleman’s team need a miracle to stay in the tournament now.

74Mins

Chester heads an inswinging free-kick from Bale just over. Portugal look very comfortable at the back right now.

Teenager Renato Sanches is replaced by Andre Gomes, as Fernando Santos’ side look to see this game out.

77Mins

Bale misplaces a pass as another Welsh attack stutters to a halt.

Moments later, the Real Madrid star shoots from distance straight at Rui Patricio.

He has looked almost too anxious to make an impression tonight.

79Mins

Hennessy just about gathers Danilo’s shot inside the box at the second attempt.

Portugal make another change as Adrien Silva is replaced by Joao Moutinho.

80Mins

Excellent attempt from Bale as Patricio is forced to parry his long-range effort this time.

Can that inspire Wales to launch a late rally?

87Mins

Wales have Portugal pinned back into their own half, but they don’t look like scoring.

As I type, Ronaldo is played through — he rounds Hennessy, but can only find the side-netting from a tight angle.

Meanwhile, Nani is replaced by Quaresma.

88Mins

Even without their main man, Pepe, Portugal have been very well organised at the back tonight.

Fernando Santos certainly knows how to organise a team.

90Mins

There will be three minutes of stoppage time…

91Mins

A Ronaldo free kick hits the wall.

The Wales fans are still in fine voice despite their imminent exit.

90Mins

So that’s that. Wales are out and Portugal have finally won a game in 90 minutes in this competition.

Two quick-fire goals from Nani and Ronaldo won it, as Wales huffed and puffed but badly missed the creativity of Aaron Ramsey in midfield.

Ultimately, Portugal’s big-game experience was apparent, as they showed a bit more nous and clinical finishing to progress.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll have more reaction coming up shortly.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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