Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alamy Stock Photo
Three and easy

Late Fernandes brace helps Portugal ease to 3-0 Euro qualifying win

Bernardo Silva opened the scoring just before the break against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

BRUNO FERNANDES SCORED a late brace as Portugal eased to a 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday to maintain their perfect record in Euro 2024 qualifying.

Bernardo Silva opened the scoring just before the break at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, and Manchester United star Fernandes headed in the second with 13 minutes remaining.

He then got his second, and Portugal’s third, in stoppage time and Portugal have now scored 13 goals and conceded none while winning their opening three matches in Group J.

As a result they sit top of the six-team section, two points clear of Slovakia and five above Luxembourg, with the top two sides advancing to next year’s finals in Germany.

Roberto Martinez’s Portugal side visit Iceland on Tuesday when another victory will take the Euro 2016 winners a step closer to securing qualification.

Cristiano Ronaldo wore the captain’s armband and played all 90 minutes as the 38-year-old men’s international appearance record-holder won his 199th cap.

However, the forward now playing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia did not manage to add to his record 122 international goals — he found the net with a header midway through the first half only to be denied by an offside flag.

Instead Silva, who helped Manchester City win the Champions League last weekend, opened the scoring a minute before the interval, finishing first-time after Ronaldo and Fernandes combined to set him up.

Bosnia, with 37-year-old Edin Dzeko leading their attack, could not find an equaliser and Portugal struck again on 77 minutes as Fernandes headed in unmarked from a Ruben Neves cross.

Fernandes then sealed Portugal’s victory when he controlled on his chest at the edge of the box and finished on the half-volley.

– © AFP 2023

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