Portugal complied with the procedure and beat a Croatia 2-3 in Split on Tuesday that played almost the entire second half with ten.
Kovacic and Ruben Dias achieved a double, in a bland match where neither team could do anything to advance to the Final 4 of the Nations League, a position that France had already secured.
Portugal threatened in the first place on the edge of the first quarter of an hour, with a very active Bruno Fernandes, who served from the left for the exatlético and now at Liverpool Diogo Jota, who finished off with a head.
Modric’s Croatia answered in the 20th minute with a shot from the Atalanta Pasalic player, who narrowly missed the goal.
And nine minutes later, former Chelsea player Mateo Kovacic was in charge of opening the scoring after a defensive failure by Portugal that Rui Patrício cleared and managed to finish off the Croatian half at the back of the net.
Croatia squeezed the selection of “las quinas” by Cristiano and Joao Félix, which even found it difficult to leave the center of the field.
In the 37th, a new clear opportunity for Croatia, this time for the Legia de Varsovia side Juranovic, who only in the area and without a mark threw it out after a good pass from Iván Perisic.
At halftime in the last match of the Nations League group stage, with both teams having no chance to advance to the finals, Croatia showed better form than the current defending champions.
In the locker room, Fernando Santos made a move, left Bruno Fernandes on the bench and gave Barcelona player Francisco Trincão entrance to look for more depth on the sides.
And the first opportunity was for City center-back Rúben Dias, who headed a ball from João Moutinho.
The 51st minute was key to the evolution of the game, as Cagliari midfielder Marko Rog received the second warning and was sent off.
A minute later, Ruben Dias headed in the area again a free shot by the Portuguese team, which this time did find a goal and led to a 1-1 draw. In addition, the Portuguese central launched his scoring account with the Portugal team.
The second of the Portuguese arrived in 1960, not without controversy and with many memories for the absence of VAR.
Ruben Dias shifted the ball for Jota, who controlled with his hand and assisted to mark Viseu João Félix’s mattress pearl.
However, when the match seemed doomed with an outnumbered Croatia, Mateo Kovacic scored again, this time in 64, with a shot from outside the area that slipped past the post and thus made the tie at two.
And when everything seemed to end in a draw, once again Rúben Dias scored again, after a corner kick in the 90th minute in which he certified the final 2-3.
After the match, the regular phase of Group 3 concludes, where France has been the leader and goes to the Final 4 of the League of Nations.
– Data sheet:
2 – Croatia: Dominik Livakovic; Domagoj Bradaric; Josip Juranovic, Dejan Lovren, Mile Skoric; Luka Modric, Marko Rog, Mateo Kovacic (Toma Basic, in. 91), Mario Pasalic (Josip Brekalo, min. 64); Ivan Perisic, Nikola Vlasic (Sérgio Oliveira, min. 84).
3 – Portugal: Rui Patrício; Nélson Semedo, Rúben Dias, Rúben Semedo and Mário Rui (Cancelo, min. 71; Danilo (Sérgio Oliveira, min. 77), João Moutinho and Bruno Fernandes (Trincão, min. 45); João Félix (Bernardo Silva, min. 71 ), Diogo Jota (Paulinho, min. 77) and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Goals: 0-1, m. 29: Kovacic; 1-1, min. 52: Rúben Dias; 1-2, min, 60: João Félix; 2-2, min 64: Mateo Kovacic; 2-3, min. 90: Rúben Dias.
Referee: Michael Oliver (England). He admonished Perisic and sent Marko Rog off for Croatia and admonished Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal.
Incidents: match corresponding to the group stage of the League of Nations played without an audience at the Poljud Stadium in Split (Croatia).
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