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One man singled out as to blame as fans forced to face up to possible World Cup without Cristiano Ronaldo

One man singled out as to blame as fans forced to face up to possible World Cup without Cristiano Ronaldo

 

Football fans from across the globe have taken aim at Portugal national team boss Fernando Santos on Sunday night.

Mitrovic at the death

Santos of course guided his side back into action a short time ago.

In their 8th and final group stage outing, Portugal welcomed Serbia to the Estadio da Luz, aware that anything other than a defeat would ensure their spot at next’s year’s World Cup.

In turn, when Renato Sanches opened the evening’s scoring inside three minutes, the hosts’ road to Qatar looked firmly on course:

Serbia, however, had other ideas…

First, shortly after the half-hour mark, Dusan Tadic’s deflected effort from the edge of the area somehow managed to squeeze past Rui Patricio in the Portuguese net.

Then, as proceedings rolled into injury-time, the telling moment of not only the night, but the Group A campaign as a whole, was forthcoming.

After the ball was whipped to the back post, substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic was on hand to nod home what ultimately proved to be the winner, sparking manic celebrations amongst the visiting players and support alike:

Santos slammed

As unbridled joy spread across Serbia this evening, however, on the flip side of things, Portuguese hearts collectively shattered.

After coming within minutes of a guaranteed spot at the 2022 World Cup, A Selecao will now need to navigate their way through the playoffs, set to get underway next March.

Ahead of their qualification campaign getting underway, such an outcome was viewed as essentially out of the question for Santos’ men, with Portugal of course boasting one of world football’s deepest and most talented international squads.

In turn, on the back of the action coming to a close in Lisbon, it should come as little surprise to hear of one man and one man only being singled out for widespread blame…

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