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Portugal vs Switzerland: three most memorable meetings

On Tuesday night, Portugal and Switzerland will meet at Lusail Iconic Stadium, with a place in the World Cup quarter-finals on the line.

This’ll be the 26th time these two nations have gone head-to-head, two of which came earlier this year.

During the summer’s UEFA Nations League schedule, the Swiss were hammered 4-0 at Estádio José Alvalade, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice.

But, exactly a week later, Murat Yakın’s team got revenge, prevailing 1-0 in Geneva, with Haris Seferović’s winner coming after just 54 seconds.

Neither of those quite made the cut, so here’s a a look back at the three most memorable matches between Portugal and Switzerland.

Portugal vs Switzerland: Head to head record.

Portugal wins: 11. Switzerland wins: 9. Draws: 5.

Portugal vs Switzerland: last six meetings

5 June 2022: Portugal 4-0 Switzerland. UEFA Nations League. Estádio José Alvalade.

5 June 2019: Portugal 3-1 Switzerland. UEFA Nations League semi-final. Estádio do Dragão.

10 October 2017. Portugal 2-0 Switzerland. World Cup qualifier. Estádio da Luz.

6 September 2016. Switzerland 2-0 Portugal. World Cup qualifier. St. Jakob-Park.

15 June 2008. Switzerland 2-0 Portugal. European Championships group stage. St. Jakob-Park.

Portugal 3-1 Switzerland: UEFA Nations League 2019

Back in June 2019, these two teams met in the very first UEFA Nations League semi-final, a tournament Portugal hosted.

Those inside Estádio do Dragão were treated to VAR drama and a Cristiano Ronaldo masterclass.

The Swiss equalised via a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty, given by video review, when Portugal themselves thought they had a spot-kick of their own.

But, the night belonged to Ronaldo; he broke the deadlock with a direct free-kick goal, one of just ten he’s scored at international level.

Then, with the extra time looming, he fired an 88th minute winner, before completing his hat-trick with a trademark chop and finish mere seconds from kick off.

A Seleção would be crowned the inaugural Nations League winners four nights later, adding to Ronaldo’s bulging trophy collection.

Portugal 2-0 Switzerland: World Cup qualifier 2017

World Cup qualifiers, particularly for heavyweight UEFA sides, are often easily forgettable, but this certainly wasn’t the case here.

Just 58 days after Portugal were crowned European champions in Paris, they began World Cup qualification with a 2-0 defeat in Basel; Breel Embolo and Admir Mehmedi on target.

Then, remarkably, both Portugal and Switzerland won their subsequent eight qualifiers, meaning they remained three points apart, going into their final night showdown in Lisbon.

With only the group winners qualifying for Russia 2018 automatically, Fernando Santos’ side simply had to win, or they’d face the play-offs.

On an incredibly nervy night at Estádio da Luz, an unfortunate Johan Djourou own goal, followed by André Silva’s clincher, ensured Portugal were going to the World Cup.

The Swiss dropped into the play-off where they, just about, ousted Northern Ireland, thanks to a very controversial penalty.

Portugal 1-2 Switzerland: World Cup qualifier 1938

Fire up the DeLorean! Were going back to 1938, for Portugal and Switzerland’s first-ever meeting.

With the third edition of the World Cup kicking off in just four weeks time, the identity of the 16 teams taking part isn’t yet known.

On 1 May, with the competition kicking off on 4 June, these two nations meet at Arena Civica in Milan for a winner takes all clash.

Switzerland raced into an early 2-0 lead, Georges Aeby and Lauro Amadò scoring just two minutes apart.

Portugal were then awarded a penalty, but João Cruz failed to convert, before Fernando Peyroteo did score from 12 yards, giving his team hope, but a comeback didn’t materialise.

Given that this game took place 84 years ago, no footage exists, so only the 20,000 in attendance can give an accurate recollection.

At the finals, Switzerland beat Germany in a replay, before falling to Hungary in the quarter-finals, which still, to this day, represents their joint-best run at the tournament.

Portugal meantime didn’t make their World Cup debut until 1966, finishing third, which is also their best display in the competition.


Picture of Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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