Friday, June 30, 2017

Bravo to Portugal's penalty skills

What I most liked about the Confederations Cup semifinals was to see Portugal's arrogance humiliated. After playing like they had done during the Euro against Chile (pulling a lucky 0-0) they hoped that penalty kicks would carry them to the final, but it was not to be because of a surprising Claudio Bravo (I have never been a fan of him, but thank him for what he did against Portugal. He must have been taking lessons from Willy Caballero) and not least, Portugal's own stupidity.
The manager Fernando Santos made three substitutions (Quaresma, Moutinho and Nani) and these three players all missed their penalties to end it all for Portugal. But even stranger was to not have Cristiano Ronaldo take the first penalty: that is often the case, like Messi in the Copa America final against Chile in 2016, as the captain he stepped up, but only to miss.
So why did Ronaldo not shoot?
Perhaps he did not feel like it. Or perhaps he wanted the glory of shooting the winner. Or simply Portugal was trying something new...
No matter what, it seems arrogant, and Portugal lost as much because of themselves as because of Bravo's skills.
And that is the best thing about the Confederations Cup.
Chile will face Germany, who was nice to Mexico by only defeating them 4-1. At least the Mexicans will avoid Chile, who defeated them 7-0 last time they met in a competitive match!

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