Costa debut goal sinks Scotland

- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, Glasgow

Oct 16, 2018-

Helder Costa marked his Portugal debut with a goal as the European champions eased to a 3-1 friendly win over Scotland on Sunday.

Wolves forward Costa opened the scoring late in the first half at Hampden Park. And despite the absence of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Santos’s side wrapped up a comfortable victory when Eder and Bruma netted in the second half. Ronaldo has been left out of the Portugal squad while he fights to clear his name following allegations of rape, which he strongly denies.

Besiktas defender Pepe and Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva were allowed to return to their clubs as Santos made a host of changes from the Nations League victory in Poland on Thursday. Stung by an embarrassing 2-1 Nations League defeat against Israel on Thursday, Scotland were more competitive against quality opposition. Steven Naismith got one back for Scotland in stoppage-time. But Alex McLeish’s team were left to rue missed chances that could have turned the tide against Portugal.

The visitors’ burst of pressure was rewarded in the 43rd minute. Kevin Rodrigues whipped in a low cross and Costa held off Andy Robertson’s challenge before firing home.

Bruno Fernandes was denied by Gordon, but Lokomotiv Moscow striker Eder killed off the Scots in the 74th minute. Rising to meet a Renato Sanches free-kick, Eder was unchecked by the Scotland defence as he headed past Gordon.

Bruma put the seal on Portugal’s commanding display when he struck in the 84th minute after Jack Hendry carelessly lost possession. Naismith’s curler with virtually the last kick of the contest was little consolation for Scotland.

Published: 16-10-2018 10:36

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