Football

Gomes: We expected more from Ronaldo

Teammate Gomes admits his team were expecting more from Portugal's talisman

SEMI-FINAL

PORTUGAL v WALES

(Tomorrow, 2.50am, Singtel TV Ch 142 & StarHub TV Ch 220 - Eleven EURO)

Cristiano Ronaldo has underperformed at Euro 2016.

That was the frank assessment of his Portugal teammate Andre Gomes ahead of their semi-final clash with Wales tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Said the Valencia midfielder: "It's not a moment to talk about individuals. Cristiano works for the group, which is the important thing. We are 23 players.

"He's scored two goals - probably we were expecting more, it's true.

"But it's not the moment to put pressure on a player and place him in doubt, because he has demonstrated his quality and is working for the group."

Ironically, the 22-year-old's words are likely to put his team's talisman under greater scrutiny in a tournament where he has arguably only shone in a 3-3 group-stage draw with Hungary.

His team haven't fared much better, scraping through the group stage without winning a match.

In the knockout rounds, Portugal have yet to win a match in 90 minutes.

They beat Croatia in injury time with an extra-time goal, which was the game's first shot on target, before needing penalties to dispatch Poland in the quarter-finals.

After their win over Poland, coach Fernando Santos said: "Would I like us to be pretty? Yes.

"But between being pretty and being at home, or ugly and being here, I prefer to be ugly."

His sentiment was echoed by 80-cap former national goalkeeper Vitor Baia, who said his country should be proud of the efficient team performances Ronaldo and Co have churned out.

He wrote in his column for Portuguese sports newspaper Record: "Portugal have been heavily criticised for the not-very-sparkling football they have played - and it is true.

"They have not been as seductive as they were even a short time ago.

"But it has been efficient and we should be proud because now we see a team.

"We can even see Ronaldo becoming dependent on the others and not the other way around."

WEAPONS

While Portugal's big gun Ronaldo has yet to fire, Gomes believes his team have the weapons to see off Wales.

He said: "I know Gareth Bale from the Spanish league. I also played against British teams in the past, so I know their style.

"They are very strong physically, they've got a very good team. We are preparing to face a very strong Wales team.

"They attack very well. I think they counter-attack very well as well.

"But we will use our weapons to beat them on Wednesday."

Goalkeeper Rui Patricio also highlighted Wales' strength in attack. He told Uefa's official website: "We're up against the top-scoring team in this tournament.

"That means they're a very strong side offensively, very well organised.

"The strength of this Welsh team is without doubt their togetherness."

- Wire Services.


BY THE NUMBERS

goals

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored two goals in only 13 knockout games at major tournaments.

sportsFootballANDRE GOMEScristiano ronaldoUncategorisedEuro 2016europeWales