Portugal Squeak By

I sat down to the Portugal match fully expecting to see something like the usual 6-0 thrashing they generally serve up to Angola. The Angolans understandably hate their former colonizers and there’s usually plenty of fire and red cards. Portugal don’t just beat them, they humiliate them. Today’s match was a comparatively listless 1-0 for the Portuguese.

It looked like it was going to be brutal when Portugal scored after 4 minutes, but the match bogged down after that, and Portugal once again seemed content to back off the gas a bit once they felt they did enough to win. The three points should have never been in doubt in this match, but they left Angola with every chance to steal a result, right up to the whistle.

Portugal took the points, so it doesn’t matter if it was 1-0 or 20-0, but if I’m a Portugal fan I’m starting to worry about it being deja vu all over again. They are supposed to play with the South American style, with flash and flare. Instead, they seem only to have mastered the South American Achilles heel–they walk on the pitch as if the game was already won and the match is just a formality.

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