Two goals by Sporting Lisbon’s Bruma helped Portugal beat Nigeria 3-2 in group B action at the U20 World Cup in Turkey.

Manager Edgar Borges fielded a starting XI with an attacking force of Aladje as the striker along side Bruma and FC Porto’s new signing Ricardo Pereira. Maritimo’s José Sá started in goal and made a number of outstanding saves at key periods of the match.

Benfica’s André Gomes started in midfield, alongside Sporting Lisbon’s João Mário and Belenenses’ Ricardo Alves. Noticeably missing from the match was Sporting’s central defender Tiago Ilori whose father is Nigerian.

After a nervous start by both clubs, the Seleção were the first to strike at the half-hour mark. Sporting Lisbon’s João Mário put Bruma in on goal and he made no mistake putting Portugal ahead. A few minutes later, the Nigerian goalkeeper mishandled a shot by Ricardo Pereira. Aladje was able to score easily on the rebound.

Portugal went into half-time with a comfortable 2-0 lead despite some defensive mistakes and careless giveaways by the midfield. The problems continued early in the second half and Nigeria made them pay. Abdul Ajagun would score in the 57th and 67th minute of play to even the score.

Nigeria’s hopes would soon be dashed when second half substitute Ricardo Esgaio set up Bruma for his second of the night. Edgar Borges’ team held on the rest of the way to open the U20 World Cup with a win.

Borges said after the match that he was happy with the victory, but stressed that the squad needs to minimize give aways and tighten up defensively. “I am very satisfied with the victory, but the truth is that it could have been an easier win. Nigeria are an excellent squad and caused us many problems,” Borges said.

“I would have prefered not to have conceded so many goals to the opposition, but we still did enough to win. The victory was entirely deserving.”

Portugal will play South Korea on Monday. A victory would assure them a position in the knock-out stage.

Related Posts:

PORTUGAL: Bruma Joins Squad That Will Represent Portugal At the U-20 World Cup

SCOUTING REPORT: Sporting Lisbon’s Dynamic Winger Bruma

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