UEFA Nations League - Group A3
Italy0Portugal0

Portugal into Nations League semi-finals after goalless draw at wasteful Italy

Bernardo Silva of Portugal (left) challenges Marco Verratti of Italy
Portugal are unbeaten in their five matches since the 2018 World Cup

Portugal sealed top spot in Group A3 and a place in the Nations League semi-finals courtesy of a hard-fought point against a wasteful Italy.

The home side had the best chances but were let down by their poor shooting and faded as the game went on.

The draw means Portugal cannot be overtaken at the top of the group.

With the second-placed Italians having played all four of their games, Portugal end their campaign at home to relegated Poland on Tuesday.

As well as a last-four spot in this inaugural Nations League, reigning European champions Portugal also have the safety net of a play-off game to reach the Euro 2020 finals, should they fail to do so via the traditional qualifying means.

Portugal will play their last-four tie (and possibly the final) on home soil after Uefa announced that the conclusion of the inaugural Nations League would be played in the country, at venues in Porto and Guimaraes in early June 2019.

Portugal beat Group A3 rivals Italy and Poland to claim hosting duties, which is expected to be confirmed by Uefa's Executive Committee at their meeting in Dublin on Monday 3 December - the same day that the draw for the finals takes place.

Ronaldo again absent as Chiellini hits 100

Fernando Santos' side were once again without their most capped player and record goalscorer, Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo, against the country in which he now plays his football.

The 33-year-old has not retired from the international game but is taking a break following the summer's World Cup in Russia and his move from Real Madrid to Juve.

His country missed him in Milan. Even with creative players such as Bernardo Silva, Ruben Neves and Andre Silva in the side, they failed to pose a significant threat to the hosts, particularly during a limp first half.

Home keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made just one significant save - albeit a brilliant one - from a long-range William Carvalho shot during an improved second-half showing from the visitors.

Giorgio Chiellini (second left) is honoured prior to play his 100th cap with the Italian national team
Chiellini was awarded with a statue before Saturday's game to mark his 100th cap

One factor that contributed to Portugal's lack of attacking edge was home defender Giorgio Chiellini, winning his 100th cap, making him the seventh Italian player to reach the milestone.

Captaining the team, he was typically excellent in his reading of the game and defensive duties - summed up by a superb tackle to block a shot from Bruma early in the game.

Italians with 100 international caps
PlayerPositionYearsCaps
Gianluigi BuffonGoalkeeper1997-2018176
Fabio CannavaroDefender1997-2010136
Paolo MaldiniDefender1988-2002126
Daniele de RossiMidfielder2004-2017117
Andrea PirloMidfielder2002-2015116
Dino ZoffGoalkeeper1968-1983112
Giorgio ChielliniDefender2004-present100

Unfortunately for the home side, they were found lacking at the other end of the pitch.

Ciro Immobile set the tone, side-footing over from close range after Rui Patricio had palmed out Lorenzo Insigne's long-range shot.

Other chances fell to Alessandro Florenzi, Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Chiesa but each contrived a way to miss the target and their belief in getting a positive result waned during a more predictable second half.

The only consolation for the Italians is that they have done enough over their four games to retain a place in the top tier of the Nations League.

Line-ups

Italy

  • 22Donnarumma
  • 16Florenzi
  • 19BonucciBooked at 72mins
  • 3Chiellini
  • 4Biraghi
  • 18Barella
  • 8JorginhoBooked at 54mins
  • 6VerrattiSubstituted forPellegriniat 81'minutes
  • 14ChiesaBooked at 85minsSubstituted forBerardiat 87'minutes
  • 17ImmobileSubstituted forLasagnaat 74'minutes
  • 10Insigne

Substitutes

  • 1Sirigu
  • 2De Sciglio
  • 5Gagliardini
  • 7Pellegrini
  • 9Lasagna
  • 11Berardi
  • 12Cragno
  • 13Acerbi
  • 15Rugani
  • 20Politano
  • 21Emerson
  • 23Grifo

Portugal

  • 1Rui Patrício
  • 2Cavaco CanceloBooked at 51mins
  • 6José Fonte
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 19Mário RuiBooked at 35mins
  • 20Afonso FernandesSubstituted forJoão Márioat 68'minutes
  • 14William Carvalho
  • 18NevesBooked at 32mins
  • 11Bernardo Silva
  • 23André SilvaSubstituted forDaniloat 90'minutes
  • 7Tué Na BangnaSubstituted forGuerreiroat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Novo Neto
  • 5Guerreiro
  • 8Renato Sanches
  • 9Macedo Lopes
  • 10João Mário
  • 13Danilo
  • 15Ferreira Silva
  • 16Bruno Fernandes
  • 17Gonçalo Guedes
  • 21Cédric Soares
  • 22Beto
Referee:
Danny Makkelie
Attendance:
73,000

Match Stats

Home TeamItalyAway TeamPortugal
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Italy 0, Portugal 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Italy 0, Portugal 0.

Attempt missed. João Cancelo (Portugal) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right. Assisted by João Mário.

Attempt blocked. Lorenzo Pellegrini (Italy) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin Lasagna with a headed pass.

Nicolò Barella (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by João Mário (Portugal).

Attempt saved. Lorenzo Pellegrini (Italy) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alessandro Florenzi with a cross.

Corner, Italy. Conceded by Danilo Pereira.

Substitution

Substitution, Portugal. Danilo Pereira replaces André Silva.

Substitution

Substitution, Italy. Domenico Berardi replaces Federico Chiesa.

Substitution

Substitution, Portugal. Raphael Guerreiro replaces Bruma.

Booking

Federico Chiesa (Italy) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Federico Chiesa (Italy).

Mário Rui (Portugal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Italy. Lorenzo Pellegrini replaces Marco Verratti.

Foul by Giorgio Chiellini (Italy).

André Silva (Portugal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Portugal. Conceded by Nicolò Barella.

Corner, Portugal. Conceded by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Attempt saved. William Carvalho (Portugal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. André Silva (Portugal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by João Mário.

Marco Verratti (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by João Mário (Portugal).

Substitution

Substitution, Italy. Kevin Lasagna replaces Ciro Immobile.

Attempt missed. João Mário (Portugal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by João Cancelo.

Booking

Leonardo Bonucci (Italy) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Mário Rui (Portugal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Bernardo Silva following a set piece situation.

Foul by Federico Chiesa (Italy).

João Cancelo (Portugal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Portugal. João Mário replaces Pizzi.

Federico Chiesa (Italy) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by William Carvalho (Portugal).

Attempt blocked. Mário Rui (Portugal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rúben Neves.

Attempt blocked. Nicolò Barella (Italy) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cristiano Biraghi with a cross.

Attempt blocked. João Cancelo (Portugal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by William Carvalho.

Offside, Italy. Lorenzo Insigne tries a through ball, but Ciro Immobile is caught offside.

Booking

Jorginho (Italy) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jorginho (Italy).

Bruma (Portugal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Lorenzo Insigne (Italy) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jorginho.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 17th November 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France42114407
2Netherlands32016246
3Germany301215-41

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium33007169
2Switzerland32019366
3Iceland4004113-120

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal32104227
2Italy41212205
3Poland301235-21

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain420212756
2England31114404
3Croatia311138-54

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine43015509
2Czech Rep310234-13
3Slovakia31025413

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Russia32104137
2Sweden31113304
3Turkey410347-33

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bos-Herze431051410
2Austria31111104
3Northern Ireland300315-40

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark32104137
2Wales42026516
3R. of Ireland301215-41

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Israel32014226
2Scotland32017256
3Albania410318-73

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Finland540151412
2Greece53024409
3Hungary52127617
4Estonia501438-51

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norway531152310
2Bulgaria531164210
3Cyprus512257-25
4Slovenia502347-32

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia532073411
2Romania52307349
3Montenegro52127527
4Lithuania5005212-100

M

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Georgia5410101913
2Kazakhstan51317526
3Latvia503226-43
4Andorra503229-73

N

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belarus532080811
2Luxembourg530210379
3Moldova522134-18
4San Marino5005014-140

O

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Kosovo5320112911
2Azerbaijan52307259
3Faroe Islands511349-54
4Malta5023413-92

P

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Macedonia5401105512
2Armenia530212669
3Gibraltar5203511-66
4Liechtenstein5104510-53
View full UEFA Nations League tables

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