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Rampant Portugal thrash Sweden without Ronaldo

Rampant Portugal thrash Sweden without Ronaldo


Roberto Martinez's Portugal dismantled Sweden 5-2 in a friendly ahead of European Championships

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Guimaraes (Portugal) (AFP) – Roberto Martinez's Portugal dismantled Sweden 5-2 in a friendly ahead of this summer's European Championships without talisman striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United hitman, 39, was rested by Martinez but his team strolled to an easy victory regardless in Guimaraes. Rafael Leao, Matheus Nunes and Bruno Fernandes all struck for the rampant hosts in the first half.

Bruma and Goncalo Ramos added to Portugal's tally after the break, while Sweden attackers Viktor Gyokeres and Gustaf Nilsson netted at the other end. "I really liked the commitment and very good spirit," said Martinez, who has 11 wins from 11 matches at the helm.

However the Spanish coach was not impressed with conceding twice. "It's a friendly, but I didn't like giving two goals away in the way we did," he added.

Sweden, who failed to reach Euro 2024, were largely woeful in new coach Jon Dahl Tomasson's first match in charge -- the former Denmark international became the country's first foreign-born coach when he was appointed in February.

Euro 2016 champions Portugal showed why they are among the favourites again this year. AC Milan winger Leao smashed home the opener into the top corner after Bernardo Silva hit the post after 24 minutes.

Manchester City midfielder Nunes netted an excellent second soon after, slicing open the defence and tucking home at the near post.

Nelson Semedo set up the third goal, putting the ball on a plate for Bruno Fernandes to finish from close range for his 20th international goal.

The Manchester United playmaker turned provider for the fourth goal, teeing up Bruma to roll home.

Gyokeres, top scorer in Portugal with Sporting Lisbon, pulled one back for Sweden soon afterwards, but Goncalo Ramos quickly pounced at the other end, with Portugal razor sharp on the counter-attack.

Debutant Jota Silva should have added a sixth in his home stadium but Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen denied him from point-blank range.

Sweden pulled one back in stoppage time with towering striker Nilsson heading home Dejan Kulusevski's cross. Portugal, who won all 10 of their qualifying matches for Euro 2024, face Slovenia in another friendly on Tuesday.

"I'll give everything to get a place on the final list," said Wolves defender Semedo, who impressed. "It was a great game from us, we managed to score five, but there are things to improve because we let in two.

"We have to improve things in terms of control, controlling the ball and the game more."