After a goalless first half which Cristiano Ronaldo watched from the bench, Portugal coach Fernando Santos sent his captain in, and the Real Madrid star got the job done, giving the European champions the much needed lead in the 63rd minute.
Ronaldo was involved in Portugal’s second goal as well in Andorra, late in the game, the one that put the match to bed, and set Portugal up for a ‘final’ against Switzerland on Tuesday, in Lisbon. A win there, even by just… half a goal, and they finish first in the group.
I thought a lot. I thought, well, Ronaldo did not train 100 per cent in two of the days of work. There were many factors that led to this decision. Games are complicated, I tried to manage and do what was best. Whether it was questionable or not… we ended up winning and that’s what matters
Santos told RTP after the match in Andorra, explaining his decision to leave Ronaldo on the bench. The Portuguese captain had to be extra careful in the second half, as a yellow card would have cost him his participation in the vastly important game against Switzerland.