Portugal haven’t failed to reach the World Cup since 1998 but their qualification over the past 20 years hasn’t always been straightforward. The Seleção have required play-offs to reach two of the past three World Cups and it’s no difference for 2022.
Fernando Santos’ men were favourites to top Group A in qualifying and went into the final game in control. However, a 2-1 defeat to Serbia, courtesy of an injury-time winner from Aleksandar Mitrovic, condemned Portugal to second and sent the Eagles through as group winners. Had Portugal even managed a draw, they would have earned the automatic spot in Group A on goal difference, rather than face the play-offs.
The draw wasn’t kind to them either, with the potential to face Italy in the final, meaning one big nation could be watching the 2022 World Cup from home. But they first need to get past a Turkey side that will be looking to make it to back-to-back major tournaments for just the second time (and what would be a third World Cup appearance).
Turkey started qualifying for the World Cup in excellent fashion, beating Netherlands 4-2 and Norway 3-0, earning tips as the dark horses for Euro 2020. Although they fell out of the tournament without a point at the group stage, they managed to pick things up in World Cup qualifying to finish second behind Netherlands with just one defeat – a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Netherlands that essentially decided the group.
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Portugal vs Turkey: Match Stats
Cristiano Ronaldo scores goals. That’s all you really need to know. When Portugal need him, Ronaldo usually steps up and is the highest scoring player in men’s international football, hitting 115 goals – including six in his past five.
If you don’t want to miss any action in Portugal vs Turkey then you might want to make sure you’re in your seat for kick-off, whether that’s in the stadium, pub or in front of your TV at home. Six of Turkey’s past eight games have seen a goal scored inside the opening 15 minutes.
19 April 1965 – Turkey 0-1 Portugal – World Cup qualifying
Portugal have beat Turkey in six of the eight meetings between these two sides but they didn’t win the first or the last. It’s been almost 10 years since Portugal and Turkey last faced off, in a friendly ahead of Euro 2012, with an Umut Bulut brace and Pepe’s own goal helping Abdullah Avci’s side to a 3-1 win in Lisbon.