Manchester United attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes was the hero in the FIFA World Cup play-off between Portugal and North Macedonia on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
As expected, Portugal’s national team dominated the game in all ramifications but North Macedonia gave it a fair fight to prevent a whitewash.
After a series of attempts to break the defense of a resilient North Macedonia side, Portugal’s talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo showed some brilliance and provided an assist for Bruno Fernandes to score the opening goal in the 32nd minute.
Afterward, Portugal continued to ask more questions same as North Macedonia but all their efforts could not create another goal in the first half.
In the second half, North Macedonia continued to prove stubborn but could not contain the firepower of the Portuguese side. Hence, in the 65th minute, the Portuguese side doubled their lead thanks to Diego Jota’s assist which Fernandes took full advantage of to make it 2-0.
After the goal, the two European teams could not do much. Portugal continued to make effort to score more goals but were not able to break the defense of their visitors again.
After 90 minutes of football, the hosts recorded 11 shots, three of which were on target, two resulted in goals. While Macedonia only recorded three shots with no shot on target.
Aside from the shots, Portugal showed their dominance in the game by recording 65 percent of the ball possession, making 600 passes, and having 87 percent pass accuracy.
On the other hand, North Macedonia had 35 percent of the ball possession, made 337 passes, and recorded 76 percent pass accuracy.
Ahead of the play-off final in Porto, most football enthusiasts were expecting that North Macedonia will make another upset by defeating Portugal.
Recall that in the semi-finals of the play-off, Macedonia stunned the reigning European champions Italy 1-0 to end their dream of winning a ticket to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Unfortunately for North Macedonia, they faced Bruno Fernandes in the final of the play-off who was in the form of his life. Hence, they bowed out of the race to Qatar 2-0 in favor of Portugal.
What is the stats of Bruno Fernandes?
Bruno Fernandes is an attacking midfielder but has a very good goalscoring record for both his club, Manchester United and his country, Portugal.
Since he made his international debut on November 10, 2017, the 27-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder has scored 8 goals in 42 games.
Recall that Fernandes left Lisbon for Manchester United on January 29, 2020, for a transfer fee worth €63 million. Before he left the Portuguese club, Fernandes scored 63 goals and provided 52 assists in 137 games in all competitions.
Since Bruno Fernandes joined Manchester United, he has scored 49 goals and provided 39 assists in 117 games in all competitions. So far this season, the Portugal international has played 37 games in which he scored 9 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions.
Fernandes’ contract with Manchester United will expire on June 30, 2025. Even though he still has over three seasons left on his contract with Manchester United, the Premier League side is reportedly set to renew his contract.
Magic moment for Bruno Fernandes. Two key goals for Portugal, World Cup secured – then he’ll be fly back to England in order to sign his new contract with Man United. 🔴🇵🇹 #MUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 29, 2022
New deal until June 2027 has been fully agreed, set to be signed and announced in the coming days. pic.twitter.com/XSTioxCfdZ