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Bad performance and no record for Roberto Martinez

Bad performance and no record for Roberto Martinez

In the twelfth match, Roberto Martinez suffered his first defeat as head of the national team. Portugal lost to Slovenia 2-0 in a disappointing performance and far below what the team did in corner kicks under the leadership of the new coach. Thus, the Spaniard was unable to equal the record of 12 consecutive victories that he achieved at the helm of the Belgium national team in the last preparatory match before the final squad list for Euro 2024.

Roberto Martinez returns to a back three, joining Danilo, Gonzalo Inacio and Pepe. Vitinha was also new to the midfield, alongside Ruben Neves, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix returned to the Portuguese eleven. The national team had a lot of possession in the first half, and with the full-backs open, they were able to create interesting dynamics in the midfield, but creating clear scoring opportunities did not happen. Portugal lacked sharpness and some recklessness, and CR7's inclusion in the lineup didn't help the team much. The striker was often seen in midfield and attempted some dribbling and dribbling, to no avail, resulting in several losing the ball and stopping attacking moves.

Needing to turn the game around, Roberto Martinez rested Pepe at half-time and brought on Antonio Silva. National coach Francisco Conceicao also marked the Spaniard's seventh appearance at the helm of the Portugal national team. The FC Porto winger, in a very special way, grabbed the ball and chased down the opponent, being one of the most disrespected players in the Portuguese side.

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But the defensive flaw, already seen throughout the match, became felt after the 72nd minute: Gnezda and Sisko combined well to score Slovenia's first goal. Shortly afterwards, João Felix headed a shot against the post, but to no avail as the Portuguese's defensive inattention once again appeared. Elsnik coped well with Diogo Costa's goal and shot in the Slovenians' second goal.

The performance was disappointing and a far cry from what Portugal did during 11 games with Roberto Martinez, even with some notable performances, especially from Cristiano Ronaldo, who left the field dissatisfied and protesting to the fourth official. But there are evils that come with good, and from adversity comes growth. But these setbacks cannot appear more than once, whether in the League of Nations or the European Championship. The coach faces a new headache and still has a lot to think about before being called up to participate in the European Championship in Germany.