Men's Team

Bernardo sparks Portugal cruise, Mahrez's Algeria held

Bernardo sparks Portugal cruise, Mahrez's Algeria held
Bernardo Silva was on target as Portugal beat Azerbaijan 3-0 in Baku to retake top spot in World Cup European Qualifying Group A.

The City midfielder started for Fernando Santos’s side alongside Etihad colleagues Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo.

And in what was an impressive all-round performance by the visitors, Bernardo struck on 26 minutes to open the scoring, spectacularly volleying home from Bruno Fernandes’ pass.

Within five minutes a dominant Portugal had doubled their advantage.

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Fernandes was the provider once again, as his cross was helped back by Diego Jota allowing Andre Silva to apply the finish.

And a fine night’s work for Portugal was sealed 12 minutes from time when Jota added a third goal with Bernardo then replaced by Otavio.

The victory leaves Portugal top of Group A with 13 points from five games.

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Meanwhile Riyad Mahrez and his Algerian team-mates were forced to settle for a point in their latest African World Cup qualifier.

The Desert Foxes were held to a 1-1 draw away to Burkina Faso, in a game played in Marrakesh, Morocco for COVID safety precautions.

Algeria took a first half lead through Sofian Feghouli’s 17th international goal but Burkina Faso levelled on 64 minutes through Abdoul Tapsoba.

Mahrez went down under a heavy challenge with two minutes left but Algeria’s appeals for a penalty was dismissed.

The result leaves Algeria and Burkina Faso joint to of Group A in African qualifying with four points from their opening two games.

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