TugaScout is an English-language site reporting on matters associated with Portuguese football by freelance writer Alex Goncalves, offering the latest news, reviews and opinions surrounding the Portuguese League and the Seleção players based abroad.

Portugal secure solid victory over Scotland

Portugal secure solid victory over Scotland

Portugal earned a solid 3-1 victory over Scotland at Hampden Park, with Helder Costa, Eder and Bruma all getting on the scoresheet.

Early on, Sergio Oliveira gave Scotland an early chance to take the lead, his impressive header towards his own goal tipped over the bar by Beto.

In the 24th minute, Bruma produced an excellent run, getting on the end of Cedric's deep cross, flicking the ball down the middle of the goal, the keeper saving easily.

Just three minutes later, Bruma had another effort, this time his shot placed just wide of the post.

With Portugal growing into the game, it was actually Scotland who had the next big chance, Naismith flicking on a glancing header which bent just wide of the left post. 

But Portugal's dominance started to shine through, and Helder Costa, who was making his international debut, nicked the ball down the left-hand side high up the pitch and took the ball forward, picking out Bruma in the box who blazed the ball over the bar.

As halftime approached, Portugal produced another good move, the ball worked into the box by some good linkup play by Bruma and Sergio Oliveira, before Bruma then played in Eder. The Euro 2016 hero held off the Scottish defence before turning and shooting, the keeper Craig Gordon having to parry the ball away. 

With just two minutes to go until half time, Portugal finally found the back of the net, Helder Costa the man to break the deadlock on his debut after Kevin Rodrigues drilled the ball across the box for Helder to smother into the back of the open net.

Portugal may have led, but it was Scotland who had the first real chance of the second half, McGregor dragging his shot wide while, in the 55th minute, Scotland's number 5 bulleted his diving header just wide of the post from a corner.

But Portugal generally had the game under control, and Helder Costa had the opportunity to get his second of the day as he burst through on goal after a run from his own half, but was tackled at the last, just before he could get his shot away. 

Portugal finally increased their advantage with just 15 minutes remaining when Renato Sanches stood over a free-kick and whipped in a delightful cross from deep, with Eder getting his head to the ball to nod it home.

Portugal got their third just 6 minutes before the end of normal time, this perhaps the best of them all with Benfica's teenage star Gedson Fernandes playing a glorious through-ball towards Bruma, who cut inside, took his time and smashed the ball past Craig Gordon and into the top corner.

Scotland got a consolation with what was the final kick of the game, Naismith striking the ball past debutant Claudio Ramos, who replaced Beto with just 5 minutes remaining to become the first Tondela player in history to make an appearance for the Portugal senior team.

Overall, it was a good evening for Portugal's second string side, able to show periods of creativity, and all the players, despite their relative combined inexperience on the international stage, rarely looked out of place.

Portugal's 8 best lineups from A to H

Portugal's 8 best lineups from A to H

Preview and Predicted Portugal XI for friendly clash with Scotland

Preview and Predicted Portugal XI for friendly clash with Scotland