TCM Analysis: Portugal v Uruguay

The stars of Portugal and Uruguay went toe-to-toe in Group H.

Nov 29th 2022

Written by The Coaching Manual

Formation Both Teams

Portugal: 1-4-2-1-3

Uruguay: 1-5-3-2


First Half Review

With many World Cup stars on show, this game started slowly with Portugal having the majority of the ball and Uruguay being steadfast in their defence - something they are accustomed to. 

The game was a quiet affair with not much to discuss until the 32nd minute when a surge of energy was injected into it: Bentancur made a mazy run and found himself in a 1v1 situation with Diogo Costa, who made a good save. Then Bentancur rn onto a low cross a few minutes later, only to be deflected wide. 

The half ended with Uruguay looking like they were coming into the game, especially in the counter-attacking moments due to Portugal sustaining much of the possession. It was all to play for in the second half. 

Bentancur’s run was the highlight of the half. Dribbling and running with the ball are huge parts of the game. 

In this session, the coach players how to run or dribble with the ball:

Second Half Review 

The second half kicked off much like the first, with Portugal dominating the ball using quick passing without actually hurting the aggressive and sometimes overzealous Uruguayan defence.  

The first opportunity of the half came from Portugal's Joao Felix who accelerated down the left-hand side only to hit the side netting of the near post.

Shortly after, the deadlock was broken at the 54th-minute mark for Portugal when a Bruno Fernandes cross floated inside the back post, though Ronaldo would look to claim it (still a debate as to who scored, though FIFA has credited it to Fernandes).

Uruguay introduced Maxi Gomez and Luis Suarez to add more fight to the game. The changes made an impact with Gomez hitting the post after some slick combination play on the edge of the box.

Minutes later, Suarez smashed the ball in the side of the next for a chance you would expect him to finish, galvanising Uruguay as Portugal seemed to be content with their 1-0 lead. 

With Uruguay pushing for the next goal, it was Portugal and Bruno Fernandes who converted a penalty given away by Gimenez for a handball. The game finished 2-0 for the Portuguese, leaving Uruguay with it all to do in their final game. 

Portugal’s possession overcame a tough defensive Uruguay. Possession is a key component of football and in this session, coach players how to use possession as a tool to progress:

Specific Strategy: Receiving in Between Lines


One of Portugal’s biggest successes was their ability to receive between the lines. Though Uruguay made it difficult, Portugal still had a lot of success of receiving inside Uruguay’s team. 

Receiving between the lines is a huge part of the game and should be encouraged for every player, specifically Midfielders and Strikers. 

In this article by Martin Hunter from the key factors of Principles of Play - Passing and Support, we can see how ‘In Between and Be Seen’ is a vital part of the game:

Stats of the game


Next games

Portugal will play South Korea and Uruguay will play Ghana on Thursday. 

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