Portugal
2

Switzerland
0

Football

ByTheMinEurope

Howdy folks! Howard Crossland back once again for the renegade master. Crunch time in Portugal. Moscow for the winners; Costco for the losers. A match of this magnitude needs some appropriate music. Play on loop:

Tonight's referee is of course, John Anderson. Portugal, who will go on my first whistle, line up as follows: Patricio, Cedric from Home Alone 2, Pepe, Fonte, Champs Eliseu, Not the permed Carvalho, Moutiny on the Bounty-ho, Bernardo, Mario Odyssey, Silva, Ronaldo.

Switzerland, who will go on my second whistle: Sommer sommer sommer sommer time, Sir Ulrich von Lichtsteiner, Michelle Rodriguez, Djourou, Uncle Schar, Freuler, Xhaka with the 35 yarder, Dzemaili, Mehmedi, Shaqiri, Seferovic

Little exclusive for you all here at ByTheMinute... just been told the exact words Ronaldo used in his inspiring team talk just moments ago! No one's gonna take me alive. The time has come to make things right. You and I must fight for our rights. You and I must fight to survive. From the heart...

Aaaaand... away they go. Portugal get us underway.

3 minutes. Mentions of Ronaldo: 26. Jangled nerves: 3650. Words wasted by Garry Birtles: 142. Shots: 0.

Half shot by Mario, saved low. Not strong enough to even wobble a Goomba, that one.

10 mins down and it's kinda as you'd expect. Unless you were expecting the Spanish Inquisition. Portugal with more possession and on the front foot. Swiss defending Swissly.

Swiss much more into the game in the last few minutes, couple of balls across goal clear the cobwebs away. Could do with a 'let him know you're there' crunching challenge on Ronaldo, and then we're in business.

20 mins. You might describe this start as cagey. Maybe nervy? Apprehensive, or simmering? I'm going with drab.