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Diogo Jota Helps Put Portugal On The Brink of World Cup Qualification

The Liverpool striker scored to beat Turkey 3-1 and set up a playoff final with North Macedonia. 

Portugal v Turkey: Knockout Round Play-Offs - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Portugal are on the verge of booking a spot at the winter World Cup finals in Qatar after dispatching Turkey 3-1 in the qualifying semi-final.

Former Liverpool target Otavio opened the scoring in the 15th minute, being the quickest to the ball after Bernardo Silva’s long range effort cannoned off the post.

Actual Liverpool striker Diogo Jota got in on the action, negating a strong response from the Turks to convert Otavio’s cross with a trademark header just before the halftime whistle.

Turkey gave it a go in the second period, however, halving the deficit through a 65th minute goal from Burak Yilmaz.

A seasoned Portuguese side weathered the comeback attempt with the help of some luck as Yilmaz blazed a 85th minute penalty over the bar, much to the delight of the home fans in the Estadio do Dragao.

Fernando Santos’ team held it together long enough to put the result beyond doubt, with Matheus Nunes scoring deep into stoppage time for the final 3-1 margin.

The Seleção will meet a surprise opponent in Tuesday’s final after North Macedonia shocked Italy 1-0 to kick the Euro 2021 champions out of the World Cup.