When William Carvalho came on for the second half against USA, he was a real influence on his side's performance.
Sitting in the centre of midfield, the Sporting Lisbon youngster held a real presence in the midfield as he mopped up the ball to disposes the American attacks and turn defence into attack.
Carvalho's game is all about simplicity but had a good understanding of playing the ball effectively, and awareness of when to feed the ball in between the lines of the opposition defence and midfield.
Looking at Carvalho's stats for the game; he showed positivity when coming on as he played 24 forward passes in the attacking third.
Those 24 passes came in 45 minutes; whereas Miguel Veloso, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul Meireles have played in two matches and have either just exceeded or performed less forward passes than Carvalho.
While Ronaldo of course plays in a position further forward, Veloso and Meireles are more or less directly comparable with Carvalho, and have not shown the attacking desire and intent Carvalho did in his one half of football.
He was a true unsung hero in the game where Ronaldo got the glory for his delicious cross for Varela; Carvalho showed he will be key if Portugal are to stand even the slightest chance of an unlikely qualification to the second round.
|Team||Pos||Total Fwd Zone Pass / apps||Apps||Mins|