Denmark 2-3 Portugal – Match Review
Portugal finally won their first points of the tournament after a hard-fought victory over Denmark in Lviv.
After a disappointing defeat at the hands of Germany, Paolo Bento’s men flew out of the blocks and goals from Pepe and Postiga put the Portuguese 2-0 up but a Niklas Bendtner header just before the break kept Denmark hopes alive.
Bendtner converted his second of the game after heading in a delivery from Lars Jacobsen, to level the score. At the second time of asking Portugal took the lead and the points with a well taken goal from substitute Varela. Both Denmark and Portugal have 3 points and will be looking to Sunday’s game with a decent chance of qualifying.
Portugal started the game brightly and Denmark, who had lost midfielder Zimling through injury early on, conceded a free kick. Ronaldo stepped up but his shot fired wide. However, Portugal’s next set piece was more productive; a corner delivered in by Nani found Pepe’s near post run and the defender headed his side into the lead.
Portugal extended their lead 12 minutes later when Joao Periera found Nani in space. The Man United winger squared the ball to Helder Postiga who cleverly finished into the net to give Portugal a 2-0 advantage.
With Portugal still dominating, Denmark surprised yet again when they drew a goal back just before the break. A lurching Jakob Poulsen cross found the head of Krohn-Delhi, who nodded the ball across to a waiting Niklas Bendtner. The Arsenal man finished with ease to give his side a fighting chance in the second period.
Portugal started the second half the way they started the first and were soon on the attack. A brilliant crossfield pass from Nani found Ronaldo in the clear but the Star man hit his shot too close to ’keeper Anderson. More chances were to come for Ronaldo as minites later, he raced through on goal unmarked. The skipper’s frustrating night continued when he fired the resulting shot extremely wide. A sense that Denmark could capitalise on Portugal’s missed chances was increasing and when Lars Jacobson delivered a far post cross to Bendtner, the game was tied. The striker yet again converted, as his header drifted past Rui Patricio.
Portugal looked distraught; they knew that a point would see them heading toward elimination. However, as all hope looked lost, Portuguese substitute Sebastian Varela brilliantly converted from 15 yards to send his fans and teammates into wild celebration.
The final whistle blew and Portugal claimed 3 vital points that sees them with a fighting chance of qualification. Denmark would have felt that they could have snatch a point from this game but their win against Holland keeps chances of progress alive.