Denmark 2 Portugal 3 – Silvestre Varela snatches late winner
Euro 2012 is proving to be a great tournament, with Portugal and Denmark playing out a five-goal thriller which saw the Portuguese race into a two-goal lead and then nearly throw it away.
June 13th, 2012
It was an evenly-matched start, with Denmark’s crisp passing continuing where it left off after that 1-0 win over the Netherlands, although they were also defensively suspect and so it proved in the 24th minute.
Nani’s corner was met by the head of Pepe at the near post and Paulo Bento was celebrating on the touchline, while the manager had even more reason to be happy twelve minutes later.
Helder Postiga has been much-maligned although he was first to Nani’s cross from the right-hand side and his shot rocketed into the net to double the Portuguese advantage.
However, Denmark were always threatening at the other end and they were able to reduce the arrears before half-time when Nicklas Bendtner nodded into an empty net after Michael Krohn-Dehli had headed across the area.
Portugal had lots of chances to wrap the game up in the second half, most notably when Cristiano Ronaldo found himself through on goal, although the Real Madrid star was unable to dig his shot out of the turf.
With ten minutes remaining, a sweeping move from the Danes saw the ball moved out to the right flank and a pinpoint cross saw Bendtner score his second of the game to bring the match level at 2-2.
Just as it seemed the Portuguese would be frustrated, substitute Silvestre Varela fired home the winner just minutes after entering the pitch and that was enough to seal victory.