Late Danish goals stun Portugal PDF Print E-mail

Portuguese football fansPortugal 2-3 Denmark

A dramatic two-goal salvo at the end of last night’s match at Alvalade saw Denmark inflict a potentially damaging 3-2 defeat on Portugal, despite being outplayed for most of the 90 minutes.

Portugal were made to pay for a festival of missed chances when leading 1-0 after Nani’s 1st-half strike. Bendtner equalised on 84 minutes, Deco restored Portugal’s lead immediately from the penalty spot, but two goals in the final three minutes from Poulsen and Jensen earned the Danes all three points.

Carlos Queiroz brought in Maniche and Ferreira in relation to the 4-0 victory over Malta on Saturday, in place of Antunes and Carlos Martins, but it was the visitors who were first to threaten.

Early danger

On just 2 minutes Bendtner seemed certain to score after rounding Quim but failed to hit the net from a tight angle. The Danes then had a loud shout for a penalty turned down as Bosingwa appeared to handle in the box.

Having survived the two early scares Portugal began to move into top gear, with the excellent Deco orchestrating increasingly incessant waves of attack. The home crowd were celebrating on 42 minutes when Nani (three goals in his last three Portugal games) finished off a sweeping move involving Simao, Ferreira and Hugo Almeida.

The first 35 minutes of the second half witnessed some superb one-touch football from Portugal, but chance after chance came and went. Simao, Nani, Danny and Nuno Gomes all contrived to miss one-on-ones against goalkeeper Andersen when it seemed easier to score.

Portugal would live to rue their profligacy as Bendtner escaped Bosingwa’s attentions to fire a fine low cross-shot into the net and stun the home fans on 84 minutes. However, justice seemed to have been done two minutes later as Gomes was bundled down in the box and Deco coolly dispatched the penalty kick.

The final moments saw Denmark throw caution to the wind with high balls pumped into the Portugal box, and the pressure told as Poulsen took advantage of a Quim misjudgement to head in a corner.

Worse was to come in the final minute of stoppage time as Jensen tried his luck from distance and the ball ricocheted off Pepe to wrong-foot Quim and give the Scandinavians an unlikely win.

(by Tom Kundert) 

Quim, Bosingwa, Pepe, Carvalho, Ferreira, Meireles (Moutinho, 87), Nani, Maniche, Almeida (Nuno Gomes, 72), Deco, Simao (Danny, 71)
Yellow Cards: Nani, Danny

Andersen, Jacobsen (Silberbauer, 44), Laursen, Agger, Jensen, Andreasen, Poulsen, Jon Tomasson, Lovenkrands (Borring, 70), Rommedahl, Bendtner
Yellow Cards: Tomasson

[1-0] Nani, 42
[1-1] Bendtner, 84
[2-1] Deco (pen), 86
[2-2] Poulsen, 90
[2-3] Jensen, 93

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