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Portugal Snatch A Later Win Against A Doggedly Czech Republic

  • June 18, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Portugal Snatch A Later Win Against A Doggedly Czech Republic

Portugal snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory over Czech Republic at Leipzig Stadium in the final minutes of their opening Euro 2024 Group F match.

The Czechs displayed dogged resistance throughout, frustrating Portugal’s attempts to break through. A late offside call against Cristiano Ronaldo ruled out a potential winner from Diogo Jota’s rebound. Despite Portugal dominating possession and Ronaldo leading the attack, space to score remained elusive.

This encounter marked a clash of top goal scorers in the 2020 edition with scored five each – Patrik Schick and Ronaldo (but Ronaldo was awarded due to more assists). Portugal, the defending champions in 2016, are aiming to avoid a repeat of their 2020 Round of 16 defeat to Belgium.

Ronaldo made history, appearing in a record sixth European Championship. His first tournament goal came against Greece in the openin game of 2004 group stages, a match Portugal ultimately lost 2-1. This fixture also echoed the 1996 Euro semifinal where Czech Republic won 1-0 through an iconic goal by Karel Poborsky at Villa Park before losing 2-1 to Germany in the final.

Ronaldo threatened early with a header set up by Rafael Leão in the eighth minute. Portugal’s pressure mounted, pinning the Czechs back in their own half. A golden opportunity for Ronaldo in the 32nd minute saw him denied by a brilliant save from Jindřich Staněk.

The second half mirrored the first, with Portugal camping in Czech territory. Ronaldo continued to be thwarted, with a header saved and another deflected.

Against the run of play, Czech Republic stunned Portugal with a goal in the 62nd minute. Lukáš Provod unleashed a superb curling effort that beat Diogo Costa.

Forced to re-strategize, Portugal found an equalizer seven minutes later. Nuno Mendes’ header found Robin Hranáč, who inadvertently turned the ball into his own net after Staněk’s terrible error.

Portugal secured the win through Conceição’s dramatic 93rd-minute goal, marking the first time they conceded the opening goal in a European Championship match and win since 17 June 2012 against the Netherlands.

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