Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

Sport

Last-minute goal hands Portugese 3-2 victory over Denmark

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-14

An 87th-minute goal by Portugal's Silvestre Varela gave his team a 3-2 victory over Denmark on Wednesday, making up for their previous defeat against the Germans and putting them back on course for the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

REUTERS - Portugal's Silvestre Varela came off the bench and smashed home an 87th-minute goal to give his side a nail-biting 3-2 victory over Denmark on Wednesday and keep them on course for the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.

With three minutes left Portugal looked set to drop two more points after another flat tournament performance in which they let slip a two-goal lead against the Danes, for whom Nicklas Bendtner equalised in the 80th minute.

Then Varela, who had only come on in the 84th minute, was given time and space to take two swings at the ball and whacked it into the net from eight yards out. He immediately disappeared under a pile of jubilant team mates and substitutes.

"Their equaliser was unfair at that stage of the match. We could have won the game more comfortably and with less suffering," said Portuguese coach Paolo Bento, who had been under increasing pressure after just one win in seven games.

Even so, Portugal's unusually careless defence could have conceded a third goal had not Lasse Schone fired over the bar in stoppage time.

Denmark and Portugal have three points each in Group B with one game left. Leaders Germany and the Netherlands play later on Wednesday.

Portugal came into the game having lost three consecutive European Championship matches stretching back to Euro 2008.

They easily took a 2-0 lead in a first half marked by sparkling play from winger Nani but looked to have thrown it away when Bendtner evaded the excellent Pepe and headed home a Lars Jacobsen cross via the post to make it 2-2.

The Danes, who beat the Dutch 1-0 in the first game, now need to pick up at least a point against Germany in the final match on Sunday and hope other results go their way.

"It's a horrible feeling to lose so close to the end ... the Portuguese were a bit luckier. Maybe they were a bit better," coach Morten Olsen told reporters.

Excellent game

Although Nani had an excellent game, making one goal and generally tormenting the Danish defence, Cristiano Ronaldo disappointed in a big international game yet again.

The speedy winger, who has a reputation for under-performing at tournaments, wasted two good chances, firing straight at Andersen in the 50th minute after breaking away and taking an excellent pass from Nani and screwing a shot wide in the 78th when it looked much easier to score.

Bento, who said the player had been "inefficient", was lucky others were sharper in front of goal.

Denmark have a good recent record against Portugal but looked largely toothless early on and it was little surprise when the Portuguese, abandoning the caution which marked their 1-0 loss to Germany in the first game, took the lead.

Pepe easily lost his marker from a corner by Joao Moutinho and powered a header past keeper Stephan Andersen in the 24th minute.

Portugal doubled their lead in the 36th minute when striker Helder Postiga got in front of defender Simon Kjaer far too easily to turn home a Nani pass from close range.

It was a bad moment for Kjaer, who had boasted before the match that Denmark would be able to contain Ronaldo, and he had to make a desperate clearance in the 44th minute to stop Nani setting up another goal.

Bendtner scored his first in the 41st minute with a close-range header after Michael Krohn-Dehli looped a header over keeper Rui Patricio. The goals were his fourth and fifth in four competitive games against Portugal.

The Danes, who had defended well in their opening 1-0 win over the Dutch, were not helped by the loss of midfielder Niki Zimling and winger Dennis Rommedahl with muscle injuries.

Date created : 2012-06-14

  • EURO 2012

    Shevchenko hands Ukraine 2-1 victory over Sweden

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    France settle for draw against 'defensive' England

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    Croatia beat Ireland 3-1 in Group C

    Read more

COMMENT(S)