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Headed double aids Bendtner's cause

Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 21.37CET
His two headers may have been rendered futile by Silvestre Varela's late winner for Portugal, but Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner can take consolation from topping the Castrol EDGE Index.
Headed double aids Bendtner's cause
Nicklas Bendtner beats Pepe to a cross to head in his second goal ©Getty Images
 
Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 21.37CET

Headed double aids Bendtner's cause

His two headers may have been rendered futile by Silvestre Varela's late winner for Portugal, but Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner can take consolation from topping the Castrol EDGE Index.

By continuing his uncanny knack of scoring against Portugal, Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner finished at the summit of the Castrol EDGE Index for the Group B fixture with a mark of 9.64.

Coming into the match in Lviv the Arsenal FC forward had found the net in all four of his previous appearances against the Selecção, three of them competitive, including an effort in a 2-1 qualifying win eight months ago.

A large proportion of the 24-year-old's rating − second only to Andriy Shevchenko's 9.7 so far in UEFA EURO 2012 − was derived from his two on-target attempts, both headers which beat goalkeeper Rui Patrício.

He also completed all of his long passes (three) and finished the 3-2 defeat with a respectable 73% completion rate, a significant total for an attacking player.

Doing his best to keep the tall forward under wraps was Pepe, who finished second in Index with 9.39. The centre-back was highly rewarded for breaking the deadlock with a header of his own, boosting his rating by recovering possession and blocking an early Christian Eriksen effort.

Completing the podium is Pepe's club colleague, Cristiano Ronaldo. The prolific Real Madrid CF winger-cum-forward unleashed seven shots, four of which pressed Stephan Andersen into service.

Castrol EDGE Index: Denmark v Portugal
1. Nicklas Bendtner (DEN) 9.64
2. Pepe (POR) 9.39
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) 8.85
4. João Moutinho (POR) 8.19
5. Hélder Postiga (POR) 7.97

Key facts
1 – International goals Silvestre Varela had scored prior to his 87th-minute winner.

3 − There have only been three headed doubles in the UEFA European Championship finals since 1980, and all have come in 2012 (Mario Mandžukić, Andriy Shevchenko, Nicklas Bendtner).

5 − Nicklas Bendtner has registered in all five of his outings against Portugal.

6 – Hélder Postiga, who struck Portugal's second, is the sixth player to have scored at three UEFA European Championships.

60 – % of possession enjoyed by Denmark, yet they still lost.

Players' view
Pepe:
"The most important thing tonight was the effort of the whole team – the 11 players who started and the ones who came on. We played a great game and showed our mettle so we can be a bit calmer now for the next game."

Last updated: 20/06/12 4.18CET

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