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Portugal's Eliseu elated after his finest hour

Published: Saturday 8 October 2011, 15.24CET
Portugal's makeshift left-back Eliseu described helping Portugal complete a thrilling 5-3 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying win against Iceland as "one of the best days of my career".
by Andy Brassell
from Estádio do Dragão

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Match statistics

PortugalIceland

Goals scored5
 
3
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts21
 
7
Attempts on target7
 
5
Attempts off target9
 
1
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork1
 
0
Corners11
 
4
Offsides0
2
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed15
 
10
Fouls suffered10
 
14

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Saturday 8 October 2011, 15.24CET

Portugal's Eliseu elated after his finest hour

Portugal's makeshift left-back Eliseu described helping Portugal complete a thrilling 5-3 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying win against Iceland as "one of the best days of my career".

Portugal's makeshift left-back Eliseu hailed "one of the best days of my career" after scoring a goal and laying on another two to guide Portugal to a thrilling 5-3 win against Iceland.

The Málaga CF winger, playing in only his third senior international match, created the opening goal for Nani with an inviting cross and, after Iceland came back from three down to 3-2 in the second half, set up João Moutinho's nerve-settling strike that gave the hosts breathing room.

Eliseu then thrashed in a superb fifth from the edge of the area – his first international goal – to set the seal on victory and send Paulo Bento's men on their way to the crucial Group H decider in Denmark on Tuesday in good heart. "I think it's one of the best days of my career," he told UEFA.com, "I'm glad it helped the team, because it's very important that we won."

Standing in for injured first-choice full-back Fábio Coentrão, Eliseu deflected suggestions that he is ready to provide serious competition for Real Madrid CF's summer signing. "He's a great player," said the 28-year-old. "You have to remember that about Fábio. But the most important thing is that we achieved our objective – to win this game.

"We weren't brilliant, but we did the job. We could have made life easier for ourselves. The boss pointed out that we conceded three goals from dead balls, though offensively we played very well. We knew they were dangerous from set pieces."

Hélder Postiga was similarly delighted to have weighed in with a goal – his 17th for his country. "I have to continue to work hard as goals are the fruit of your labour," said the Real Zaragoza forward, who looked to have secured a comfortable win when putting his side 3-0 up on the stroke of half-time. "I'm happy to be scoring again. The quality of players we have makes it natural that I have chances."

Iceland's Hallgrímur Jónasson also took scoring opportunities that came his way, producing two goals that ignited hopes of an unlikely fightback for the visitors, but ultimately was left frustrated that his exploits were in vain.

"At 3-2, we really believed we could get something out of this game," said the 25-year-old. "We know we are strong at set pieces, so we always had a chance so long as we stayed compact. You can see that they have the quality to score when they get chances, but I still think five goals wasn't fair. We should have scored at least twice in the first half."

Jónasson nonetheless feels his nation can take heart from a gutsy display, having pushed Portugal hard despite being shorn of key injured players such as Kolbeinn Sigthórsson and Eidur Gudjohnsen. "The future is bright in Iceland," he said. "We have some good young players, and in the next competition I think we'll do much better."

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.02CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1693744.html#eliseus+portuguese+delight

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