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Last-gasp Varela revives Portugal's hopes

Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 19.55CET
Denmark 2-3 Portugal
Substitute Silvestre Varela struck three minutes from time after two Nicklas Bendtner goals had brought Denmark back from 2-0 down.
by John Atkin
from Arena Lviv

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Match statistics

DenmarkPortugal

Goals scored2
 
3
Possession (%)58
 
42
Total attempts9
 
17
Attempts on target6
 
12
Attempts off target3
 
5
Attempts blocked2
 
5
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners7
 
6
Offsides2
 
0
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed18
 
17
Fouls suffered14
 
18

Standings

Last updated: 12/02/2013 17:13 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012, 19.55CET

Last-gasp Varela revives Portugal's hopes

Denmark 2-3 Portugal
Substitute Silvestre Varela struck three minutes from time after two Nicklas Bendtner goals had brought Denmark back from 2-0 down.

Substitute Silvestre Varela scored an 87th-minute winner as Portugal revived their UEFA EURO 2012 fortunes in an absorbing 3-2 victory.

Nicklas Bendtner looked to have earned Denmark a stirring share of the spoils in a memorable 50th international appearance. Trailing to two first-half goals in a 12-minute period from Pepe and Hélder Postiga, Bendtner pulled one back just before half-time before making it 2-2 with ten minutes remaining after Cristiano Ronaldo had twice fluffed his lines. Portugal were eyeing the Group B exit door but Varela slammed it shut with an emphatic low strike after initially failing to connect fully with Fábio Coentrão's cross.

Unburdened by the necessity for points that an opening-day victory gives you, Denmark made a start true to the maxim emblazoned down the side of their bus at UEFA EURO 2012: Vikinger uden frygt (Vikings without fear). They advanced down the wings, won a rash of early corners and only the alertness of Pepe, sliding in, denied Christian Eriksen when the midfielder intercepted a weak effort just inside the penalty area with the defence pushing up.

Haste, though, can be the enemy of perfection. Slowly Portugal gained a foothold, with Ronaldo's licence to drift inside causing consternation; by the time Niki Zimling limped off on 16 minutes Denmark were already losing their grip. They duly fell behind midway through the first period as Pepe lost his marker and rose at the near post to glance in João Moutinho's pinpoint corner.

It was only Portugal's second goal in five outings but having rediscovered where the net was they had little trouble finding it again after 36 minutes. Denmark's defending was again questionable as a poor clearance was quickly worked into Nani's feet and the winger drilled in a cross that Postiga, peeling away from Simon Kjær, speared beyond Stephan Andersen. It all looked so easy but, with four minutes of the half remaining, Denmark had a lifeline.

An awkward ball towards the far post looked innocuous enough but nobody picked up Michael Krohn-Dehli. With Rui Patrício committed to closing him down, the winger unselfishly headed it back across goal where Bendtner, still only 24, nodded in what must be the easiest of his now 20 international goals. It was also his fifth strike in as many meetings with the Selecção das Quinas, including one in each of the sides' meetings in qualifying – a sixth would follow.

Portugal, without a win in 2012, could have dropped their heads yet instead they set about restoring their two-goal cushion, increasingly aided by Denmark's high defensive line as Morten Olsen's men sought an equaliser. Postiga exposed it beautifully soon after half-time, but Ronaldo finished second best in the one-on-one with Andersen.

The Real Madrid CF man squandered an even more presentable chance 13 minutes from time, side-footing wide with only the goalkeeper to beat and Bendtner looked to have made him pay with a far-post header – Varela, though, had other ideas. It means both sides go into Sunday's concluding group games with hope of advancing, though Denmark may be without Dennis Rommedahl after he limped off on the hour feeling his hamstring.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.13CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15172/match=2003330/postmatch/report/index.html#varela+ruins+danish+comeback

Lineups

Denmark

Denmark

Portugal

Portugal

1
AndersenStephan Andersen (GK)
12
Rui PatrícioRui Patrício (GK)
3
KjærSimon Kjær
2
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
4
AggerDaniel Agger (C)
3
PepePepe
Goal24
5
S. PoulsenSimon Poulsen
4
Miguel VelosoMiguel Veloso
6
JacobsenLars Jacobsen
Yellow Card81
5
Fábio CoentrãoFábio Coentrão
7
KvistWilliam Kvist
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo (C)
Yellow Card90+2
8
EriksenChristian Eriksen
8
João MoutinhoJoão Moutinho
9
Krohn-DehliMichael Krohn-Dehli
Substitution90+2
16
Raul MeirelesRaul Meireles
Yellow Card29
Substitution84
10
RommedahlDennis Rommedahl
Substitution60
17
NaniNani
Substitution89
11
BendtnerNicklas Bendtner
Goal41
Goal80
21
João PereiraJoão Pereira
21
ZimlingNiki Zimling
Substitution16
23
Hélder PostigaHélder Postiga
Goal36
Substitution64

Substitutes

16
LindegaardAnders Lindegaard (GK)
1
EduardoEduardo (GK)
22
SchmeichelKasper Schmeichel (GK)
22
BetoBeto (GK)
2
C. PoulsenChristian Poulsen
6
CustódioCustódio
12
BjellandAndreas Bjelland
9
Hugo AlmeidaHugo Almeida
13
OkoreJores Okore
10
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
14
SchöneLasse Schöne
Substitution90+2
11
Nélson OliveiraNélson Oliveira
Substitution64
15
SilberbauerMichael Silberbauer
13
Ricardo CostaRicardo Costa
17
PedersenNicklas Pedersen
14
RolandoRolando
Substitution89
18
WassDaniel Wass
15
Rúben MicaelRúben Micael
19
J. PoulsenJakob Poulsen
Substitution16
Yellow Card56
18
VarelaSilvestre Varela
Substitution84
Goal87
20
KahlenbergThomas Kahlenberg
19
Miguel LopesMiguel Lopes
23
MikkelsenTobias Mikkelsen
Substitution60
20
Hugo VianaHugo Viana

Coach

Morten Olsen (DEN) Paulo Bento (POR)

Referee

Craig Thomson (SCO)

Assistant referees

Alasdair Ross (SCO), Derek Rose (SCO)

Fourth official

Viktor Shvetsov (UKR)

Additional assistant referees

William Collum (SCO), Euan Norris (SCO)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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