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Having helped earn a crucial UEFA European Under-19 Championship victory against the Netherlands, Alexandre Guedes is looking for more of the same as Portugal seek to claim a first semi-final place since 2003.
Portuguese hopes were hanging in the balance after their Group A campaign began with a narrow defeat by pacesetters Spain yet Emílio Peixe's charges responded positively to the challenge at the Alytus Stadium. Guedes's 32nd-minute header crowned an opening half-hour that had bristled with attacking intent and, after Leandro Silva and Ricardo Horta had made the points safe with further goals late in the second period, Guedes scored his second and Portugal's fourth in the 89th minute.
"I feel very pleased to have scored twice," said the Sporting Clube de Portugal striker after opening his account for the finals. Coach Peixe also paid tribute to a more clinical showing, adding: "It was great for Guedes to score twice. In the last match he also worked hard and had some chances but he was not as efficient."
Both coach and centre-forward agreed that very little had changed from the first match at the weekend. "We played to the same objective," explained Guedes, who sat out qualifying. "We played as a team and fought to the end for the win. We didn't expect the victory to be as big as it was in the end, but this is football and something like this can always happen."
Tuesday's 4-1 win leaves Portugal in second position on three points, level with the Netherlands, ahead of their final fixture against hosts Lithuania in Kaunas on Friday. "We have one more match to play, so let's see what happens in that," said Guedes, whose side have not featured in the last four since finishing runners-up to Spain a decade ago. "Lithuania won't be an easy game. We'll need to play that match exactly the same way as we did against the Netherlands – let's continue in the same way."
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