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Impressive Portugal put paid to Netherlands

Netherlands 1-4 Portugal
Alexandre Guedes scored twice to help secure a comfortable victory that brought Emílio Peixe's side back into Group A contention.

Alexandre Guedes celebrates putting Portugal in front
Alexandre Guedes celebrates putting Portugal in front ©Sportsfile

Portugal revived their UEFA European Under-19 Championship hopes at the expense of the Netherlands, Alexandre Guedes scoring twice to help claim three valuable Group A points.

Portugal began positively and got their reward for a vibrant first-half display in the 32nd minute when Guedes put them in front. Dutch midfielder Rai Vloet headed against the crossbar early in the second period, but a defensive mix-up allowed Leandro Silva to score a crucial second with time running out. Ricardo Horta and Guedes added gloss to the win with strikes in the last four minutes, Vloet thumping in a lone riposte from distance in added time.

Following their opening defeat by Spain, Portugal needed three points and they controlled the first 45 minutes, Netherlands goalkeeper Mickey van der Hart touching over their first chance from Tobias Figueiredo's looping header. Hélder Costa was next to threaten, volleying just too high before getting on the end of Luís Rafael's right-wing cross; a flicked effort back across goal was gathered by Van der Hart.

Portuguese pressure was nevertheless mounting and the breakthrough was not long in coming. The move originated on the opposite flank, Rafael – a regular threat from left-back – delivering the centre for Guedes to flick in. Provider then nearly turned scorer as Bernardo Silva cut the ball back from the left, but this time Rafael's aim was wayward.

In the last action of the first half Yassine Ayoub shot straight at Bruno Varela with the Netherlands' first real opportunity, and that heralded a Dutch improvement after the interval. They might have been level within five minutes, Saturday's match winner Vloet having a header deflected onto the top of the crossbar, before Varela reacted smartly to block at Ayoub's feet having spilled a Lucas Woudenberg header.

Portugal weathered the storm, however, and struck again with 18 minutes remaining. Confusion in the Dutch defence presented possession back to Silva, and the midfielder – back in the side after suspension – kept his head to steer a low shot past Van der Hart. The winning margin was increased by close-range finishes from substitute Horta and Guedes again late on, although the Netherlands at least had the last word with Vloet's thunderous consolation.

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