Perfect Portugal beat Austria to top spot
Friday, 25 July 2014
Austria 1-2 Portugal
Tournament debutant Romário Baldé scored the winner, four minutes from time, as Hélio Sousa's charges topped Group A with a 100% record.
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Portugal made it nine wins out of nine in this year's UEFA European Under-19 Championship campaign with a 2-1 victory against Austria in Felcsut which saw them top Group A.
• Baldé marks tournament debut with late winner
• Podstawski's header cancelled out by Austria's Grillitsch
• Portugal extend winning run to nine matches
A tight game looked like ending honours even after Florian Grillitsch swiftly wiped out Tomás Podstawski's header. But substitute Romário Baldé marked his tournament debut with the winner, rolling in an Ivo Rodrigues pull-back four minutes from time, to maintain Portugal's perfect record.
With both sides already through to the semi-finals, the pace of the game was understandably sedate from kick-off. There were still early openings, however, with Lukas Gugganig curling a free-kick onto the outside of the left-hand upright and Rafa almost chipping past Tino Casali after latching onto a long ball.
Another dangerous free-kick yielded the opening goal just before the interval. Rodrigues curled the ball in from the left flank and Podstawski darted in front of his marker to flick in at the near post.
Austria coach Andreas Heraf altered things at the interval and must have been delighted with the immediate results. Valentin Grubeck teed up Grillitsch to level within a minute of the restart after an excellent team move. That boosted Austrian belief and they had Portugal pinned back for much of the second half. But Baldé, who only arrived in Hungary two days ago, entered the fray and relished his moment of glory.
Andreas Heraf, Austria coach
Portugal are an extremely strong side, but if there is any defeat you can live with, then it's this one because it doesn't have any repercussions. We are second in the group. With a bit of luck, we would have gone ahead, but you can concede goals like this against top opponents. All we've got to focus on now is recovering and regaining our energy, but it's no different for anybody else.
Hélio Sousa, Portugal coach
We play all of the games to win and we tried that again today. It was harder, this third game. Although we were already qualified, we tried to put them under pressure and get the win, but it was tough. It was our third game and maybe some players are a bit tired. Most of the players have come here from their holidays and are not in a competitive rhythm, but I think it was a good game and we take what we need from it.
[Winning] is our mentality and I think Austria are the same, only with a different way of playing. It was good for our players to adapt to a different style of play because Austria put new things into the game that we've not experienced in the other two games. This is a game we will learn from. This is good for the players because we want to face many different kinds of styles. Each country has its own style so it was good to experience new situations in the game, and today was very different.