Jensen saves Denmark from defeat in Portugal
Thursday, 26 March 2015
Portugal 0-0 Denmark
Denmark had Jakob Jensen, who saved a first-half penalty, to thank for avoiding defeat against their fellow 2015 finalists.
Article top media content
• Portugal, though dominant, fail to score for the first time in two years
• Denmark keeper Jakob Jensen saves Sérgio Oliveira's first-half penalty
• Jensen shines again after the break, this time denying Gonçalo Paciência
• Denmark fashion little but show a lot of commitment in salvaging a draw
• Portugal face the Czech Republic on Tuesday, when Denmark host the United States
Portugal and Denmark had to settle for a goalless draw in Marinha Grande as both teams stepped up their preparations for June's UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The only team to win all of their matches en route to the finals, Portugal were frustrated by Denmark goalkeeper Jakob Jensen. The Sandefjord Fotball player saved a first-half penalty from Sérgio Oliveira and denied Gonçalo Paciência midway the second period, ensuring Denmark became the first team to prevent Portugal from scoring since Sweden did so in March 2013.
Portugal took the initiative from the off, with Ivan Cavaleiro and Bernardo Silva posing all sorts of problems for the visitors' defence with their speed and technique. Rui Jorge's men tried their luck from long range on several occasions, while Rafa Soares came close to breaking the deadlock with a left-footed effort after 21 minutes.
Having offered little going forward, Denmark almost scored what would have been a surprise goal three minutes later when their attack clicked for the first time. Andreas Cornelius set up Rasmus Falk with his chest, the Odense BK playmaker's shot forcing José Sá into his first save of the night. Portugal then had a golden opportunity to make it 1-0 in the 39th minute after Frederik Sørensen handled in the penalty area. Jensen, however, repelled Sérgio Oliveira's spot kick.
Portugal were again on top after the break and it took another brilliant save from Jensen to thwart Gonçalo Paciência just before the hour. Denmark captain Jannik Vestergaard threatened with a header, but Jess Thorup's team had long since seemingly prioritised a draw as their main objective.
Portugal: José Sá; Ricardo, Paulo Oliveira, Tiago Ilori, Rafa Soares (João Cancelo 46); Rúben Neves, Sérgio Oliveira (Rafa 65), Bernardo Silva (Carlos Mané 80); Rony Lopes (Bruma 46), Gonçalo Paciência (Tozé 65), Ivan Cavaleiro (Ricardo Horta 46).
Denmark: Jakob Jensen; Alexander Scholz (Ryan Laursen 77), Jannik Vestergaard, Frederik Sørensen (Patrick Banggaad 77), Patrick da Silva; Christian Nørgaard (Lucas Andersen 65), Nicolaj Thomsen; Yussuf Poulsen (Danny Amankwaa 65), Rasmus Falk (Nicolai Poulsen 65), Youssef Toutouh; Andreas Cornelius (Emil Berggreen 46).