Wednesday’s game between Denmark and Portugal was a ride of emotions for the Danes.
It started off with a downward spiral of dismal dismay, as first Zimmling, Denmark’s dynamo in midfield, had to go off. Then, in quick succession, Denmark conceded two sloppy goals.
First a free header from Pepe at the front post and then Postiga skipped past Kjær at the opposite post to riffle in a shot from the edge of the six-yard box.
There were many who questioned how this could be the same team that kept the Dutch at bay for 90 minutes five days earlier. In fact it was 37 minutes into the game before Denmark made their intentions clear and pulled a goal back.
They did so in style. Lars Jakobsen played in an in swinging cross from the left to the back post, finding Krohn Deli who nodded back across goals to a free header for Bendtner to head in.
It was a good end to the first half for the Danish team, who at times during the first half had seen their passing game completely collapse as the Portuguese closed them down and found it easy to intercept some sloppy passing.
Unfortunately this was not to change in the second half. The back four were particularly poor, often leaving the centre of the pitch open to attack, which the Portuguese exploited time and time again, though without much luck.
More often than not it was La Liga’s top scorer, Ronaldo, who was the culprit, missing wide or aiming straight at Andersen when the opportunities presented themselves.
Indeed Ronaldo also was at fault when the Danes managed with less than 10 minutes to go equalised. Tobias Mikkaelsen who had come on for an injured Dennis Rommerdahl found himself in acres of space as Ronaldo failed to come back and defend. He played an inch perfect pass to the back post for Bendtner to meet and head forcefully past Portugal’s keeper.
That should have been that with less than ten minutes on the clock the Danes should have been more than capable to shut up shop and hold for the final whistle.
This however was a Denmark v Portugal game and they should of known better. The Portuguese are a very resolute team and they immediately started attacking again and putting the Danes under pressure.
Yet again the Danish team's defensive abilities were left wanting as Postiga was permitted to go unhindered go down the left, past three men and play the ball in. Finding Valera who on his second attempt blasted the ball passed Simon Poulsen, who had made himself as small as possible, and into the right hand corner out of the reach of a diving Stephan Andersen.
A deserved victory for the Portuguese who had the most of the game and a defeat for the Danes who had so bravely fought back to 2-2 and were clearly aggrieved at losing the game. Daniel Agger of Liverpool in an interview on Danish television called them naïve for losing the final goal.
Fans after the game took the defeat well saying “we will just have to beat the Germans again on Sunday” That might indeed be the case as a repeat of the 1992 finals will take place in the final round of Group B on Sunday with everyone still in with a chance to go through.
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In this section
- Denmark left to rue penalty decision as they exit with dignity
- Nicklas Bendtner banned and fined for underwear stunt during Portugal clash
- Denmark 1-2 Germany: Stuffy Danes eventually defeated by Lars Bender strike
- STV Sports Daily at the Euros: Germany joy, Dutch despair and Portu-goals
- Denmark 2-3 Portugal: Varela keeps Portuguese hopes alive with late winner
- STV Sports Daily at the Euros: Organised England, Sheva the hero
- Denmark’s victory over the Netherlands was a triumph for team-work
- Netherlands v Denmark: Dutch need to summon the spirit of ’88
- Netherlands 0-1 Denmark: Michael Krohn-Dehli upsets the odds for Danes
- Morten Olsen hoping to return to the days of Danish Dynamite at Euro 2012