Portugal slip past brave Czechia with stoppage time goal

Portugal……….2

Czechia……….1

In a thrilling UEFA Euro 2024 Group F encounter, Portugal recovered from going behind in the second half to snatch victory thanks to substitute Francisco Conceição’s dramatic winner.

Portugal set the tone from the off, moving the ball around calmly, crisply and accurately, but they found little space to prosper against a well-organised Czechia defence, which also dealt competently with the consistent stream of early crosses into their box.

Bruno Fernandes came closest to picking the lock in the first half, bisecting the Czechia rearguard to find Cristiano Ronaldo in the 32nd minute, but his strike was repelled by Jindřich Staněk. Ronaldo, appearing in a record sixth EURO finals, was again thwarted by Ivan Hašek’s No1 on the stroke of half-time to end a frustrating period for the Seleção.

The pressure exerted by Roberto Martínez’s charges continued to mount after the interval, but it was Czechia, from a rare counter, who broke the deadlock when Lukáš Provod expertly dispatched Vladimír Coufal’s lay-off in off the far post.

However, the Národní tým could not bed in that advantage and they were pegged back seven minutes later when Staněk could only parry Nuno Mendes’s header against Robin Hranáč and watch the ricochet drop into his net.

Hranáč’s misfortune would not end there, though, as his attempt to block Pedro Neto’s added-time cross presented another substitute, Francisco Conceição, with the chance to fire in a close-range winner. Late – but deserved nonetheless.

Portugal: Diogo Costa; Dalot (Gonçalo Inácio 63), Pepe, Rúben Dias; João Cancelo (Nélson Semedo 90), Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Vitinha (Francisco Conceição 90), Nuno Mendes (Pedro Neto 90); Ronaldo, Rafael Leão (Diogo Jota 63)

Czechia: Staněk; Holeš (Chorý 90+3), Hranáč, Krejčí; Coufal, Šulc (Ševčík 79), Souček, Provod (Barák 79), Douděra; Kuchta (Lingr 60), Schick (Chytil 60)

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