Game in a sentence
Drama, goals, and throw in the world’s 2nd best player missing an absolute sitter and yet that couldn’t even sum up what we’ve witnessed in this decisive encounter between the Danes and the Portuguese.
- It has been a statement that has been used far too often in the past couple of days, but “this was the best game of the tournament thus far.” As each day goes by, it just gets better and better, and it leaves one to ask can it get better than this?
- The scenario was set,Portugal lose they’re eliminated,Denmark win and they’re off to the quarters.
- Both teams made no changes to the lineups that started in their first game. Prior to the game I tweeted “We are in for a treat folks. Postiga vs. Bendtner. Won’t find two strikers better than them. Impossible.” Many laughed at this tweet, as it was humourous, but to our surprises they scored three of the five goals in today’s game. Ave some of that!
- In the first half, the game seemed quite like I predicted.Denmark organized and looking to hit on the break, and they started of the game well.Portugal also had a positive start but a goal from open play looked very unlikely.
- In the 16th minute Danish fans around the world witnessed Zimling injure his already hurt toe and he was forced to leave the game. His injury proved to be vital as he added real steel into that midfield, and when he came off Denmark conceded too much space in the midfield which allowed Ronaldo, Moutinho and Veloso to penetrate through the middle.
- Suddenly, Cristiano Ronaldo came to life in a game of two halves for the superstar. He was attacking with confidence, and although he’d prefer to receive the ball, his ability to receive the ball in deep areas and commence some of the Portuguese attacks was a treat. We’ll get more into his Jekyll & Hyde performance in a minute
- Portugal’s goals came 12 minutes apart from each other and were both very similar. The first goal came off a corner taken by Joao Moutinho that Pepe timed to perfection and headed in at the near post. It seemed appropriate that it came from a set piece and was the 10th goal scored from header in this tournament.
- The second goal was Helder Postiga’s 20th international goal for Portugal and it came from a low cross to the near post from the fantastic Nani that saw Postiga steer it in to the back of the net. Portugal seemed to be in firm control, but oh were we in for a surprise.
- The self proclaimed Portugal slayer Niklas Bendtner struck just before half time, as the Portuguese midfield were deep in their 18 yard box and applied no pressure to Lars Jacobsen who was a constant threat throughout the game. Jacobsen crossed a wonderful ball to Michael Krohn-Dehli who headed it to Bendtner and Bendtner headed the ball into an open goal as the Portuguese defence had collapsed.
- The second half saw Portugal pressing the Denmark defence, and forcing them into many misplaced passes and suicide balls. Although,Denmark had a bulk of the possession they failed to provide any real threat. Their inability to make that final decisive pass was hurting them as Portugal seemed comfortable in hitting on the break. As it got to the final hour, the Portuguese legs started to tire and slowly they were losing shape in the middle of the park and started to open up huge gaps in the midfield.
- Nicklas Bendtner IMO was influential when Denmark was going forward. Poulsen had a battle with Nani all night and struggled to get into advanced positions. So if the attack didn’t come through the right side it came through Bendtner who did well to hold up the ball and spread several passes out wide to open up the game for his side. On top of that he was clinical and scored two massive goals when his side was down.
- The talking point of the game will be Cristiano Ronaldo who in my opinion had a great first half, but in the second half after having his shot saved on a breakaway from the left side caused by a Denmark error Ronaldo a man who scored 60 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid was on a clear-cut break away and flashed his shot wide of the goal. It capped off an abysmal second half for the winger who believes he is the best player in the world.
- Ronaldo will receive criticism for that, but that isn’t the sole reason why he was so poor in the second half. Ronaldo’s inability to track back and help Fabio Coentrao defend resulted in the Danes overloading that side, which saw Coentrao vulnerable in numerous 2v1’s. In result to his rued misses, the equalizing goal came from that side which one again saw Jacobsen cross in a quality ball that Bendtner nodded in. Bendtner now has six goals in his last five appearances against Portugal. May be he his world class? (just kidding)
- It seemed certain that Portugal were going to lose two points today until we witnessed a moment of individual brilliance. Bento who I think made his substitutions too late introduced the world to Silvestre Varela. The Porto winger who might not be known to many was on for only six minutes when he scuffed a volley in the box. Varela was persistent and let the ball bounce before he struck it perfectly into the right corner. Varela saved Ronaldo ridicule from his country and his coach from a huge amount of pressure going into the final Group B game.
- With Germany comfortably cruising past Holland this leaves Group B to be decided in the final round of fixtures.Portugal will face Holland who needs to beat them by two to have any chance of advancing.Denmark who might be without Zimling and Rommedahl will face a strong German side that only need a single point to top the group.Portuga lwill only need a point in the final game along with Denmark failing to beat Germany will be enough to see them through to the quarter finals.
- Portugal deserved the win by the narrowed margins as they weren’t entirely convincing. As a whole they need to be better for the full 90 minutes. They sort of remind me of the Russians. They can be superb for a certain period of the game, but then go missing. Bento has a lot of work to do ahead of this crucial fixture, but for tonight his boys can take this W and hopefully build off it as they won an important match when they weren’t at their best.
- My MOTM goes to the world class CB Pepe. He was immense throughout most of the game and he seems to be the real leader in that Portugal back line that keeps them compact. Pepe – The player every team would love to have, but he is also the player every team hates to play against. He’s a rock !
- Nicklas Bendtner
Honourable mention goes to Lars Jacobsen, Joao Moutinho and Miguel Veloso. I thought they had great games as well.