Denmark 0-1 Portugal

Fernando Santos' first competitive game as Seleção coach ended with a dramatic victory for Portugal thanks to a 95th-minute Cristiano Ronaldo header.

After a promising start for Portugal, an attritional game of few chances ensued in the driving rain in Denmark. Krohn-Dehli hit the post for the hosts, while Ronaldo missed a one-on-one.

A goalless draw looked on the cards until a magnificent cross in the dying seconds by substitute Quaresma was headed into the net by Portugal's captain to spark wild celebrations.

Santos made two changes in relation to his starting XI against France, the two Carvalhos coming into the side, Ricardo replacing Bruno Alves at centre-back and William getting the nod ahead of André Gomes.

Bright start

Portugal started positively, with William and Tiago providing solid cover in midfield and Moutinho seemingly finding his passing range to bring the mobile front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Danny and Nani into play.

Ronaldo forced Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (son of the legendary ex Manchester United and Sporting stopper, Peter) into a sharp save with an angled drive early on. Nani had two chances in quick succession in the 26th minute. First he scuffed his shot from 20 yards then headed over an inviting opportunity after being wonderfully set up by Ronaldo.

The Seleção failed to build on their bright start however, with the Danes enjoying the better of the final 15 minutes of the first half. The home side were desperately close to taking the lead on 34 minutes as the ball broke to Krohn-Dehli on the left of the area, and the forward's curled effort beat Patrício but came back off the post.

Denmark applied pressure until the interval without creating clear-cut chances, and Portugal were next to threaten as early in the second half Ronaldo missed the sort of chance he normally gobbles up. Danny did well to rob the ball on the edge of the box and play a neat pass to the Seleção captain who was all alone in front of Schmeichel. The young goalkeeper did well to close down CR7 quickly, but it has to go down as a bad miss.

There was no lack of commitment from either team, but the match then went into a drab spell with neither goalkeeper called into action and the crowd strangely muted.

Positive substitutions

Santos tried to inject some life into Portugal with three forward-thinking substitutions, João Mário replacing the disappointing Nani and Éder and Quaresma coming on for Danny and Tiago.

The experienced coach was rewarded for his audacity as in the very last minute Quaresma collected Moutinho's pass, ran towards the bye-line and sent over a peach of a cross that Ronaldo met perfectly to give Portugal victory and put the Seleção right back on course for Euro 2016 qualification.

Worthy of special mention was Ricardo Carvalho who rolled back the years with a master-class in the art of high-quality defending.

by Tom Kundert

 

Denmark:

Kasper Schmeichel, Lars Jacobsen, Simon Kjaer, Daniel Agger, Nicolai Boilesen (Simon Poulsen, 58), William Kvist, Pierre Hojbjerg, Christian Eriksen (Thomas Kahlenberg, 84), Lasse Vibe (Uffe Bech, 46), Martin Krohn-Dehli, Nicklas Bendtner

Portugal:

Rui Patrício, Cedric, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Eliseu, William Carvalho, Tiago (Quaresma, 84), João Moutinho, Danny (Éder, 77), Nani (João Mário, 68), Cristiano Ronaldo

Goals:

[0-1] Ronaldo, 95'

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Comments (29)

  1. Robert Schlemmer

Massive win for Portugal !!!
Thrilling to pull one out at the end.

BUT, the midfield really disappeared after 30 to 35 minutes. There was no connection between the back 5 and the front 3.
I like the combo of Danny, Nani, and Ronaldo, but they...

Massive win for Portugal !!!
Thrilling to pull one out at the end.

BUT, the midfield really disappeared after 30 to 35 minutes. There was no connection between the back 5 and the front 3.
I like the combo of Danny, Nani, and Ronaldo, but they need support. And, I think they can be used better.
And Queresma can clearly make an impact in some role.
Bottomline is Portugal have to figure out a way for Ronaldo to be on the ball.

BIG BIG win toward Euro 2016.

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  1. Vasco

As soon as we call up Bruma to replace the frustrating Nani, it will bring a lot of relief to Ronaldo. The way Bruma uses his speed to open things up Is incredible

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  1. Filipe

Nani shouldn't be starting for this team, he's disappointing time after time. Great cross from Q for the Ronaldo winner, he should be starting.

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  1. marc0de

worth a watch - comments on Portugal vs Denmark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqaU5v9YeJ8
enjoy

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  1. SupremoGino

Great win!!!

Our team has barely had any time to steady themselves as a unit so beating Denmark on their ground for 3 points is impressive!

So far so good in the Santo's era.. he made great adjustments. I completely agree with him starting...

Great win!!!

Our team has barely had any time to steady themselves as a unit so beating Denmark on their ground for 3 points is impressive!

So far so good in the Santo's era.. he made great adjustments. I completely agree with him starting Carvalho. His positioning is spot on.. and the way he dealt with danger.. assisting Eliseu for the clearance and preventing a corner. I'm still blown away by his quality. World class.

Alves should be embarrassed to have played in the last two major tournaments over this living legend RICARDO CARVALHO. He should just retire now that we have Jose Fonte in the mixture.

The addition of William solidified the midfield.. and my hat goes off to Santos for starting Eliseu with William providing cover down his flank. This game was a must win, and Santos understood that by using an attack-minded player (Eliseu) that improved our chances and (William) to close the gaps and nullify that defensive weak spot.

Tiago.. impeccable. Another one who should've retired Meireles years ago. The team is still lacking cohension in the final third but I believe the 3 mobile attackers is the right approach. Hopefully with more practice and understanding this will improve.

Ronaldo again is the hero and Ricardo Quaresma made a great assist. CR post-game comment pretty much dropped the bomb that he wants to play beside Quaresma rather than Nani.

Quaresma is naturally more talented than Nani. No doubt. But his lack of playing time is hampering him from a true revival so I'm not sure if it's best to just toss him in there like that.

Is it fair to say theres a false sense of pride regarding Portugal at the moment? I believe this current team is built for the past and the present but not the future.

We have some excellent u-21 prospects coming up but are they ready? The time to integrate is now, not just before the Euros.

For now we have recovered from the disaster that is Paulo Bento.

Força Portugal

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  1. steve

To all the Quaresma haters out there: Time to eat a big piece of humble pie

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  1. allen

we really missed fabio coentrao today!

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  1. jesualdo

so Q7+ CR7 made the difference after all. danny and tiago were also impressive. cr7 now has world class players all around him. that's great news for our national team.

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  1. Sam Costa

Great goal that was setup by Quaresma with Ronaldo to head it home! I thought they played well today. Defensively they looked strong and I totally agree with your assessment about Ricardo Carvalho, Tom! For some reason they didnt seem to have...

Great goal that was setup by Quaresma with Ronaldo to head it home! I thought they played well today. Defensively they looked strong and I totally agree with your assessment about Ricardo Carvalho, Tom! For some reason they didnt seem to have great control on the center midfield area. It just seemed like they had trouble attacking forward from there. I maybe wrong though. Fowards seemed to do ok today. Again they had chances but the finishing was subpar. But that has always been the theme with this team over the years. Again they did get the result they needed which in the end is all that matters.

As always excellent job covering the Selecão Tom Kundert!

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  1. PortugalFan

Great win !
CR7 - el mejor !!!

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