Euro 2024, Football

Euro 2024 – Portugal vs Czech Republic: Late winner from Conceicao helps Portugal win despite subpar Ronaldo

Portugal’s triumphant start to Euro 2024 was secured by Francisco Conceicao’s goal in the 92nd minute, as Roberto Martinez’s team overcame a deficit to defeat Czech Republic 2-1 in Group F.

In stoppage time at Leipzig Stadium, Porto’s Conceicao, who was playing for Portugal for the first time, scored from close range after the Czech Republic was unable to clear a low cross from fellow substitute Pedro Neto.

Earlier in the second half, Lukas Provod, a midfielder for the Czech Republic, made history by becoming the first player to feature at a sixth European Championship at the age of 39. The strike came from the edge of the box, punishing Portugal for failing to take many chances, many of which fell to a wasteful Cristiano Ronaldo.

Shortly after Provod’s unexpected first goal, Portugal equalised through fortunate circumstances when Czech Republic custodian Jindrich Stanek blocked a header from Nuno Mendes and the ball bounced back into the net for an own goal against defender Robin Hranac.

When Diogo Jota’s header in the 87th minute—following a VAR check—was disallowed for offside after Ronaldo’s shot had rebounded off the post, it appeared as though the Czechs would have to settle for a point.

However, with just two minutes of stoppage time left, Neto and Conceicao worked together to secure a close victory. This meant that Portugal, the 2016 European champions and one of the favourites to win the tournament, would draw even with Turkey, who had defeated Georgia 3-1 in the previous group match.

Czech Republic boss Ivan Hasek said: “I have to admit it is a big pity that we did not finish our work. It was close. We made it very difficult for Portugal, one of the best teams in the world.

“We are all disappointed to have conceded in additional time. We have to put it behind us very quickly as in four days we will play a key game. We will need to improve.

“It is really unbelievable how dangerous a player Cristiano Ronaldo is in every game at his age. He showed his genius again, he knows how to get involved in chances.

“My hat goes off to him; he is one of the best players in football history. Truly a fabulous man.”


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