Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Portugal 2-1 Czech: Conceicao Late Goal Decisive Against Czech Euro 2024

by: EdwardB


Portugal escaped a major scare in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier, edging past a resilient Czech Republic side 2-1 thanks to a dramatic stoppage-time winner from substitute Francisco Conceicao on June 18th. The young winger spared his team’s blushes after a frustrating performance in Leipzig.

Early Dominance Meets Surprise Czech Lead

As expected, Portugal dominated possession from the first whistle, pinning the Czechs back into their own half. However, despite controlling the tempo, Fernando Santos’ men struggled to break down a well-organized Czech defense. Rafael Leao provided the main attacking threat with his trademark runs down the left flank, though one theatrical dive earned him a yellow card in the first half.

Cristiano Ronaldo, as always, was the focal point of the Portuguese attack. He had the best chance of the opening period, played through on goal by Bruno Fernandes, only to be denied by a brilliant sprawling save from Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek. Ronaldo tested Stanek again before half-time, but clear-cut chances remained at a premium.

Going against the expected flow of the game, the Czech Republic surprised the Portuguese supporters in the 62nd minute. A rapid counter-attack led to Vladimir Coufal locating Lukas Provod with room just outside the penalty area. From there, the midfielder skillfully curved a first-time shot into the net, leaving Diogo Costa unable to do anything to stop it and giving his team an unexpected advantage.

Fortunate Equalizer and VAR Drama

The Czech joy was short-lived, however. Portugal drew level just seven minutes later, albeit with a large slice of luck. Stanek parried Nuno Mendes’ header towards goal, but the ball cannoned off the unfortunate Robin Hranac and into the back of the net.

The match opened up after the equalizer, transforming into an end-to-end affair. Portugal thought they had snatched a late winner when Ronaldo headed against the post and Diogo Jota reacted fastest to bundle the rebound home. Their celebrations ended abruptly, however, when VAR intervened to rule Ronaldo offside in the build-up.

Ronaldo headed and Diogo Jota reacted

Conceicao the Hero as Portugal Avoids Upset

Just when it seemed the match was destined for a draw, substitute Francisco Conceicao took center stage. Deep into stoppage time, a poor clearance from the hapless Hranac fell straight to the 21-year-old winger, who made no mistake from close range, firing the ball into the back of the net to send the Portuguese bench and supporters into raptures.

Conceicao is truly deserving of it. He consistently focuses on scoring, has a knack for finding the net, and earned high praise from Portugal coach Roberto Martinez after the game. The coach described him as the spark that the team required today.

Czech coach Ivan Hasek appeared frustrated. It’s disappointing to let in a goal this late in the game, but we must stay positive, he said. We have to improve because this game wasn’t flawless for us.

Portugal dramatic win sees them join Turkey at the top of Group F after the Turkish side beat Georgia 3-1 earlier in the day. While they’ll be relieved to start their campaign with three points, the performance will give Martinez food for thought. They’ll need to be much more clinical in front of goal if they are to navigate a tricky group and secure qualification for next summer’s tournament in Germany.

Holabet News is your trusted online betting site in SingaporeYour winning journey starts here!