Portugal Snatch Last-Gasp Victory Over Czechia in Euro Opener

Cristiano & Conceicao Celebrating
Preeti Bali / 6:26 am / June 19, 2024

Portugal secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Czechia in their opening match of the European Championship thanks to a stoppage-time goal from substitute Francisco Conceição.

The Porto winger, who entered the fray in the 90th minute, fired home the winner just two minutes later. A shot from fellow substitute Pedro Neto was blocked by Robin Hranac, but the rebound fell kindly for Conceição, who slotted it past the Czech goalkeeper.

This victory held extra significance for Conceição, as it came almost 24 years to the day after his father, Sérgio Conceição, scored a hat-trick to eliminate defending champions Germany from Euro 2000.

Ronaldo Denied Record-Extending Goal, Pepe Sets New Record

Despite being Portugal’s talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to find the net on this occasion. However, he did achieve a historic feat by becoming the first player to feature in six European Championships. The 39-year-old came close to scoring but was denied by Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek.

Pepe, Portugal’s experienced defender, also etched his name in the record books by becoming the oldest player to appear at the Euros at the age of 41.

Portugal Fights Back After Provod’s Surprise Opener

The match took a surprising turn when the Czech Republic took the lead against the run of play in the 62nd minute. Lukas Provod unleashed a powerful shot that found the back of the net after a well-placed pass from Vladimir Coufal.

Portugal refused to give up and managed to equalize in the 70th minute. Nuno Mendes’ header was saved by Stanek, but the rebound deflected off Hranac and into the goal, much to the dismay of the Czech defender.

Hranac Unfortunate Figure in Both Goals

Hranac was involved in both of Portugal’s goals, unfortunately for the Czech Republic. He was unable to keep out the initial shot in the equalizer and was again unlucky in the build-up to the winning goal.

Hasek Acknowledges Portugal’s Deserved Win

Despite the defeat, Czech coach Ivan Hasek praised his team for their effort and acknowledged Portugal’s dominance throughout the match. He admitted that Portugal deserved the win due to their superior performance.

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