LVIV: Portugal danced between delight and disaster before finally snatching a 3-2 victory over Denmark in their breathless Group B tie in the European Championship.
Substitute Silvestre Varela from Porto smacked a superb 87th-minute winner after Paul Bento’s men had conceded a two-goal lead. He had been been on the pitch only four minutes before capitalising on a much more awkward chance than the two which team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo had wasted minutes earlier.
Portugal can qualify for the quarter-finals by defeating Holland in their last group game.
Earlier goals from Pepe and Helder Postiga put Portugal in charge before Nicklas Bendtner struck twice to take his record against the Portuguese to six goals in five matches.
Portugal manager Paulo Bento said: “Conceding an equaliser so late, we showed great strength of character to keep going for the win. Really we should have killed the game off earlier, we had enough chances.”
Denmark had won their opening game against Holland and could have secured a quarter-finals place had they won. Coach Morten Olsen said that losing it so late had devastated his players but he was not unhappy with the performance.
Olsen said: “It’s a horrible feeling to concede so close to the end and end up losing the game. We struggled to find our rhythm but we really improved in the second half and in the last 10 minutes we came into our own. I was proud of the way we played against the Netherlands but in a sense I’m prouder here of our second-half performance.”
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