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June 13, 2012
• 12:00 PM
• L'viv Arena, L'viv
Referee: C. Thomson
• Attendance: 31840
N. Bendtner 41', 80'
Hélder Postiga 36'
Silvestre Varela 87'
I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me here in Lviv tonight. Make sure you keep it with Goal.com for tonight's grudge-match between Netherlands and Germany.
Well, what an amazing game. It looked like Portugal had sealed the victory midway through the second half, but a Nicklas Bendtner header gave Denmark the equaliser they craved. That though, was short-lived, as Varela scored a brilliant half-volley to secure all three points for Paulo Bento's side.
90' + 4'
And that's it! The referee blows for full time here in Lviv, with the scoreline: Denmark 2-3 Portugal.
90' + 3'
OH! That was the chance! Mikkelsen, on the edge of the area, laid it square to Agger, who struck a shot first time, only to see it go high over the bar.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Cristiano Ronaldo
90' + 2'
As Denmark heap men forward, Nelson Oliveira nicks the ball off of Jacobsen and attempts a counter attack. He comes inside, and looks to slip in Ronaldo on the right-hand flank, but his pass his intercepted by Agger at the last moment.
We'll have four minutes of added time here.
It's Denmarl's turn to pile players forward now. Eriksen wins a corner on the left-hand side, and takes the subsequent set piece himself. The Ajax man whips it in towards the far post, but Pepe is there once again to clear away the ball.
Assist Fabio Coentrao
Goal Silvestre Varela
GOALL! And the substitute Varela has scored with virtually his first touch! A cross from the left by Coentrao went to the feet of the Porto man, who struck it on the half-volley with his right foot, in to the back of the net.
Portugal are piling men forward now. Coentrao drives forward and has his cross deflected for a corner. Moutinho whips it in from the left, but it's cleared away by Agger. This is going to be a tense few minutes for Denmark.
If you fancy a flutter in the last few minutes, Jim Kinight has the live odds: "Nicklas Bendtner is a goal machine. His second of the game and Denmark have clawed it back. Portugal are 16/5 for the win now, if you think Denmark can complete the comeback and knock out Portugal, they are 11/2 for the win with William Hill"
Almost immediately from kick off, Ronaldo goes up the other end, and wins a free kick on the left-hand touchline. He dusts himself off, and fires a shot at goal. Andersen though, is more than equal to it, and holds the ball well.
Yellow Card Lars Jacobsen
Assist Lars Jacobsen
Goal Nicklas Bendtner
GOALL! And can you believe it? Denmark have equalised! A cross deep from the right by Jacobsen, goes towards the head of Bendtner at the far post. The Sunderland man peels off the back of Pepe, and heads home off of the post. 2-2. Amazing.
OH RONALDO! That is so poor. Played through by Nani, he is all alone, with just Andersen to beat. The Real Madrid man decides to hit it early, but his shot goes about two metres wide. Dreadful finishing.
Clark Whitney on the Denmark fans' jibes at Ronaldo: "The Denmark fans have started chants of "Messi!" much to the dismay of their opposites. Jeers can be heard from the Portuguese end as many between chuckle at the humour."
Kjaer has it for Denmark now. On the halfway line, he tries to chip a through ball over the heads of Pepe and Bruno Alves and into the path of Mikkelsen. Alves though, reads it well, and just jumps up to chest the ball into his possession.
It's Ronaldo, running at the Danish defenders down the left flank. He's surrounded by three players, but manages to get a cross in. The ball though, is a poor one, as it goes over Andersen's bar.
It's Raul Meireles this time with a shot from the edge of the area. And again it's awful. As they say: it was high, wide and not so handsome.
Substitute Nelson Oliveira gets his first touch, and it's a dreadful shot from the edge of the area. Receiving the ball off of Meireles, he turned, and went for it. Andersen though, was not fazed at all, and just stepped to his left and picked up the ball.
Portugal expert Luis Mira is feeling quite so smug: "Portugal are feeling the pressure now and are having a hard time to enter Denmark's midfield. A terrible performance from Paulo Bento's men in the second half."
Michael Hansen is feeling a bit smug: "Tobias Mikkelsen has really done well so far. An unknown entity to Portugal he is tearing their defenders apart. I told you it was a blessing in disguise."
Mikkelsen is really trying to impose himself on the game here. That time, he received the ball on the edge of the area, wriggled past Pepe, but had his shot blocked by the on-rushing Bruno Alves.
Jim Knight on the odds for next goalscorer: "After we said Ronaldo was 5/1 to score next (which is still true) he decides to go into meltdown and bottles a one-on-one. Nicklas Bendtner is now 7/1 to score next. Portugal look like they're coming back into the game and the draw is 9/2. You can now get 3/1 on Ronaldo to score anytime as well, if you've got as much faith in the Real Madrid forward as he's got in himself"
The corner eventually comes in after being played short by Krohn-Dehli, but Pepe clears away the danger.
Mikkelsen gets his first touch of the ball, and puts in a beautiful cross for Bendtner from the right-hand side. Pepe though, reads the ball, and clears away for a corner.
Michael Hansen on the new boy Mikkelsen: "Tobias Mikkelsen replacing an injured Dennis Rommedahl. This is not good, as Morten Olsen has only one substitute left. Mikkelsen though has had a fine season for the Danish champions FC Nordsjaelland. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise with a fresh and eager right winger."
CORR! A cross from Jacobsen on the right-hand side was cleared to the edge of the area, where Kvist was there to fire in a first time shot. He caught it absolutely marvellously, but the ball sneaked just inches over the bar.
Some lovely play from Portugal there. On the edge of the area, Veloso, Nani and Ronaldo all exchanges one-touch passes, but the final ball from Meireles was hit out of play for a throw in.
Tobias Pilegaard Mikkelsen
Rommedahl has pulled up after chasing a through ball from Eriksen. And it looks like a hamstring injury. Horrible news for the Danes.
A free kick to Portugal is fired in from Veloso on the left-hand side. It's hit at pace towards Andersen, but the Evian keeper is equal to it and punches away.
Clark Whitney with news from the touchline: "Substitutes are now warming up for both sides. For Portugal Silvestre Varela, Nelson Oliveira and Ronaldo are readying themselves; for Denmark, it's Christian Poulsen, Thomas Kahlenberg, and Lasse Schone. Looks as though there will be aggressive changes for the Iberians in the coming minutes. Or will Bento bring off his goal scorer, Postiga?"
Yellow Card Jakob Poulsen
That is dreadful defending! S. Poulsen gives his pass across goal straight to Helder Postiga, but the Zaragoza man can't make the most of it, and gets tackled almost immediately by Agger. That was a big chance.
Joao Pereira goes on a run down the right-hand side. He skips past Jacobsen, and gets a cross in. The ball, towards Ronaldo, is a tad overhit, and S. Poulsen is there to clear away.
It's Meireles now, 30 yards from goal. He looks up, and could go on himself, but instead decides to slid through Ronaldo on the left-hand side. The pass though, is a poor one and it goes out for a throw in.
OH! Another miss from Ronaldo. The Real Madrid man was played through on goal, and shot from the edge of the area on the left-hand side. Andersen though, got down well, and saved to his left.
Denmark are attacking now with Rommedahl. Down the right-hand side, he tries to get to the byline and whip in a cross, but Coentrao tracks him all the way and blocks.
Here we go then. We're back, and Portugal get us underway, kicking from left-to-right.
Mr Hansen again: " After Portugal’s second goal the Danish defenders looked frustrated and were playing without confidence, afraid to tackle the Portuguese players. But after Bendtner scored, Denmark found new confidence and were in control for the last five minutes of the first half. If they hope to get a point out of this game, Morten Olsen need to tell his players to defend more and not take too many chances going forward."
Here's Michael Hansen with his say: "Denmark started well and for the first ten minutes they looked like to have a more attack-minded approach to the game than in Saturday’s game against Netherlands. Christian Eriksen was working very hard and was all over the pitch. Even the two full-backs were joining the attack, but they were quick to get back defending when Denmark lost possession of the ball. The injury to Niki Zimling, who was replaced after sixteen minutes by Jakob Poulsen somehow had an effect on Denmark’s play. Thye lost their rhytm and Portugal were allowed more time on the ball, which is the last thing they should be allowed to do.
The stats from our Match Centre show that the first half has been a fairly even affair. Five Denmark shots to Portugal's six; three on target for the Danes as opposed to just two for the Portuguese.
Portugal expert Luis Mira on the first half: "Half time in Lviv and what a game it has been! Portugal took some time to enter the game, but made the most of the opportunities they had. They are having much more space to play than they did against Germany, and Nani is thanking them for that. The Manchester United winger has been terrific on the right side and Poulsen seems to be unable to do anything about it."
A header midway through the half from Pepe, and then a superb strike from Helder Postiga looked to have sewn up the game for Portugal. But a late header from Nicklas Bendtner means we really have got a game on our hands. As always do send in your comments via the chat box.
And that's it. Nani's cross was the last action of the half, with the scoreline here in Lviv: Denmark 1-2 Portugal.
Nani travels forward down the right. He gets a low cross in, but Andersen gets down and collects the ball. In the meantime, Helder Postiga is on the halfway line, holding his face.
Betting editor Jim Knight is here again: "It's 2-1 and Denmark hit back, Nicklas Bendtner gets himself in on the goalfest with a header from close range. Where will the pendulum swing next? Denmark are 17/20 for the next goal, Denmark are a tempting 21/10."
OH! It really is end-to-end stuff here. Nani, from the right-hand side, crosses to the near post, but Helder Postiga can't quite get across Kjaer enough to head home. What a game this is turning out to be.
Assist Michael Krohn-Dehli
Goal Nicklas Bendtner
GOALL! And Denmark are back in it! A cross from J. Poulsen goes to Krohn-Dehli on the left-hand post, who heads it back across goal for Nicklas Bendtner to nod in from two yards out! From nothing, the Danes are back.
Denmark expert Michael Hansen is not happy: "More bad defending from Denmark. They look frustrated and the defenders seems to have no confidence, not being able to clear the ball and marking the players they are instructed to mark."
Denmark look to get back in the game almost immediately. Christian Eriksen, on the edge of the area, hit a scorching effort at goal, but Rui Patricio was on hand to save low to his left.
Goal Hélder Postiga
GOALL! And it's 2-0 to Portugal. Helder Postiga this time with the strike. Nani, on the right-hand side of the area, strokes a ball across the box, and into the path of the Zaragoza man, who just passes it into the top right-hand corner of the net from eight yards out.
The corner comes in from Meireles on the right-hand side, but Andersen seems to have recovered from earlier, and collects the ball well.
OFFFF! The Real Madrid man strikes it, but it comes off the edge of the wall and out for a corner.
It's Ronaldo running directly at the Denmark defence, again. He comes to the edge of the box, but Jacobsen bundles him over and concedes a free kick. This could be dangerous.
Our betting editor Jim Knight is here with all the live odds: "Pepe opens the scoring with yet another header! They're the flavour of the tournament so far. Denmark now 12/1 for victory while Portugal are 1/4. The draw is 9/2. Can the Danes find a way back or is this Portugal kick starting their campaign? A long way to go yet."
Clark Whitney on a collision between Rommedahl and Bruno Alves during that free kick: "Rommedahl seems to have picked up a knock on his ankle after that collision with Bruno Alves. Away from the ball, he's made one or two attempts to run but has quite a limp. Tobias Mikkelsen is warming up now on the touchline."
Yellow Card Raúl Meireles
The free kick is pumped in by Eriksen, but the Portuguese defence stay strong, and manage to clear away the danger.
Andersen fires a long kick upfield, where Meireles handballs and gives away a free kick in a dangerous position, 40 yards from goal.
The corner comes in, but Andersen collects easily this time.
Portugal come forward almost immediately after kick off. Ronaldo has it in the centre of the pitch, looks up, and slips in Helder Postiga inside the box. The Zaragoza man takes a touch, but it tackled by Kjaer and the ball goes out for a corner.
Something I missed whilst the goal went in from Clark Whitney: "Nani looks like he's taken a knock to the face during the goal celebration. He's on the touchline now and looks ok to continue, but is quite angry at someone!"
Assist Joao Moutinho
GOALL! And it's Pepe for Portugal. The free kick was whipped in by Veloso, but was headed out for a corner by Kjaer. From the subsequent set piece, Moutinho this time curls it into the near post, where the Real Madrid man is there to head home. 1-0.
Helder Postiga receives the ball near the halfway line, and tries to hold off the tackling attmepts of Agger. The Liverpool man gers a bit overexcited though, and concedes a free kick.
Ronaldo shoots from the left-hand touchline, parallel with the 18 yard box. It's rubbish. And skies the bar by a mile.
That's more like it from Ronaldo. On the left-hand touchline, he attacked the Danish defence, and forced a foul out of Simon Kjaer. Free kick to Portugal.
Portugal expert Luis Mira on the game so far: "15 minutes are gone now, and this match is wide open. Denmark got off to a flying start and had four corner kicks in the opening minutes, but Portugal now seem to be reacting, though they are yet to test Stephan Andersen properly."
OH DEAR! Ronaldo has his first chance to run at the Danish defence. From around 40 yards, he comes forward with the ball, plays a one-two with Meireles and then attempts to shoot at goal. The effort though, is a poor one, and goes well, well wide.
Michael Hansen on the Zimling injury: "Jakob Poulsen was seen warming up before kick-off. Can it mean that Niki Zimling has not been fully fit today? He is coming off now, Morten Olsen took a gamble on him and it did not pay off."
This doesn't look good for Zimling. He's not the sort to go down, and he certainly looks in some pain here.
The right-hand side is going to be a big area of attack for Denmark. That time, Kvist tried to release Rommedahl, but the pass was slightly overhit and went out for a goal kick. Get that pass right though, and the Danes could cause all sorts of problems.
The corner is whipped in by Veloso, and it's an absolutely stunning ball that is buzzed in from the Genoa man. Stephan Andersen, the Danish keeper, is equal to it though, and punches away the danger.
Portugal come forward now with Nani down the right-hand side. The Manchester United man puts a cross in from the touchline, but Agger is there to head behind for a corner.
More fan analysis from Clark Whitney: "Quite a sight in the stands as all the Danish supporters jump in unison - not only in their corner, but little pockets of red and white all throughout the area."
Our Denmark expert Michael Hansen seems impressed with his team's start: "Chritian Eriksen is working much harder today than we are used to see from him. He is everywhere, trying to get the ball from the Portuguese. It seems like Morten Olsen has instructed him to roam freely. Denmark are attacking Portugal much more than expected but they are back defending as soon as they lose possession. Portugal look bewildered and haven't found a way to play in the usual fluent style. They are not allowed much time on the ball. Denmark are playing like the English team!"
Clark Whitney has spotted something on the touchline: "Miguel Lopes is already off the bench warming up for Portugal. Perhaps Joao Pereira has pulled a muscle?"
Portugal come forward now with Joao Pereira. The Sporting full-back tries a deep cross from the right, but the ball goes miles over the head of Ronaldo, and out the other side for a throw in.
It's Rommedahl this time with the ball for Denmark. He tries to open his legs and get round Coentrao, but the Real Madrid man puts it out for another Danish corner. It comes in again from Krohn-Dehli, but again Portugal head away.
The corner comes in from the left by Krohn-Dehli, but it's played short this time, and Portugal manage to get two men out to stop the cross. Is there anything more frustrating in football than a short corner that doesn't come off?
Christian Eriksen gets his first notable touch of the ball, and wins a corner on the right-hand side, after his cross was deflected out by Coentrao. It's whipped in by Krohn-Dehli, but Bruno Alves heads away. The head isn't far enough though, and Denmark have a chance. Kvist, inside the area, takes a touch, but his shot is blocked out for another corner by Pepe.
Not for long though. Krohn-Dehli wins a free kick, and Denmark have a set piece inside the centre circle. It's played quickly out to the left-hand side and Rommedahl, but the 33-year-old loses it to Pepe, and the Seleccao have it back again.
It's played back to Daniel Agger at centre back, who pumps it upfield to the head of Nicklas Bendtner. The Sunderland man though, loses out to Bruno Alves, and Portugal have the ball for the first time in the match.
Here we go then. The second round of matches in Group B are underway, and it's Denmark who kick us off, going from left-to-right.
Denamrk pelt out their anthem now. With Nicklas Bendtner in full voice. Like always!
First up is the Portuguese national anthem. And it turns out Nani is quite the singer.
The teams are leaving the tunnel, and are lining up ahead of the anthems.
Denmark expert Michael Hansen again: "Portugal need a win today. Hopefully Denmark can punish them on counter attacks before they can regroup. But we need to concentrate mainly on defending as I expect Portugal to come forward in numbers. If we survive the first twenty minutes we will settle down and gain a lot of confidence that we can keep Portugal from scoring."
Jose Mourinho was here in Lviv on Saturday to watch Portugal against Germany. Today though, he's in Jakarta, apparently. Get him.
Just over 10 minutes to go until kick off here in Lviv. And the atmosphere is already electric. Can Denmark cause another upset? Or will Portugal finally get their tournament underway? Make sure you stick around to find out.
Mr Whitney again, and it seems Ronaldo hasn't yet turned up: "Cristiano Ronaldo has taken more than a dozen shots from distance, each further from goal than the last, but has yet to hit the target. Bruno Alves just showed him up with a 25-metre screamer into the top corner."
There seems to be a lot of love for Ronaldo on Twitter and on our Facebook page. What do you think are the chances of him finally turning up to a major tournament? Let us know via the chat box.
Clark Whitney again, on the ground in Lviv: "In warm-up, the Danes just had three consecutive shots rattle the woodwork before a fourth went just over the bar. Good news for Andersen that he can't be scored past? Or bad news for the outfielders, not finding the net?"
This will be the 13th time these two sides have met, and Portugal have much the better record: winning seven, drawing two and losing three. And that fact is one of mine.
Don't forget, we'd love to hear your comments on this afternoon's game by getting in touch via the chat box. That thing there on the right-hand side.
With his place confirmed in the lineup today, Christian Eriksen has become the youngest Danish player ever to reach 25 caps. I would claim that marvellous fact for myself, but it's via Michael Hansen. He knows his stuff ladies and gentlemen.
Clark Whitney, who's in the Media Centre in Lviv, gives us the lowdown on the fans this afternoon: "Seats are starting to fill up here in Lviv, and the players have just made their way onto the pitch for warm-up. Looking around the stadium there is a real cosmopolitan feel: flags from not only Denmark and Portugal, but Poland, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Ireland, Hungary, Germany Czech Republic, and many more can be found. The Danes seem to have carved out an enclave in one of the corners - their fan embassy expects between 3500 and 4000 supporters tonight."
Equally, Michael Hansen, our Denmark expert, says this on the lineup: "Denmark start with the same players and formation as in the Netherlands game. Morten Olsen trusts his players and his tactics. But I think the players will have a more defensive attitude. The two full-backs will not be as attack-minded like they were on Saturday."
Our Portugal expert Luis Mira has his say on the Seleccao's starting XI: "Paulo Bento chooses the same players and formation from the match against Germany, with Helder Postiga starting up front despite enduring a disappointing night on Saturday. The tactical system may be the same, but Portugal are expected to enter this game with a more attacking display as they are in desperate need of a win."
Portugal (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Joao Pereira, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Coentrao; Veloso, Moutinho, Meireles; Nani, Ronaldo, Helder Postiga.
The lineups are in, and both teams have gone with the XI's that started in both their previous games. Denmark (4-3-3): Andersen; Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, S. Poulsen; Kvist, Eriksen, Zimling; Krohn-Dehli, Bendtner, Rommedahl.
Our man on the ground in Lviv, Clark Whitney, has said tonight is 'make or break' for Cristiano Ronaldo if he is to prove himself worthy of this season's Ballon d'Or. What do you think? If Ronaldo has a good tournament, can he be considered the best player on the planet? Let me know by tweeting @goal_intl.
Portugal, on the other hand, were thoroughly disappointing against pre-tournament favourites Germany. They clearly set out for the draw, and only when Mario Gomez headed home 15 minutes from time, did they look like causing a threat to Manuel Neuer's goal. There will be no such approach tonight though; lose, and Portugal are halfway to going out of the competition at the first stage.
In their previous game last Saturday, Denmark were somewhat fortunate against an extremely wasteful Netherlands side, who attempted 28 shots on goal. It was a first half Michael Krohn-Dehli goal that eventually won it for De Rod-Hvide, but they will hope they're not so open defensively tonight.
It's not just against the Danes that Portugal have had a tough time of it recently. They are yet to register a win in 2012, having won just once in their last seven games, scoring only once in ther last four. And when you boast a front three of Nani, Helder Postiga and Cristiano Ronaldo, that's pretty poor.
The Euro '92 winners topped their qualification group ahead of tonight's opponents Portugal, beating them last October 2-1; goals from Krohn-Dehli and Bendtner that night took them clear of the Seleccao, and they never really looked back. In fact, the Danes have finished above the Portuguese in the last two qualification groups, having toppled them pre-World Cup 2010.
Before the tournament, many assumed that Denmark would be the whipping boys of the Group of Death. But a win today for Morten Olsen's side, and they can theoretically assume that they'll be through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012. It would be a huge turn up for the books, but when you assess their recent form, it's perhaps not that much a surprise.
Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Denmark vs Portugal from Lviv Arena. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for today's crucial Group B clash.
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