Portugal downed Denmark by a score of 3-2 at Euro 2012 on Wednesday, with Varela netting the winning-goal in the 87th minute.
The Portuguese were bossing the game to the tune of a 2-0 lead after just 36 minutes.
The scoring was opened by Real Madrid defender Pepe in the 24th minute following a corner.
The naturalized Portuguese made a run to the near post and flicked the ball past Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen with a sublime header.
Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Helder Postiga doubled Portugal’s lead in the 36th minute. The build up play from Nani was brilliant, who created enough space to fire in a low cross to the near-post, which Postiga buried in the back of the net.
However, the game changed when Nicklas Bendtner bagged his first goal of the 2012 European Championships in the 41st minute, and turned on its head when he completed his brace in the 80th minute.
On 85 minutes, Paulo Bento made the substitution of the match when he took off central midfielder Raul Meireles in favor of attacking winger Silvestre Varela.
Varela rewarded the Portuguese boss with the match-winning goal just two minutes after his inclusion.
Despite the victory, Paulo Bento felt that his side did not win as comfortably as he envisioned.
“We deserved the victory, but we suffered too much, considering what we did [in the first half],” Bento told SIC.
“We defended well in the first half, showing some good organisation, and there was a period in which we could have scored twice [more] but Denmark ended up scoring with the only chance they had.
“In the second half, our plan was to make it 3-1 and not see it out at 2-1. A minute before Denmark’s equalised, we could have killed off the game [through Cristiano Ronaldo].
“Then our players’ character and personality emerged. They have been working in an extraordinary way.”
Cristiano Ronaldo rues misses
Another story emerging out of the Group of Death clash between Portugal and Denmark was the non-clinical finishing of Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed a few glaring chances.
The Real Madrid talisman expressed his frustration following the game, when he told Sport TV that he could have done better with his chance. I think most would agree.
With that said, Portugal got exactly the result that they needed, three points. A two-goal victory would have been better, but surely Bento and Ronaldo will settle for the win.
If Portugal can get a result against Holland in their final group fixture, they have a great chance of advancing because Denmark still have to face Germany.
Will Portugal advance to the knockout stages at Euro 2012?
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