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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Portugal start their Euro campaign with a win

Image Source: NDTV

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with a thrilling yet flawed 2-1 victory over Czechia on June 19 at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena. The match was a rollercoaster for Portugal, culminating in Francisco Conceicao’s dramatic stoppage-time goal that secured a crucial win but also exposed significant weaknesses within the team.

Ronaldo, at 39 years old, played a subdued role throughout the game, failing to convert some of Portugal’s best scoring opportunities. This highlighted a broader concern about Portugal’s reliance on their star players, with other key figures like Rafael Leao, Bernardo Silva, and notably Bruno Fernandes struggling to perform at their usual levels.

The match itself was characterized by Portugal’s hesitancy in attacking play, contrasting sharply with Czechia’s disciplined defensive strategy. Despite Portugal’s dominance in possession, they struggled to create clear scoring chances until an own goal in the 69th minute leveled the scoreline. Lukas Provod’s stunning long-range strike for Czechia underscored the unpredictability of football, where clinical finishing often outweighs possession statistics.

Portugal managed to salvage victory thanks to Conceicao’s composure in front of goal in the dying moments of the game, securing three vital points in their opening match. However, the performance left much to be desired in terms of creativity and execution, raising questions about their approach as they progress through the tournament.

Overall, while the win provided a positive start for Portugal in Euro 2024, it also highlighted areas needing improvement if they are to fulfill their ambitions in the competition.

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