It came down to an almost botched volley attempt by Silvestre Varela in the 87th minute but the winger was able to collar the ball as it bounced off his legs and then drove it on the up past Stephan Andersen for the winning goal.
Portugal shot into the lead when Pepe who about two minutes before went down theatrically clutching his ankle like it had been shot fifty thousand eight hundred and seventy nine times fronted the Danish defense a la Shevchenko against the Swedes from a corner to divert the ball home. Pepe’s usual contribution is either to get someone red carded or stretchered off, so this was actually refreshing. It got worse for the Danes who had to sub Niki Zimling because of injury when Helder Postiga arrived on the ball before any one of them could twitch a muscle to make it two to nothing. Nani had his best game with his unselfish service as he decided to play Boswell to Cristiano Ronaldo.
That was before the best striker in the world got his act together. Nicklas Bendtner took advantage of Michael Krohn- Delhi’s brilliantly executed header across the face off the goal (see him weight the ball perfectly with his head) to use his noggin to cut the margin. Bendtner again rose above Pepe and unmolested swung the ball past Rui Patrico to draw Denmark level. By the way, the Danish striker dropped his pants once again this time using his body for some ambush advertising. Cheesy! He faces the wrath of UEFA who are giving the NYPD a run for their money for creative ways to come up with fines.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s trial and tribulations with the ball continued as he semaphored his frustrations hands on his hips, eyes rolling heavenwards, and kicked imaginary divots. Real Madrid’s all time scoring leader in a single season, the fastest in Liga history towards a century of goals, finds his scoring touch has deserted him. He’s had eight attempts on goal and three off, so he can’t complain about lacking opportunities.
Portugal’s defense is nothing to write home about but the Danish defense was abysmal. They almost made the Irish look good. This Euro has been about bad defending, really shocking abdication of the fundamentals. Which if you look at it in context makes Patrice Evra’s grouse that England played like Chelsea against Barca seem like a compliment.