Friday, May 24, 2024

Portugal win UEFA Nations League

Portugal have won their second trophy in three years as they beat the Netherlands 1-0 in Porto to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League. Goncalo Guedes’ second half goal was enough for them to seal the victory.

It won’t be remembered as one of the classic cup finals this one but Portugal fans will not care one bit about that. Their team have gone and won the first ever Nations League in their own back yard and you have to say, it was a thoroughly deserved win too.

They were the better side all the way through the game. In the first half, they were a constant threat with Bernardo Silva proving to be a real thorn in the side of the Dutch defence. His dazzling footwork and incredible energy levels were just mesmerising to watch as a neutral.

Portugal for the win

As well as Silva, Bruno Fernandes was a standout player with his long range efforts really causing problems for Barca keeper Jasper Cillessen. Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t quite have the impact he did with his hat-trick in the semi-final but he did cause a few problems for Virgil Van Dijk and his teammates.

The second half began much the way the first half ended, with Portugal on top. The goal eventually came for the hosts on the hour mark when Bernardo Silva broke into the box before cutting the ball back for the incoming Goncalo Guedes. The Valencia winger unleashed a powerful strike into the bottom right corner – Cillessen did manage to get a touch but just couldn’t keep it out.

Goncalo Guedes Portugal

After the goal, The Netherlands started to offer a lot more to the game in an attacking sense. Memphis Depay had a great chance with a header from around six yards out but Patricio was equal to it. Even with the introduction of Donny van de Beek and mid-week super-sub Quincy Promes, they just couldn’t find a way through.

Portugal held out to win the game 1-0 and cement their names in the history books as the winners of the first ever UEFA Nations League.

MOTM: Man of the match in this one for me is Bernardo Silva. His work rate and skill levels were just far superior to anyone on the field. He was one of the best players in the Premier League this last season and I’m sure he will be again next season.

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