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Impressive Portugal win Nations League final against Dutch

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

09:34 9 Jun 2019

Portugal have won the inaugural Nations League, after a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Porto. 

The Portuguese have qualified for the Euro 2020 tournament next summer as a result, with the winner coming from Goncalo Guedes on the hour mark.

The match was an enthralling affair, end to end, but with the Dutch often falling short with the final ball and goalscoring opportunity.

The Netherlands will have to make their peace with a minimum play-off opportunity to qualify for Euro 2020, but neither side will be in any way dismayed by their performance.

Guedes the difference

The Dutch dominated possession in numerical terms, but were less incisive with the ball than their Iberian counterparts.

Goncalo Guedes gave the Euro 2016 winners the lead after 60 minutes, when a ball cut back by the excellent Bernardo Silva was smashed past Jasper Cillessen from 18 yards out.

The Dutch goalkeeper was arguably at fault, meeting Guedes' shot but failing to turn it around the post.

 

The first half had finished scoreless, with Portugal dominating the chances but failing to find their killer instinct before the interval.

Dutch profligacy in Nations League final

The Netherlands employed their formidable defensive partnership with Matthijs De Ligt and the peerless Virgil Van Dijk.

Pre-match chatter was around the head-to-head between Cristiano Ronaldo and Van Dijk, but it was largely De Ligt that was in charge of looking after the Juve striker.

The centre-backs, however, were not given a moment's rest by a Portuguese attack that was not just dominated by Ronaldo, but ably assisted by the likes of Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes and Guedes.

At the other end, Rui Patricio ably met a strong header from Memphis Depay, after a pinpoint cross from Ajax's Donny van der Beek; possibly the best chance they had on an evening where Portugal certainly had more attacking verve and intent.

The Dutch looked a little disjointed for much of the game, the possession that has studded some excellent club performances this season often went awry.

Portugal showed an excellent collectivity, each player knowing their roles and executing them adeptly, boding well for the Euro 2020 tournament for which they have now qualified.

Earlier in the day, England finished third in the tournament by beating Switzerland on penalties after a goalless draw. Yes, you read that correctly.

The quality of the shootout was excellent, with the Swiss missing their sixth - the only penalty to be missed from the spot for the duration.

Eric Dier confirmed England's third place finish, with his second decisive penalty in an England shirt in less than twelve months.

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Euro 2020 Goncalo Guedes Guedes Holland Nations League Netherlands Portugal

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