Portugal pip Netherlands to win inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy
Portugal pip Netherlands to win inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy

Portugal pip Netherlands to win inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy

Portugal have won the inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy, after beating Netherlands 1-0 in the finals played at the Estadio do Dragao Stadium on Sunday night.

Goncalo Guedes scored the all-important goal on the 60th minute to give the home side the win, which marks a major milestone for Fernando Santos’ charges.

Feisty start

The match started in feisty fashion, with both teams committing unnecessary fouls in the opening five minutes.

As the clock hit the third minute, Bernardo Silva felt he was brought down by Virgil Van Dijk inside the box and cried for a penalty, but the referee could not have any of his pleas as he waved for play on.

With little action from both teams, Cristiano Ronaldo came close to scoring on the 30th minute, but his header from a corner was easily saved.

Both sides could not find the breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes, as they went into the break tied at 0-0.

Lively second-half 

The Netherlands came back the stronger side of the two and seemed to pin Portugal into their own half for long spells, with Promise, Depay and Wijnaldum causing the Portuguese defense numerous problems.

However, the home side settled well and the tides turned, as the Dutchmen conceded a corner after the other in lively 15 minutes after the break.

Match-winning goal

It was no surprise when they took the lead on the hour mark, with Manchester City star Bernado Silva beautifully pulling back for Goncalo Guedes to score his fourth international goal.

The Dutch, now chasing the game, tried to hit back, using their central midfield as the main channel of attack.

Van de Beek, who had just come in before the goal, delivered a beautiful ball in, with Memphis Depay’s header well saved on the 66th minute.

They continued pressing for longer periods, but the Portuguese carefully played according to plan and resorted to a more defensive play as they protected their lead.

Portugal thought they had won a penalty with five minutes to go when Silva was once again brought down inside the box, but the referee waved play on. 

Portugal held on to win the trophy, with the Netherlands settling for second.

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