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Euro 2024: Conceicao's late heroics seals Portugal's 2-1 win over Czechia, Ronaldo hug wins hearts (WATCH)

In a thrilling encounter at the Euro 2024, Portugal secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over a resilient Czechia, with substitute Francisco Conceicao emerging as the hero by netting the decisive goal in injury time. 

football Euro 2024: Conceicao's late heroics seals Portugal's 2-1 win over Czechia, Ronaldo hug wins hearts (WATCH) snt
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First Published Jun 19, 2024, 2:49 AM IST

In a thrilling encounter at the Euro 2024, Portugal secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over a resilient Czech Republic, with substitute Francisco Conceicao emerging as the hero by netting the decisive goal in injury time. The match, played at a packed Red Bull Arena Leipzig on Tuesday night, was marked by relentless Portuguese pressure and steadfast Czech defense, ultimately culminating in a victory for Roberto Martinez's side.

Conceicao’s decisive strike in injury time secured the win for Roberto Martinez's side and brought immense relief to legendary Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a potential match-winning goal ruled out for offside.

Portugal dominated possession from the outset of their opening clash in the Euro 2024. Their first opportunity arose within 10 minutes when Rafael Leao delivered a cross towards Ronaldo. However, the ball was slightly behind him, resulting in it glancing off the captain’s shoulder and going wide.

Despite Portugal's control, Czechia remained defensively solid, comfortably absorbing pressure and limiting Portugal's clear-cut chances. Leao nearly broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, capitalizing on a Czech error, but Bruno Fernandes' low cross narrowly missed connecting with the Milan winger.

Fernandes continued to be a creative force, threading a sublime pass to Ronaldo, only for Czech goalkeeper Jindrich Stanek to make a crucial save. The visitors' first significant attacking move almost saw them take the lead, but Ruben Dias's timely intervention thwarted Patrick Schick from meeting Vladimir Coufal's dangerous cross.

Just before halftime, Stanek once again denied Ronaldo from close range, maintaining the deadlock at the break.

The second half mirrored the first, with Portugal commanding the ball but struggling to penetrate a disciplined Czech defense. However, it was the Czechs who struck first in the 62nd minute. Lukas Provod received the ball on the edge of the box and curled a magnificent shot past Diogo Costa, giving Czechia an unexpected lead.

Portugal's response came eight minutes later, albeit fortuitously. Bernardo Silva’s cross found Nuno Mendes, whose header back across goal was mishandled by Stanek, leading to an own goal by Robin Hranac.

Both teams sought a decisive goal in the final stages. Czech captain Tomas Soucek came close, and Portugal thought they had won it when Diogo Jota headed home after Ronaldo’s effort hit the post. However, the Portuguese legend was adjudged offside in the buildup.

The decisive moment arrived two minutes into added time. Substitutes Pedro Neto and Francisco Conceicao combined, with the latter smashing home from close range to clinch victory for Portugal.

In the euphoric aftermath of the final whistle, Conceicao and Ronaldo shared a heartfelt embrace, a poignant moment that underscored the dramatic nature of Portugal's victory.

Conceicao's last-gasp winner brought immense relief to Ronaldo, who had experienced the frustration of seeing his potential match-winning effort ruled out for offside moments earlier. The hug between the young hero and the legendary striker symbolized the unity and resilience within the Portuguese squad

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