Portugal U19s get off to a winning start at the European Championship
Portugal U19s got off to a much-needed victory over underdogs Norway, winning 3-1 in what was the first match of the entire European Championship.
It was a match that Portugal fans were likely expecting to win, but Norway gave them a good test and on another day it could have been a different result. But Portugal, the 2017 runners-up, got the job done in a professional manner and came away with the all important three points, with two goals from Braga's Francisco Trincão & one from a surreal Miguel Luis byline cross which found its way into the net at the far post.
Portugal's under-19s manager Hélio Sousa was quick to pay tribute to the efforts of Norway in the aftermath of the result, saying for UEFA.com that "it was a tough game, a very competitive game. We came to half time as we wished, with the advantage, but we knew the game was not over.
"We knew it was not over [at half time] because what we know about Norway [is] they don't give up in any game... They came back in the last game with Scotland from two down and winning the game to get qualification.
He also suggested Portugal were "not so efficient" but it was a "very well deserved" result, and it no doubt stands Portugal in good stead for qualification from their group, which also contains one of the favourites to win the overall competition in Italy, and the host nation, Finland.
Both Finland and Italy are expected to provide even sterner tests for Portugal, who are aiming to fulfil the prestigious honour of winning both the U17 & U19 European Championships with the same generation of players, a fate which very few groups of players have been able to achieve in the past.
PORTUGAL XI: Diogo Costa; Diogo Queiros, Rodrigues Correia, Ruben Vinagre; Florentino Luis, Miguel Luis, Quina; Francisco Trincão, João Filipe, Ze Gomes. SUBS: Nuno Santos, Elves Baldé, Mésaque Djú.