Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Denmark on Wednesday evening has catapulted Paulo Bento’s side into a great position as they seek to qualify for the knockout stages, and they are now priced at 2/5 to do so.
Defeat to pre-tournament favourites Germany in their opening fixture was not the perfect start to Portugal’s Euro 2012 campaign, although optimism has been thoroughly restored following their success over the Danes.
Crucially, this result puts them level with Denmark in the Group B table on three points.
Denmark enjoyed success over the Dutch in their first Euro 2012 fixture and went into yesterday’s clash with the Selecção knowing that victory would have seen them qualify for the quarter-finals.
Portugal must be delighted that they enter the final set of matches with every opportunity of reaching the knockout stages for the fifth Euro Champs in a row.
For Portugal it was a completely different scenario as they knew a defeat would have been disastrous in the context of their qualification bid.
Despite the pressure, Bento’s men rose to the occasion and earned a huge three points in a game that lived up to all expectations.
Goals from Pepe and Helder Postiga had put the Portuguese into a 2-0 lead before Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner struck twice to draw the Danes level.
With the clock ticking down and Ronaldo inexplicably wasting a golden opportunity when clear through on goal, it looked as though Portugal were heading for a premature exit.
However, an 88th minute wonder-strike from substitute Silvestre Varela has given the Portuguese fans hope that they will not have to head home early.
The result has had a significant impact on bwin’s football betting market for Group B qualification.
Prior to the tournament, Portugal were considered outsiders to make it out of the Group of Death and were originally priced at 6/5 to reach the quarter-finals.
But a mixture of their own good form and Holland’s disastrous tournament to date means Portugal’s price to qualify has been slashed and bwin customers can now back this outcome at odds of 2/5.
Portugal’s cause is also helped by Germany’s impressive tournament showing.
Bento’s men could still go out if they beat Holland and Denmark beat Germany by two or more goals, or if Denmark win by one goal with Germany scoring one goal or less, but Joachim Low’s side do no look like slipping up.
With this in mind, it could be that a Portugal draw – given it is likely to come in conjunction with a Germany win against Denmark – will be enough to send the Selecção through, which would be a fine achievement considering the lack of momentum they carried into the tournament.
But whatever the end result of the Group of Death, it looks set to be an enthralling evening on Saturday, and Portugal must be delighted that they enter the final set of matches with every opportunity of reaching the knockout stages for the fifth European Championship in a row.
Recommended bet: Portugal to reach the quarter-finals @ 2/5
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