Portugal Down Netherlands to Win Inaugural Nations League

Portugal became the first team to win Uefa’s Nations League competition when a well-crafted goal by Goncalo Guedes gave them a 1-0 win over Netherlands in the final on Sunday.

Guedes nutmegged an opponent, exchanged passes with Bernando Silva and then beat goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with a shot from the edge of the area on the hour for his fourth international goal in 17 appearances.

Fernando Santos’ men were the more dangerous side as they added another trophy to the Euro 2016 title they won three years ago with a 1-0 win against hosts France.

“For the last five years, we have been an almost indestructible family who know what we are capable of doing,” said Santos.

“We knew we could win this match.”

Although the Nations League is of far less importance, the win may have partially made up for Euro 2004 which Portugal hosted and where they were beaten in the final by Greece.

The game took a while to get going but when it did, Portugal were far more threatening with Bruno Fernandes and Silva involved in almost all their best moves and Cristiano Ronaldo an ever-present threat.

The Dutch – who had one day less to recover from their semifinal than Portugal – failed to muster a shot on target in the first half.

“You have to be better with the ball and we were not,” said Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman.

“They were masters at defending when they were ahead. We should have been a bit more clever in looking for free kicks — we were not good enough tonight.”


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