Portugal beat Netherlands to win UEFA Nations League title

2019-06-10 03:25:06 GMT2019-06-10 11:25:06(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

PORTO, Portugal, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Portugal beat Netherlands 1-0 to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League at the Estadio do Dragao here on Sunday.

Fernando Santos' men, who won the 2016 European Championship in France, dominated the match but waited until the 60th minute to score the winning goal through Goncalo Guedes.

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored a hat trick in their 3-1 semifinal victory over Switzerland three days ago, headed a corner straight at the Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen early in the second half. The 34-year-old then shook off two Dutch defenders to drive from the edge of the box, which was well saved by Cillessen.

Portugal took the lead as Bernardo Silva's reverse pass to find Guedes, whose powerful right-footed strike proved too powerful for Cillessen.

The Dutch had their best chance in the 64th minute but Memphis Depay's header was saved by Portuguese keeper Rui Patricio.

Santos, who took over as the Portugal coach in 2004, said after the match, "For the last five years, we have been an almost indestructible family who know what we are capable of doing. We knew we could win this match."

Despite the defeat, the Netherlands have proved that they have regained revival after the failures to qualify for the 2014 European Championship and 2018 World Cup.

Dutch head coach Ronald Koeman said, "Even if you have not won the match, you have taken the experience with you for the next time. We have made big steps in the past year. That's really postive."

Koeman, whose men had only 4 shots against 17 from the hosts, added, "We need more time and more offensive strength. We should create more chances. That is what we lack tonight."

Earlier in the afternoon, England beat Switzerland 6-5 on penalties to finish third.

Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford saved from Josip Drmic to seal the win after the first 11 penalties in the shootout were scored.

 

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