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Switzerland’s early strikes not enough as Portugal fight to share the points.

By Connor Wagner

Francisco Neto’s Portugal were able to fight back after conceding 2 early goals against Switzerland this afternoon at Leigh Sports Village in the opening game of Group C at this year’s European Championships.

Plenty of goals already in this tournament, the key talking points being yesterday. Was this game going to follow suit? It certainly started in that manner.

Just 2 minutes into the first half, Switzerland lead. The ball broke to Sow after an attempt to stop the cross from the Portuguese defence. The Swiss forward was able to capitalise and needed no invitation to drive her shot across goal, Pereira nowhere near.

Their lead was doubled just 3 minutes later. This time Kiwic was able to get herself on the scoresheet. Bachmann curled a deep free kick into the far post, where Kiwic leapt above Amado to head home. A goal that looked so simple and Portugal were in a world of trouble.

Nothing much happened for the remainder of the half. Portugal were able to sort the shape out and looked to be working their way into the game. Switzerland sat back and allowed Portugal to press but to no avail.

14 minutes into the second half and Portugal found the breakthrough. Seemed like Francisco Neto’s half time team talk had worked. Borges was able to curl an in-swinging corner in to the six-yard box Gomes was able to throw herself at it, heading at Thalmann and then following up to tuck home the rebound.

Portugal had well and truly turned this game round, and just 6 and a half minutes later, they were level. The Swiss were in disarray. This time it was Jessica Silva. Pinto was able to whip a cross across the face of goal, Silva was able to direct the cross goal bound and past Thalmann.

Switzerland had a great chance in the 80th minute as a corner was met on the volley by Reuteler, Pereira was rooted as she watched it hit the crossbar and over for a goal kick. Cracks started to show in both defences for the remaining 10 minutes.

Final chance of the game fell to Encarnação who turned on the edge of the area and fired a low shot at the bottom corner but wasn’t to be as it rattled the post.

Full time at Leigh Sports Village. A tale of two halves as spoils were shared between both these sides who probably thought they could both come away with more.

Portugal, who only qualified for this summer’s Euro’s due to the exclusion of Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, have shown early signs of improvement.

Their opening spell was not good enough which allowed Switzerland to take hold of the game. But Neto’s side got themselves back into it and proved they were not a rollover at this year’s tournament.

As for Switzerland and Nils Nielsen women, how can they come back from this? They face Sweden on Wednesday at Bramall Lane. Portugal face Netherlands later that evening. Group C still wide open after the first fixture, Netherlands take on Sweden next.

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