Portugal defeat Netherlands to win first Nations League


Portugal players celebrate with their trophy after defeating the Netherlands 1-0 in the UEFA Nations League final match at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Sunday, June 9, 2019.

PORTO, June 10: Portugal added the inaugural Nations League title to their Euro 2016 triumph as Goncalo Guedes’s strike on the hour won an underwhelming final 1-0 against the Netherlands in Porto on Sunday.
The Dutch defensive pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt largely kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet, but Valencia winger Guedes proved the match winner as his shot had too much power for Jasper Cillessen in the Netherlands goal.
“I am sure this tournament will become a classic because it is a tournament for the entire European family,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.
“To be the first winner will go down in history. It is a joy to have won the first edition, now we must continue to work and pursue further goals.”
Portugal had the advantage of an extra day’s rest and not being forced to extra time against Switzerland in their semi-final as the Dutch were in seeing off England on Thursday.
And the hosts looked the fresher throughout with Ronald Koeman’s men jaded at the end of a long season.
“If we were tired I don’t know, but we were not good enough,” admitted Koeman.
“They defended well and the were very compact in their game, but you have to be better with the ball and we were not.” The match had been billed as a showdown between Ronaldo and Van Dijk but with the Dutch captain again rock solid at the back, Portugal’s main threat came from midfield with Bernardo Silva rightfully winning player of the tournament. (AFP)