Francisco Conceição comes off Portugal bench to break Czech Republic hearts

Francisco Conceição comes off Portugal bench to break Czech Republic hearts

18-Jun-2024 21:14:52 | The Guardian

A night of mayhem and confusion, of futures and pasts dragging each other in different directions, and at its climax a goal of pure catharsis. Portugal, one of the tournament favourites, are away: a poacher’s goal by the 21-year-old Francisco Conceição sealing victory in the first minute of injury time and underlining the bench strength available to Roberto Martínez.

And this was a redemption of sorts for Martínez too, a coach who knows that he will need to shed Portugal’s past if he is to shed his own. Perhaps unfairly maligned as the man who inherited Belgium’s golden generation and won nothing, Martínez has now been bequeathed a new galaxy of bright and brilliant things. Ultimately, though, Portugal’s embarrassment of riches proved more latter than former.

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