Portugal vs Czech Republic Match Star: Vitinha, the Tiny One Driving the Midfield Engine


The Portugal national team was made to struggle to dismantle the Czech Republic's defence in the group F Euro 2024 match played at the Red Bull Arena Leipzig, on Wednesday (19/06). Selecao das Quinas won 2-1 over the Czechs.

Having fallen behind to Lukas Provod's goal (62'), Portugal bounced back to win with goals from Robin Hranac (69' own goal) and Francisco Conceicao (90+2').

Roberto Martinez's Portugal was dominant with 74 per cent possession, firing 19 shots (eight on target). Despite having 26 per cent possession, the Czechs scored from their only shot on target.

It was challenging for Portugal to score due to Ivan Hasek's Czech defence, but in the end Portugal's relentless attacks - which were superior in individual quality - paid off.

However, Portugal still have a lot of work to do as both of their goals were fortunate. On the first goal, Hranac was in the path of the goalkeeper who parried a header from Nuno Mendes.

On the second goal, Hranac made another mistake when he failed to clear the ball properly and Conceicao grabbed the wild ball. But in the end, Portugal secured an important three points.

"When you don't score and then fall behind, it's the worst scenario you can feel as a player. But Portugal managed to do it. They stuck to the plan," said Cesc Fabregas, the Euro 2008 and 2012 champion with Spain on UEFA's official website.

"They changed their game and their position a little bit, playing more up front - which they had to do. It worked very well. It's a good sign for them going forward."

Vitinha, Portugal's Motor of Attack

Many stars were playing for top European clubs in the Portugal squad, but one player who stood out was Vitinha.

The 24-year-old Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder was the motor of the attack in midfield, assisting Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva in organising the attack.

Vitinha was all over the place and with his diminutive frame, he moved like Andres Iniesta as he dribbled past opponents and kept Portugal's rhythm going.

Looking at the stats from @StatmanDave, Vitinha had 112 touches of the ball (the most), 100 per cent won duels for the ball (six out of six attempts), 100 per cent won tackles, 100 per cent successful dribbles, 95 per cent passing accuracy, 89 successful passes out of 91 attempts, two key passes.

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