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EURO 2012: Paulo Bento says Portugal deserved late win over Denmark

We deserved late winner, says Bento as Portugal scrape past Denmark

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UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 13 June 2012

Portugal coach Paulo Bento felt his side deserved their 3-2 victory over Denmark in Lviv, insisting it would have been 'unjust' had his side been held to a draw.

Goals from Pepe and Helder Postiga had their team 2-0 ahead but Nicklas Bendtner pulled one back just before half-time and, after Cristiano Ronaldo had missed a couple of straightforward chances, the Arsenal striker scored a second.

Substitute Silvestre Varela snatched a winner three minutes from time and Bento felt that did justice to their performance.

Late winner: Varela is swamped after scoring in the 87th minute

Late winner: Varela is swamped after scoring in the 87th minute

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'The team were focused throughout and showed real quality,' said the Portuguese.

'We created chances, especially in the first half, and I think 2-0 would have been a just result at half-time.

'In the second period we didn't sit back on our lead, we looked for a third.

'The equaliser was unjust but we didn't bow our heads, we showed character and got the winner we deserved.'

The win was vital in keeping alive their hopes of qualifying from Group B, having lost their opener against Germany, and Bento feels they are maintaining their progress.

'It was different to the Germany game – we scored – but beyond that we continued what we did against Germany,' he added.

Hot under the collar: Varela insisted his side deserved their win

Hot under the collar: Varela insisted his side deserved their win

'Our organisation was good but we can still improve.

'We've had two good games now against two great opponents. We've had obstacles but we're continuing on our path – the right path.

'We suffered after the first game but these three points means it is now in our hands.'

Denmark coach Morten Olsen admitted conceding a late winner was devastating for morale but was not unhappy with the performance.

'It's a horrible feeling to concede so close to the end and end up losing the game,' he said.

'We struggled to find our rhythm but we really improved in the second half and in the last 10 minutes we came into our own.

Take it like a fan: Portugal supporters celebrate their win

Take it like a fan: Portugal supporters celebrate their win

'I was proud of the way we played against the Netherlands (winning 1-0) but in a sense I'm prouder here of our second-half performance.

'We couldn't get our reward in the end but that is the rule of the game and everyone experiences it once in their careers – but hopefully not much more than that.

'We merited a point. I think with a bit of luck we could have got a draw.'

Olsen suspects Niki Zimling, Dennis Rommedahl and Daniel Agger will all be injury doubts for Sunday's clash with Germany.

The absence of the latter would be a particular blow as the Liverpool centre-back has been impressive in the tournament.

'What Agger showed tonight was a real captain's performance but I think it will be difficult for injured players to be back on Sunday but we'll see,' he added.

Holland v Denmark live – Euro 2012

EURO 2012 LIVE: Holland v Denmark – follow the action from Kharkiv as it happens

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 9 June 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of Euro 2012 as the second day of the tournament opens with Holland and Denmark clashing at Kharkiv. The Dutch are one of the pre-tournament favourites but will have their hands full against a Danish side containing the exciting Christian Eriksen. Email me your thoughts on the action at dan.ripley@dailymail.co.uk or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

16.10: The elephants among you may remember this fixture was also the opening game for these sides at the last World Cup in South Africa. Two years ago the Dutch triumphed 2-0 over the Danes but it didn't tell the whole story as Morten Olsen's side were a fair match on the field – will lessons have been learned

16.00: Well that was quite an opening day to Euro 2012. The group of supposed boredom turned out to be a double serving of drama yesterday as Russia thumped Czech Republic and Poland were held to a draw by a plucky Greece side.

But now we turn our attention to my favourite cliche in football – the group of death. It's Germany v Portugal later on in Group B, but first what should be an intriguing encounter as Holland entertain Denmark. Team news on the way.

Gunning for glory: Holland striker Robin van Persie will hope to carry his Arsenal form into Euro 2012

Gunning for glory: Holland striker Robin van Persie will hope to carry his Arsenal form into Euro 2012

EURO 2012: Anders Lindegaard recovers from ankle injury and is named in Denmark squad

Lindegaard shakes off ankle niggle to return to Denmark squad in nick of time

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UPDATED:

19:34 GMT, 19 May 2012

Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard has been confirmed as a member of Denmark's Euro 2012 squad.

Coach Morten Olsen had left Lindegaard out when he unveiled his squad earlier this week because he wanted more time to work out whether the United man had recovered from the ankle injury that has kept him out of first-team action since January.

Back in the fray: Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard has recovered from an ankle injury to regain his place in the Denmark squad

Back in the fray: Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard has recovered from an ankle injury to regain his place in the Denmark squad

Lindegaard was confident he would be fine and it has taken just a couple of days' training for Olsen to reach the same conclusion.

‘We have never been in doubt about Anders' qualities,’ said Olsen.

‘It has purely been a matter of testing how he was after his long injury break.

‘After three training sessions we are in no doubt that we've got an injury-free third keeper in our squad.’

Euro 2012: Anders Lindegaard a doubt for Denmark

Lindegaard's Euro 2012 place in doubt as Denmark keeper faces race to be fit

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 18 May 2012

Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has been left sweating on his Euro 2012 place after Denmark coach Morten Olsen failed to name a full 23-man squad.

Instead, Olsen selected just 20 players and named only two goalkeepers, leaving Lindegaard to prove his fitness after the ankle injury he sustained at the beginning of February which ruled him out of first-team duties for the remainder of the season.

'We will look at Lindegaard when we have a chance and after that we'll make a decision,' Olsen told reporters at a press conference.

Safe hands: Denmark's Anders Lindegaard hopes to be fit for Euro 2012

Safe hands: Denmark's Anders Lindegaard hopes to be fit for Euro 2012

'However, we must be thorough and have respect for the other players, not bringing ones that are half-injured.'

Lindegaard is hopeful of making it having featured in a couple of reserve team matches at the end of the season and on Tuesday playing in Harry Gregg's testimonial match in Belfast.

And, prior to his departure, Lindegaard said he felt good again.

'I want to represent my country at the Euros,' he told MUTV.

'I will support the team, whether it is from the pitch, in the stands or on TV.

Great Dane: Anders Lindegaard

Great Dane: Anders Lindegaard

'But the last couple of weeks was a target to get fit for that. Now I am at a point where I am fit and I am ready to go.'

This latest concern continues a strange season for Lindegaard.

Although he repeatedly amused with his declaration he had not arrived at Old Trafford from Norwegian side Aalesund 'just to pick my nose]', it did appear he would be condemned to life as a second choice after David de Gea arrived from Atletico Madrid last summer.

However, De Gea's patchy form offered Lindegaard a route into Sir Alex Ferguson's first-team plans and he was on a run of six appearances in seven games before he suffered his injury in training.

'It has been a strange season,' said the 28-year-old.

'On one side I have won a lot of respect. I put my name in people's minds and people take me seriously now.

'If you look at it completely objectively, it has been the best season I ever had even though I only played 10 or 15 games.

'On the same level, it has been very frustrating with the injury and the time out. It is an awkward feeling.'

No 1: David De Gea (right) has impressed since Lindegaard was injured

No 1: David De Gea (right) has impressed since Lindegaard was injured

The spin-off for missing Euro 2012 for Lindegaard would be that he plays a full part in pre-season for United, which may be vital given De Gea is set for an Olympic call-up by Spain.

'Being first choice at Manchester United is something I dreamed of since my first memories,' he said.

'It gives you a feeling of self-confidence and is a feeling only one other Dane has had.

'Having had that feeling also gives me a target to aim for.

'As long as the opportunity is there I will always pursue it. That is the target in my life, to get this feeling back.'

New Northern Ireland boss urges fans to get behind the team

We need help! New Northern Ireland boss urges fans to get behind the team

Michael O'Neill has called for
Northern Ireland fans to welcome in a new era by throwing their support
behind the team at Windsor Park.

O'Neill takes charge of his country
for the first time against Norway, with a new captain in tow in the
shape of Rangers midfielder Steven Davis.

Michael O'Neill: new Northern Ireland boss

Michael O'Neill: new Northern Ireland boss

And the former Shamrock Rovers boss is also hoping for a fresh start with the Green and White Army, who grew audibly frustrated towards the end of a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign.

Former manager Nigel Worthington shouldered most of the flak then and O'Neill has appealed for supporters to back their team from the off against Egil Olsen's side.

'It's a new start under a new manager,' said O'Neill.

'You can understand the frustration of the supporters, but no-one feels the pain of defeat any more than the players, I can assure them of that.

'I think as a supporter it's important to recognise how positive their influence can be, not only for our team but also in making the atmosphere hostile for the opposition.

'An energetic and positive performance from the lads can hopefully transmit into a positive atmosphere (in the stands).

'It's no secret the last campaign finished on a disappointing note. The players know that, everyone knows that, but that unrealistic weight of expectancy is something the players have maybe struggled to deal with in the past.

'A bit of perspective would be nice.'

Tough test: Northern Ireland face Norway at Windsor Park

Tough test: Northern Ireland face Norway at Windsor Park

O'Neill confirmed Davis would lead the side for the foreseeable future, despite former skipper Aaron Hughes' decision to reverse his retirement and return to the squad after less than six months.

'Steven Davis is the captain and he will be the captain going forward,' said O'Neill.

'I just thought at this stage of his career and with a new manager coming in it was maybe time and it would benefit the squad.

'I had a long chat with Aaron about the situation and he was, as you'd expect, totally supportive and understanding.

'He didn't have any expectation to come back as captain having made his decision (to retire) towards the end of the last campaign, he was very supportive of Steven and very supportive of the decision.'

Derby's Jamie Ward is a major doubt for the hosts after complaining of a tight thigh muscle yesterday.

Celtic defender Thomas Rogne will win his first cap for Norway after captain Brede Hangeland was ruled out with a thigh injury of his own.

Rogne had been promised some involvement in the match by Olsen and has now been drafted into the starting XI after Fulham centre-half Hangeland dropped out.

Rogne is one of four British-based players set to start at Windsor Park, with Hangeland's Cottagers team-mate John Arne-Riise in the side alongside Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen and Erik Huseklepp, who is on loan at Birmingham from Portsmouth.

Blackburn sign Marcus Olssona and Bradley Orr

Olsson twins at Blackburn! Marcus joins Martin as QPR's Orr also wades in

Blackburn now have two Olssons on their books after manager Steve Kean completed the signing of Martin's twin brother Marcus.

Full-back Martin joined Rovers on transfer deadline day in 2006, and now winger Marcus has followed suit.

Rovers have also secured the signing of QPR defender Bradley Orr.

Marcus has joined the Ewood Park club on a free transfer from Swedish side Halmstad, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal through to the summer of 2014.

Family affair: Martin Olsson is to be joined by brother Marcus at Blackburn... the Olsen Twins, if you will

Family affair: Martin Olsson is to be joined by brother Marcus at Blackburn... the Olsen Twins, if you will

Family affair: Martin Olsson is to be joined by brother Marcus at Blackburn… the Olsen Twins, if you will

The 23-year-old, who can also play up front, is now awaiting international clearance on the deal from the Swedish FA and FIFA.

The Olsson brothers both started their careers at local side Hogaborgs BK and had a trial with Blackburn at the end of 2005.

However, while Martin signed a
contract under then manager Mark Hughes, Marcus returned to Sweden and
eventually signing for Halmstad in 2008, scoring 17 goals in 139
appearances.

Marcus has also followed his brother
into the international side, earning his first caps in friendlies
earlier this month against Bahrain and Qatar.

Olsson is Kean's second capture of the transfer window following the recent loan signing of Bordeaux striker Anthony Modeste.

Kean believes that Orr, who joined QPR in the summer of 2010, will be a valuable addition to the Rovers defence.

'I think the age he's at gives us a little bit more experience in that position,' Kean said of the 29-year-old right-back. 'We've been playing Jason Lowe and young Adam Henley there as well but
we feel Bradley will bring us experience and another option.'