Euro 2024: Fernandes hails 'big value' Ronaldo, Pepe after Portugal pip Czechia

Leipzig, Jun 19 (IANS): Following Portugal’s comeback win over Czech Republic in their Euro 2024 opener, Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes heaped praises on Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe who have also made history by becoming the two oldest outfield players to appear at the European Championships.

Despite going a goal down in the first half win 2-1, Portugal recovered in the second half to snatch 2-1 victory thanks to substitute Francisco Conceicao's dramatic winner.

"We all know it is important to have experienced players by our side. Him and Pepe are probably the most experienced players in this tournament, not only in our team. We know they are big value for us and we know they are going to help us through the tournament," said Bruno to the reporters in the post game press conference.

Lucas Provod scored a brilliant goal from outside the box that nestled into the left corner of the goal in the 62nd minute to give Czech Republic the lead to many’s surprise. This was followed by Portugal upping the tempo in the leading minutes.

Nuno Mendes’ attempt saw the Czech keeper stop the shot but fall out of his reach on the rebound. Much to his dismay Robin Hranac was the man trying to deal with the rebound but ended up scoring into his own net to level the game through an own goal in the 69th minute.

Ronaldo’s header in the 87th minute saw the ball hit the post and fall to Dioga Jota who scored what they thought to be the winner but the five-time Balon d’Or winner was ruled to have been offside.

Conceicao was subbed on in the 90th minute and the 21-year old made no mistake in scoring on his first appearance at the major tournament for the country to lead the side to a 2-1 victory.

"Francisco is the ultimate example of earning it. He deserves to be here and showed he is ready to help the group. He showed character and showed his worth because he was allowed to be here," said head coach Martinez.



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Title: Euro 2024: Fernandes hails 'big value' Ronaldo, Pepe after Portugal pip Czechia

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