Portugal produced one of the most one-sided performances of Euro 2024 so far – but didn’t secure victory until a dramatic moment in stoppage time. 

Youngster Francisco Conceicao came off the bench to win it for Portugal on a night where they boasted 74 per cent possession against a stubborn Czechia side.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co were left stunned when they fell behind to a Lukas Provod wonderstrike but they responded impressively to turn the game on its head.

An own goal put them back on level terms and Ronaldo thought he had teed up Diogo Jota to win it late on, only for semi-automated offside technology to kick in and rule the header to the Liverpool man offside.

Here, Mail Sport’s NATHAN SALT runs the rule over the two teams… 

Twenty-one-year-old Francisco Conceicao (middle) was the match-winner for Portugal

Twenty-one-year-old Francisco Conceicao (middle) was the match-winner for Portugal

Twenty-one-year-old Francisco Conceicao (middle) was the match-winner for Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) was among the first to congratulate the youngster for his late winner

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) was among the first to congratulate the youngster for his late winner

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) was among the first to congratulate the youngster for his late winner

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PORTUGAL (3-5-2)

Diogo Costa – 6

Forty-five minutes passed without him facing a shot on target and he was a bystander in Leipzig up until he was beaten by a stunning strike. Will be left scratching his head how he didn’t leave the pitch with a clean sheet, such was the dominance.

Nuno Mendes – 7

Started on the left of a back three before being pushed further forward once Portugal went behind, the PSG full-back saw plenty of the ball and was more than willing to drive on as a ball carrier. His header at the back post led to the own goal equaliser.

Pepe – 6

At 41 he set a record as the oldest player to appear at a European Championships, but he didn’t look out of place among a sea of young guns. Was able to sit in and watch on for the most part as Portugal dominated – only to be undone by a special strike.

Pepe (left) set a record as the oldest player to appear at a European Championships aged 41

Pepe (left) set a record as the oldest player to appear at a European Championships aged 41

Pepe (left) set a record as the oldest player to appear at a European Championships aged 41

Ruben Dias – 6.5

Had very little to do in truth and he will know there are far tougher defensive assignments to come. He’s a calming presence and offers good leadership for coach Roberto Martinez.

Joao Cancelo – 6

Was given the license to roam such was Portugal’s dominance and the former Man City full-back spent much of the game in attacking areas. His best moment was a delightfully disguised pass to play in Bernardo Silva – but he needs to do more in the final third to merit playing there.

Vitinha – 6.5

A gem of a player who can turn on a postage stamp. His one-touch passing game can leave heads spinning and there were flashes here as to why he was named in the Champions League team of the season. Must become more decisive as the tournament wears on, though.

Bruno Fernandes – 7.5

The heartbeat of this team and he should have chalked up his first assist when flashing the ball across the box for a sliding Rafael Leao in the first half. He ran this game as Portugal’s quarterback and is the player each of his team-mates sought out in a bid to open Czechia up. MOTM

Bruno Fernandes continued to demand the ball and was Portugal's quarterback on the night

Bruno Fernandes continued to demand the ball and was Portugal's quarterback on the night

Bruno Fernandes continued to demand the ball and was Portugal’s quarterback on the night

Bernardo Silva – 6.5

Neat and tidy as he always is but he didn’t do enough here to crack a stubborn Czechia rear-guard. Should have taken a shot instead of going for a pass inside the area when played in cleverly by Cancelo.

Diogo Dalot – 6

Has shown a willingness at Manchester United to drift inside and there was plenty of that here with little defensive work to do before he was taken off just after the hour. Needs to do better with his crossing with Ronaldo a constant target.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 6.5

Bagged 10 goals in qualifying and should have had at least another to his name here, were it not for some miscued finishes. Made some very clever runs to create space for himself but hasn’t got the threat of being able to run in behind anymore, which helps his markers.

Rafael Leao – 7

Should have made it 1-0 but couldn’t connect on the slide to meet Bruno Fernandes’ delicious cross in the first half. Was surprising to see him taken off as Portugal’s first change but left himself walking a tightrope having been embarrassingly booked for diving.

COACH: Roberto Martinez – 8

Deserves an immense amount of credit for the match-winning impact his substitutions made. Is under the microscope at this tournament given the talent at his disposal and so to see his changes pay off will give him and everyone of a Portuguese persuasion a massive lift.

Roberto Martinez (left) deserves an immense amount of credit for his substitutions paying off

Roberto Martinez (left) deserves an immense amount of credit for his substitutions paying off

Roberto Martinez (left) deserves an immense amount of credit for his substitutions paying off

SUBS

Diogo Jota (for Rafael Leao, 63) – 6

Goncalo Inacio (for Diogo Dalot, 63) – 6

Nelson Semedo (for Nuno Mendes, 90) 

Pedro Neto (for Joao Cancelo, 90) 

Francisco Conceição (for Vitinha, 90) 

CZECHIA (3-5-2)

Jindrich Stanek – 6

Made a huge save to deny Ronaldo one v one at 0-0 but it was his error that caused Robin Hranac’s own goal. Needed to catch the ball when he panicked and parried the soaking wet ball in off his centre back.

Ladislav Krejci – 6.5

The 25-year-old had his hands full but for the most part stood up to the task when isolated and targeted by Portugal. Deserves credit having been under pressure from the first whistle to the last.

Robin Hranac – 5

Can consider himself very unlucky to have had an own goal chalked up against his name having seen the ball pushed onto him by the goalkeeper. Back three did well for the most part to create a wall but his own goal – and his slip for the second goal – was costly.

Robin Hranac was left to rue an own goal and a late slip that led to Portugal's two goals

Robin Hranac was left to rue an own goal and a late slip that led to Portugal's two goals

Robin Hranac was left to rue an own goal and a late slip that led to Portugal’s two goals

Tomas Holes – 6.5

Was kept busy covering Cancelo and Rafael Leao down Portugal’s left-hand side and made some crucial interceptions. Comes away with a lot of credit given he took on the toughest assignment.

David Doudera – 5.5

Was a relative non-factor on the night but he wasn’t alone in that. Should get more joy out wide against Turkey and Georgia.  

Lukas Provod – 6.5

Produced the wonderstrike which will go down in Czech football folklore. His finish made all the more remarkable given the fact he spent a lot of the game without the ball.

Tomas Soucek – 6

Played every minute of their qualification campaign and is so important to this team. Phenomenal header to deny Ronaldo a near certain goal at 0-0 set the tone for others to follow. The West Ham man is going to need to come up big for Czechia to progress.

Pavel Sulc – 5

Spent his evening chasing shadows across midfield in the teeming in Leipzig. Had very little left in the tank by the time he came off and will hope he can have a greater influence on proceedings in the supposed ‘easier’ games in the group.

Pavel Sulc (right) spent most of the evening chasing shadows as Czechia had little of the ball

Pavel Sulc (right) spent most of the evening chasing shadows as Czechia had little of the ball

Pavel Sulc (right) spent most of the evening chasing shadows as Czechia had little of the ball

Vladimir Coufal – 5.5

The West Ham man looked nervy early on with some very loose touches in his own third but soon settled down. Will need to become more of a threat going forward to help with the supply to the strikers. 

Jan Kuchta – 4.5

Was a passenger for the hour he spent on the pitch. Must be so demoralising when your team only have 25 per cent of the ball and next to none of it goes to you. Should have paid an entrance fee.

Patrik Schick – 5

In the very few moments that Czechia managed to touch the ball while he was on the pitch, the Bayer Leverkusen forward was far too wasteful in giving it away. Was the first player to be hooked after picking up a yellow card in the pouring rain.

COACH: Ivan Hasek – 6.5

Knew his side would have little of the ball and at 1-1 he would have been pleased to have taken the point as a building block. His substitutions didn’t work as well as Martinez’s, ultimately. 

SUBS

Ondrej Lingr (for Jan Kuchta, 60) – 6.5

Mojmar Chytil (for Patrik Schick, 61) – 5

Antonin Barak (for Pavel Sulc, 79)

Petr Sevcik (for Lukas Provod, 79) 

Tomas Chory (for Tomas Holes, 90+3) 

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