Disappointment for England in their opening game of Euro 2000. They had a 2 goal lead after 18 minutes, following goals from Scholes and McManaman, but the Portuguese showed their talent as they clawed their way back into the game and took the lead in the 60th minute. Aside from the result, Keegan is also left with injury worries for the next game, which is against Germany.
It was a perfect start to England's Euro 2000 campaign when they took the lead in this important game against a good Portugese side. Beckham swept the ball across from the right side, into the box, where Scholes was waiting to pounce with the header, and delightfully put the ball into Portugal's net.
Portugal then piled on the pressure on England's defence through attacks by Figo. Against play in the 18th minute, England extended their lead when McManaman was left unmarked to receive a cross from Beckham to score. It was an easy goal for the Real Madrid player and the result seemed to be going England's way. Then four minutes later Portugal pulled a goal back. Their goal was spectacular as Figo* made a run from just inside the half-way line and blasted the ball from the edge of the area, past Seaman.
With an entertaining match in progress, Pinto equalised 7 minutes before half-time. Rui Costa found Pinto at the near post where the Portuguese player was able to head the ball past Seaman.
England were forced to bring on Heskey for Owen at the start of the second half as the Liverpool star had received a knock late in the first 45 minutes of play. Portugal immediately started their bid for a third goal as play resumed. Eight minutes into the second half, Steve McManaman was stretchered off the field but he was able to return to action a moment later, however a few minutes later he realised he could not continue and was replaced by Dennis Wise.
Portugal's third goal came on the hour mark when Pinto passed the ball to Rui Costa and on to Gomez for him to finish the play. After a 2 goal lead, England found themselves a goal behind. Beckham almost provided Scholes
with a goal again but Costa prevented the Manchester United connection from succeeding again. England were now applying a lot of pressure on Portugal but the crosses played in by England were being won by the opposition.
A great chance to equalise was missed by Scholes and Shearer in the 80th minute when Beckham's cross was played on by Heskey, but Shearer's header went wide of the goal.
Portugal almost scored a 4th goal towards the end of the game, after Conceicao beat Phil Neville but Gomez didn't reach the ball. England now have it all to do in their remaining 2 group matches of the European Championships and will next face Germany.
* In January 2007, EnglandFC visitor, Colin Burn contacted Tony Adams for his view on Figo's goal. Tony Adams said "Yes it did clip my calf and that deflection took it into the net". When writing the report in 2000 a deflection was not noted, however we feel it is appropriate to add Tony Adams comments.
Baia, Costa, Vidigal, Couto, Figo, Pinto (Conceicao 75 mins), Rui Costa (Beto 85 mins), Dimas, Xavier, Bento, Gomes (Capucho 90 mins).
Subs Not Used: Espinha, Quim, Jorge, Sousa, Sa Pinto, Costinha,Secretario.
Seaman, G Neville, Adams (Keown 82 mins), Campbell, P Neville, Beckham, Scholes, Ince, McManaman (Wise 59 mins), Shearer, Owen (Heskey 46 mins).
Subs Not Used: Martyn, Wright, Southgate, Barry, Gerrard, Barmby, Phillips, Fowler. (Full Squad)
Portugal Scorers: Figo (22 mins), Pinto (38 mins), Gomes (60 mins)
England Scorers: Scholes (3 mins), McManaman (18 mins)
Portugal Cautions: Baia
England Cautions: Ince
Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)