Denmark and Portugal have conspired to provide plenty of entertainment for neutral fans on Wednesday afternoon, though the fans of both teams have likely bitten off their nails by now. Portugal got off to a brilliant start and took a 2-0 lead against a poor-looking Danish side, but Denmark fought back and found a goal to make it 2-1 before halftime.
Though midfield errors didn't directly lead to either of Portugal's goals, the Danes were almost certainly negatively affected by an injury to Niki Zimling, who was brilliant against the Netherlands. He appeared to suffer an ankle injury and came out for Jakob Poulsen in the 16th minute.
Portugal had a big chance just two minutes later, but Cristiano Ronaldo failed to capitalize. Raul Meireles set him up inadvertently with a shot that was blocked. Unluckily for Denmark, the ball fell right into the path of Ronaldo, who had an excellent shooting lane. Everyone in the stadium expected him to put a shot on target, but he missed wide when it would have been easier to test Stephan Andersen.
Ronaldo's team made up for that miss with a goal six minutes later, brilliantly turned in by Pepe. Joao Moutinho set it up with an in-swinging corner kick to the near post, which found the head of Pepe. The central defender made a great run and applied a stellar glancing header, past Andersen at the near post.
They doubled their lead in the 36th minute, through Helder Postiga and some poor defending. Simon Kjaer had an uncharacteristically dominant game in defense for Denmark against Holland, but appeared to be back to his old self as he lost Postiga at the near post. Nani slipped a pass into his feet and the Portugal striker hit a quality finish into the roof of the net, putting his team up 2-0.
Denmark were looking a bit lifeless up until that point, and there was no reason to believe that they would fight their way back into the match before halftime, but they created a great goal out of nowhere. Nicklas Bendtner, who has been a thorn in Portugal's side over the years, scored against them once again with an uncontested header. The goal was set up with a ball whipped into the back post towards Michael Krohn-Delhi, who nodded the ball back across the face of goal instead of attempting to score himself. That confused Rui Patricio and the defense, who left Bendtner free and with an empty net.
The Danes have not been good outside of the last five minutes of the half, but their performance during that period has them involved in the game. They just need one goal to get themselves back into a position to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament, and they're two goals away from getting through and eliminating Portugal before the last round of group play.