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The 23-year-old forward beat German Florian Wirtz, Russian Denis Makarov, Croatian Domagoj Bradaric and Romanian Andrei Ciobanu, thanks to a flashy acrobatic shot in the transalpine penalty area in the sixth minute following a deflection to the far post by Diogo Leite, preceded by a corner kick taken by Fábio Vieira on the right.
That goal opened the scoring in an electrifying match, in which Portugal wasted advantages of 2-0 and 3-1, but ensured in extra time the continuity in the competition (5-3), which would later lose on Sunday to three-time champions Germany (1- 0), in the final of Ljubljana.
Forward Lukas Nmecha decided the decisive match at the U21 European Championship in the 49th minute, standing out at the top of the top scorers with four goals, one over Italian Patrick Cutrone, Dutchman Myron Boadu, Spaniard Javi Puado and Dany Mota, who scored twice against the transalpine team and scored against Croatia (1-0), in the first phase.
The prize for best goal was awarded by a team of five UEFA observers, which included the Italian Monza striker in the best team in the competition, accompanied by goalkeeper Diogo Costa, defender Diogo Queirós and midfielders Vítor Ferreira and Fábio Vieira, considered on Sunday as the best individual in the tournament.
The Portuguese under-21 team added the third defeat in as many European finals in the category, repeating the defeats of 1994 (0-1 against Italy, with a ‘golden goal’) and 2015 (3-4 with Sweden in the penalties, after a ‘null’ in 120 minutes).
The 23rd edition of the European Under-21 Championship included 16 participants for the first time and took place in Hungary and Slovenia in an outdated format, due to the postponement to this year of Euro2020, motivated by the covid-19 pandemic.