Triumph in the last moments allows the Portuguese team to dream of winning the European Championship. Access to the final will be decided today
The dream of winning the European Roller Hockey Championship is still very much alive for the Portuguese team, after the sensational victory achieved over Spain, in a game that goes down in history, such is the epic way in which the Portuguese team came back to the marker in the last moments.
With two and a half minutes before the final whistle, Spain won 9-7 and had practically sealed access to the final with France, as the defeat left Portugal without any chance of reaching one of the top two places in the group on today’s journey . A shot from the middle of the street by Gonçalo Alves, scorer of four goals, ignited the Portuguese hope for the final two minutes and what was seen in Paredes in the last 120 seconds was worthy of a Hitchcock film.
With the Spaniards in a clear physical breakdown, Portugal believed in the “remount” and, more than skating, rode towards the goal of Xavier Malián. The draw to nine came from a shot by Rafa, which led the ball to hit an opponent before entering, with just over a minute to play. The Portuguese team went red and the same Rafa would come to consummate the comeback, 13 seconds from the end, with a stick that drove Multiusos de Paredes crazy and caused many tears to fall among the Portuguese players, without the Spaniards having time or strength to re-establish the tie again.
With a journey to finish the first phase, France leads with 10 points, three more than Portugal and Spain. However, and as an eventual three-way tie will be due to goal difference in head-to-heads, the Portuguese team will be out of the first two places in the group and the final, even if they beat Andorra today, if the Spanish beat the French by one or two goals.