Cristiano Ronaldo entered Euro 2012 considered by many to be the best individual player at the tournament.   This honor comes with a great deal of responsibility, the sort of responsibility that Ronaldo has not always been able to live up to for Portugal.  Despite winning Ballon D'Or honors, a Champions League title, and domestic leagues in England and Spain, many consider Ronaldo a failure as Portugal's captain.  Portugal lacks the caliber of talent that Ronaldo is accustomed to playing with at the club level.


Throughout his career with Portugal, Ronaldo has lacked the killer instincts that he so readily displays with Real Madrid. A prime example of this came early in the match when he sailed a free kick well over goal and again just after the start of the second half when he squandered a one on one chance against Stephan Andersen. Yet despite squandering these opportunities, Ronaldo was still heavily influential on the match.  He served up the corner kick that Pepe opened scoring, continuing his tradition of frustrating Portuguese fans.

Following Pepe's opened, Portugal added a second goal off of a great finish by Helder Postiga off of Nani's superb cross.  It was a great display of what Portugal is capable of when they are firing on all cylinders, but moments like this are the exception for Portugal rather than the norm.  Postiga failed to convert on several other opportunities, even falling down without the assistance of a defender on one occasion, eventually leading to his substitution for Nelson Oliveira.


On the other side of the coin, Denmark has an equally frustrating player in striker Nicklas Bendtner.  Where Bendtner has struggled and faltered for Arsenal, his performances for Denmark have been consistent.  He continued his tradition of scoring against Portugal by applying the finishing touch to a great team goal off the assist from Michael Krohn-Dehli.  Bendtner has now scored in five consecutive matches against the Portuguese, the mark of consistency that he has lacked for Arsenal and Sunderland.


Ronaldo's frustration continued deep into the second half.  Amid jeers from Danish fans chanting "Messi" on Ronaldo's every touch, the Ballon D'Or winner wasted another wide open one on one with Andersen in the 77th minute.  His effort was indicative of a player that lacked confidence in front of goal, he appeared uncomfortable.

His opposition Bendtner appeared confident as he headed home Denmark's equalizer off of Lars Jacobsen's cross just a minute later.  Bendtner managed to evade Pepe on the back post to find open space and despite the best efforts of Rui Patricio the ball was destined for the back of the net.


With five minutes remaining in the ninety minutes, Paul Bento opted to introduce Varela for Raul Meireles.  Varela had missed an open opportunity with just minutes remaining in the match against Germany.  He appeared he was going to repeat the incident and missed connecting with Fabio Coentrao's cross the first time. Varela was able to recover and fired a precise shot into the back of the net.  A moment of redemption for both Varela and the rest of the Portuguese team.

The win allows Portugal to draw level with Denmark and for the moment with Germany.  A 1-0 victory for the Netherlands would mean that all four Group B teams would be tied on both points and goal differential.