Portugal’s women footballers make history

Portimão-born Cláudia Neto captained Portugal’s women’s football team as they made history in the Sparta Stadium, Rotterdam when recording their first ever European Championship win.

The 2-1 victory over Scotland caused national celebrations with President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, sending his personal congratulations to the team on their historic triumph.

Carolina Mendes, who plays for Grindelia (Sweden) gave the underdogs the lead just before the half-hour mark. Cláudia Neto (Linköpings FC, Sweden) then rallied her troops as they withstood periods of sustained pressure.

Midway through the second period Scotland drew level through Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea). Portugal coach Francisco Neto then made an inspired substitution, replacing Carolina Mendes with Ana Leite. Two minutes later the Sporting forward held off a challenge from Barsley before slotting home past keeper Gemma Fry to seal a famous victory.

Cláudia Neto started playing futsal with UAC Lagos but in 2008 she turned to association football and signed for Prainsa Zaragoza in Spain’s Superliga. She now plays in Sweden. The highly capped (107) Neto has been a mainstay of the national side that has made great strides in recent years.