Lviv (Ukraine): Cometh the Euro ...cometh the man could well be Portuguese striker Helder Postiga's sporting epitaph.

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For the 29-year-old's well-taken goal in the 3-2 victory over Denmark in Wednesday's Group B clash was the third successive Euro he had scored in to make him only the second Portuguese player to have achieved that - Nuno Gomes being the other.

It was just as well he scored as he took the pressure off himself following criticism after the 1-0 defeat by Germany in the opener and rewarded the faith shown in him by coach Paulo Bento.

Indeed he can now sleep easy as all the focus is on the misfiring of his captain and star player Cristiano Ronaldo but his phrase uttered on the the eve of the Danish match rings even truer now.

"In football, a simple goal can change everything."

Ronaldo, who top scored in the qualifiers for Portugal with seven while Postiga was just behind with five, will hope that Postiga's statement comes true for him in the crucial last group game against pointless Holland on Sunday.

Postiga has benefited to a certain extent that his rivals for point man are either the slow, technically questionable Hugo Almeida and the unproven 20-year-old Nelson Oliveira.

On the other hand he has suffered from coming on the scene in the wake of Portugal's two most prolific goalscorers Gomes and all-time record goalscorer Pauleta.

Postiga, who was recalled to the squad by Bento after being left out of the 2010 World Cup squad by Carlos Queiroz, has time and again proved that whilst he has had a largely moderate career at club level since the heady days of Porto almost 10 years ago he has an uncanny knack of scoring in major tournaments.

Such was the case in the Euro 2004 quarter-final against England as just eight minutes after being sent on as a substitute he scored with a header and then in the victorious penalty shootout he cheekily delivered a 'Panenka' effort.

His nerve was not to fail him either in a penalty shootout against the same opponents two at the same stage of the 2006 World Cup finals and then at Euro 2008 he popped up to score against Germany in the quarter-finals though this time they lost 3-2.

Credit must go to Bento for maintaining his belief in Postiga, who has 20 goals in 51 international appearances, as he has hardly flourished at club level ever since he gained a high-profile move to Spurs after a stunning season for Porto in 2003 under the guidance of 'the special one' Jose Mourinho.

Under Mourinho he was part of a side that won the domestic double and the UEFA Cup - although he was suspended for the final and then left for Spurs and missed out on the Champions League title the following year!

However, he flopped at Spurs and at a succession of clubs after that as his travels took him to France, Greece, back to Porto and also fellow Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon and finally to Spain and a dreadful season which saw Real Zaragoza relegated.

Thus this Euro represents something of a chance for Postiga to put behind him the rollercoaster ride of preceding years and perhaps give himself one more chance at a big money transfer.

(Agencies)

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