* Poland to punish fans detained in fighting
* Germany and the Netherlands renew old rivalry
* Portugal risk early exit if they lose
By Timothy Heritage
KIEV, June 13 Substitute Silvestre Varela
smashed in a late goal to grab a 3-2 victory for Portugal over
Denmark on Wednesday as a row brewed between Poland and Russia
over clashes between their fans at Euro 2012.
Varela's 87th-minute strike secured all three points for
Portugal in a pulsating match after Denmark had erased their
two-goal lead with close-range headers by Nicklas Bendtner in
the 41st and 80th minutes.
Victory in the Ukrainian city of Lviv put Portugal back in
contention in Group B after they lost their first match to
Germany, who were playing the Netherlands in Kharkiv.
Denmark also have three points in a tight group but could
not reproduce the form that spurred them to a shock 1-0 victory
over the Dutch.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's most expensive footballer,
misfired in front of goal for Portugal but defender Pepe struck
in the 24th minute with a powerful near-post header from a
corner and striker Helder Postiga scored from close range in the
Off the pitch, tension was growing between Russia and Poland
over fighting in which police fired rubber bullets and tear gas
and detained 184 people before the countries' Group A match in
Warsaw on Tuesday.
The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had told Polish
Prime Minister Donald Tusk by telephone that Warsaw bore "full
responsibility" for fans' safety and Russia's Foreign Ministry
blamed the violence on Polish fans.
The clashes were an embarrassment for Poland, which had
until Tuesday presided over a mostly peaceful tournament with
co-hosts Ukraine, and Warsaw apologised for the violence.
Many Poles still resent decades of Soviet domination after
World War Two and what they regard as Moscow's increasingly
Poland promised tough punishment over the clashes, which
began as Russian fans marched towards the stadium before the
match which ended 1-1. Masked groups attacked the Russians, some
of whom fought back, and both battled the police.
Interior Minister Jacket Cichocki said the detained Russians
would probably be expelled from Poland and banned from Europe's
border-free Schneyer area for five years.
"When it comes to our hooligans, I hope the prosecutors and
especially the courts will be strict," he said.
UEFA said it was determined the violence would not be
repeated. A statement released by European soccer's governing
body condemned the clashes but also implied that the police show
of strength had been over the top.
"UEFA's philosophy is to create a welcoming environment
coupled with a low-profile approach to policing," it said.
"UEFA is determined that the overwhelmingly peaceful and
festive atmosphere that has so far pervaded UEFA Euro 2012 will
be continued right up to and including the final in Kiev on
Sunday July 1."
The clash between the Netherlands and Germany renewed an
on-pitch rivalry that goes back to the emergence of the Dutch as
a global football powerhouse in the 1970s, particularly after
Germany's 2-1 final victory at the 1974 World Cup.
The 1990 World Cup round-of-16 win for the West Germans
included an infamous incident where Dutchman Frank Rijkaard spat
at German Rudy Vogeler and both players were sent off.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said the fractious encounters of
the past had been replaced by a rivalry based on respect. But
the stakes are high, particularly for the Dutch after their
defeat by Denmark and another loss could seal their exit.
Although Germany are among the tournament favorites, team
manager Oliver Bierhoff said they would be wary against the
Dutch after being beaten in their second games in Euro 2008 and
at the 2010 World Cup.
"I hope that after the second game this time it will be
different and that we come out as winners," the former Germany
international told reporters.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)