HomeEuro 2024EURO 2024: France Beat Portugal On Penalties

EURO 2024: France Beat Portugal On Penalties

France Triumphs Over Portugal in Penalty Shootout to Secure EURO 2024 Semi-Final Spot

In a dramatic showdown in Hamburg, France clinched their place in the semi-finals of EURO 2024 by defeating Portugal in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout. Theo Hernandez scored the decisive penalty, sealing the victory after Joao Felix’s unfortunate miss, which saw his effort ricochet off the post. The result left Portuguese fans dejected while the French squad celebrated exuberantly with their supporters.

An Emotional Farewell for Ronaldo

This match marked a significant moment for Portugal’s legendary captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, who had announced earlier in the week that this would be his final European Championship. Despite his best efforts, including successfully converting his penalty, Ronaldo could not inspire his team to victory. The much-anticipated face-off between the 39-year-old icon and France’s Kylian Mbappe did not live up to expectations, with both players failing to make a significant impact on the game.

A Tense and Cautious Encounter

The match itself was a tightly contested affair, with limited clear-cut opportunities for either side. Portugal arguably had the better chances during regular time, with Bruno Fernandes and Vitinha both forcing saves from France’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Meanwhile, France’s Randal Kolo Muani saw his shot narrowly deflected wide by Ruben Dias. Eduardo Camavinga missed a golden opportunity to put France ahead, dragging his shot past the far post from close range.

Extra time saw few additional chances, with Portugal’s talisman Ronaldo spurning a great opportunity, sending Francisco Conceicao’s cutback high over the bar. This miss epitomised Portugal’s misfortune as they faced the second penalty shootout in just five days.

France’s Path Forward: Spain Awaits

France’s victory sets up a tantalising semi-final clash with Spain in Munich. However, concerns remain over the form and fitness of star forward Kylian Mbappe. The young striker, who has been playing with a mask following a broken nose sustained in the group stages, was visibly uncomfortable throughout the match. A ball to the face in the second half required several minutes of treatment and eventually led to his substitution in extra time.

Without Mbappe’s usual brilliance, France struggled creatively and relied on moments of defensive lapses from Portugal to create chances. Camavinga’s squandered opportunity was symptomatic of a French side that has yet to fully convince its supporters of its title credentials, despite being one of the pre-tournament favourites.

France’s journey to the semi-finals has been characterised by moments of luck and resilience rather than dominance. As they prepare to face a formidable Spanish team, questions linger about whether they can rise to the occasion and deliver the performances expected of them.

With the semi-final set for Tuesday at 20:00 BST, all eyes will be on France to see if they can overcome their recent struggles and advance to the EURO 2024 final.

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