France’s Victory Over Portugal in Penalty Shootout to Set Up Euro 2024 Semi-final Against Spain

 France overcame Portugal 5-3 on penalties in a thrilling quarterfinal match of Euro 2024 to advance to play Spain in the semifinals after a scoreless 120 minutes.

Theo Hernandez scored the game-winning penalty kick in a dramatic and tactically sound battle that brought Cristiano Ronaldo’s final European Championship to an abrupt conclusion.

France’s Victory Over Portugal in Penalty Shootout to Set Up Euro 2024 Semi-final Against Spain
Theo Hernandez, who scored the game-winning penalty, celebrates with goalie Mike Maignan. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

After a goalless 120 minutes on Friday, Kylian Mbappe’s France defeated Portugal 5-3 on penalties in a thrilling quarterfinal match that will probably go down in history as Cristiano Ronaldo’s final tournament match. Theo Hernandez scored the game-winning kick. The only player from Portugal to miss was Joao Felix, who sent his team’s third penalty kick against the post. France, on the other hand, made all of their penalty kicks and advanced to a matchup with Spain in the round of 16s.

After losing to Argentina on penalties in the 2022 World Cup final and losing to Switzerland in the round of 16 of the previous European Championship three years prior, France is finally experiencing triumph in a shootout. In the final international competition held in Germany, they were defeated by Italy in the World Cup final of 2006. They again lost on penalties.

By the time this shootout arose, Mbappe had already left the field after missing the game-winning kick against the Swiss. Bardley Barcola had taken his place halfway through extra time.

Moreover, Barcola, Ousmane Dembele, Youssouf Fofana, and Jules Kounde scored for France from the penalty spot. Wearing a mask to protect his broken nose against Austria in France’s opening game, Mbappe seemed constrained and had a tough evening as he continues to search for his best form in the competition.

While Ronaldo, at 39, looks to have played in his final Euro match, he will at least get another chance to shine in the semi-final. This is his sixth European Championship, but after misfiring in each of Portugal’s five games, he was unable to add to his championship record total of 14 goals in Germany.

Although he scored Portugal’s first penalty, Roberto Martinez’s team was eliminated from the game after more than six hours of play without a goal. They lost this time in a poor match in Hamburg, but they defeated Slovenia on penalties in the round of sixteen following a goalless draw.

Particularly, France, who advanced thus far in the tournament without a single player scoring a goal in open play, had not performed quite to their full capacity in any of their prior matches.

A spot in the starting lineup was Randal Kolo Muani’s reward for coming off the bench to force the late own goal that gave Les Bleus the victory over Belgium in the previous round. In midfield, Eduardo Camavinga replaced the suspended Adrien Rabiot, while Antoine Griezmann was used as the number 10 behind Mbappe and Kolo Muani.

Also Read: Turkey Secures Euro 2024 Quarter-Final Spot Against the Netherlands After Exciting Win Over Austria

While failing to play with any true energy when in control, France has been content to sit teams off and rely on a strong defense. In what was mostly a poor match, they had less possession of the ball, though the second half did see a small uptick in play.

Portugal started to create issues with midfield runners coming into the box, first when Bruno Fernandes’ effort was denied by Mike Maignan shortly after the hour.

Moments later, Vitinha was the next to try his luck, landing a low center from Rafael Leao. Desperate to avoid giving up the competition’s first goal through open play, Maignan parried his shot and moved fast to block Ronaldo’s close-range back-heeling attempt.

Kolo Muani and Kounde played a one-two and headed for goal as France retaliated, but a crucial intervention by Ruben Dias saved Portugal.

After that, Deschamps substituted Dembele for Antoine Griezmann. Dembele didn’t take long to create a fantastic opportunity for Camavinga, but the midfielder missed it.

After that, Ronaldo wasted a golden opportunity from substitute Francisco Conceicao’s cutback as the game gradually drifted into extra time.

That was all Mbappe could muster, and the captain of France watched from the sidelines as Maignan saved Nuno Mendes’ last-ditch effort at the conclusion of 120 minutes, setting up penalties.

At the Portugal end of the Volksparkstadion, there was a shoot-out. Maignan was unable to make a save, although he was not required to. In the previous round, Portugal’s Diogo Costa stopped three penalties from Slovenia, but he was unable to stop any this time.

France’s Victory Over Portugal in Penalty Shootout to Set Up Euro 2024 Semi-final Against Spain
Cristiano Ronaldo comforts Pepe following Portugal's loss to France in Euro 2024. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Aurelien Tchouameni, Midfielder for France, stated:

“We want to enjoy this triumph, regardless of whether it was earned or not. It’s true that not everything has flawless offensive and defensive performance.

“We sometimes deserve the beatings we receive. We’re in the semi-finals [against Spain], so we won’t be choosy. Everyone is free to speak, even journalists who carry out their duties.”

Pepe, Defender of Portugal, told Record:

“Losing like that hurts. Words cannot adequately describe what we did. Given what we did, we should have had a different outcome, but that’s football. We were pleased with the penalties four days ago, but today we’re depressed. We played clever inside the established framework, but that’s football.

We had tough opponents in Slovenia and the Czech Republic in our two games, as both teams play in a bottom block. Our goal was to give them breadth. Today, similar to Turkey, who wished to play open against us, it would be more open and have a different rhythm.

“I wanted to keep competing in this event. The embrace is very important to me, but right now is not the proper moment to talk about it because it hurts so much. We may discuss it later. I’ll have time to discuss my future; we need to go past this excruciating suffering; we had a chance to win the competition; we need to pick ourselves up.”

Cristiano Ronaldo Consoles Emotional Pepe After Portugal’s Euro 2024 Elimination

Pepe had to be comforted by Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2024 exit in Hamburg, as he was in tears.

In their quarterfinal UEFA Euro 2024 match against Portugal, France prevailed 5-3 in a shootout on Friday in Hamburg. After extra time, the closely contested match concluded in a score of 0-0. The 39-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, who had to console his 41-year-old teammate Pepe—who likely participated in his final international tournament—also set a record with his sixth European Championship.

After receiving a knock to his fractured nose, which was covered by a protective mask, in the first half of extra time, Kylian Mbappe was substituted, thus he was not even present for the penalty shootout.

Mike Maignan, the France goalie, remarked after the victory, “It wasn’t easy. We weren’t always so good; the game was challenging. We performed admirably on defense. We didn’t falter until the penalty shootout. We should be pleased with us.”

In the semifinals, France will play Spain, who won 1-0 against the hosts Germany in their quarterfinal thanks to an extra-time goal from Mikel Merino.

“I knew that there was very little time left and that it was one of the last attacks we would have,” Merino remarked following the victory. It took several seconds for me to realize that it had entered. It hits home quickly when you receive thirty slaps on the back. For myself and the entire team, I am ecstatic. Even though there is just one moment (the goal), a lot of work, training, hope, faith, and self-belief go into achieving it.”

German midfielder Toni Kroos commented, “It’s bitter because we were so close.” To be really honest, we all had a major objective that we wanted to accomplish as a team, therefore the greatest sensation at the moment is that the competition is finished. And now this dream that we all had has just been crushed.”

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