MATCH REPORT: PORTGAL VS FRANCE - PORTUGAL ABOUT TO REPEAT A 2016?
Portugal and France get away with a point each as the final scoreline read 2-2 in Hungary’s Puskas stadium. Portugal managed to squeeze their way into the lucky losers spot in the group of death. Here’s how the game unfolded.
⏹ Final do jogo (e que jogo!) em Budapeste! Estamos 𝙏𝙊𝘿𝙊𝙎 nos oitavos-de-final! Próxima paragem: Sevilha para defrontar a Bélgica! 👊 #VamosComTudo
🇵🇹 2-2 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/PFbfA7CMsB
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 23, 2021
Portugal has had a shaky start to their Euro 2020 campaign so far and the stakes were as high as they can be heading onto their game against France. Portugal were third in the table and needed a win to confirm their spot in Euro 2020. France had a narrow win against Germany and a draw against Hungary before their last matchday game against Portugal.
Although they were pretty certain they would qualify for the Round of 16, but they still need to find their lost form if they intend to do well ahead in the tournament.
After a positive start by the Portuguese, France conceded a penalty on the 31st minute and Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and finished the ball for them in the net. In the dying minutes of the first half, Kylian Mbappe went down in the penalty box of Portugal as he got a little contact with Nelson Semedo which was enough for VAR to give them the penalty. The extremely experienced Benzema stepped up behind the ball and buried the ball in the left corner.
By the end of the first half, France had only one attempt at goal whereas Portugal had 7 close chances on goal. France had been chasing the ball the first 45 which surely pissed the French players off as by the end of the half, France had three players down with a yellow card already.
The teams kept exchanging possession looking for a way to create something beautiful and that is why we can say that it was an entertaining half.
— Equipe de France ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) June 23, 2021
France started their second half with a bang as Karim Benzema scores after an inviting through ball sat right in front of the goal for Benzema to finish. The goal was about to be disallowed due to the off-side rule but it was eventually given as the French players lept in joy. It was France’s game to lose at this point.
In the 60th minute, the game saw yet another spot-kick as this time Kounde had committed handball while stopping a cross from the left flank. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up again for Portugal and as expected, smashed the ball in the back of the net. France and Portugal were level again.
The second half was more of the same for the sides as they tried keeping possession, attack in numbers and pressing high up on the pitch as well. If Portugal had lost the game, they were out of the whole tournament but they managed to get a point out of the game and are still in the running. Portugal had finished 3rd in their group in 2016 as well.
Are they about to repeat what happened 5 years ago and win the trophy, we’ll have to wait and see.
CRISTIANO RONALDO REFUSES TO AGE
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 23, 2021
Portugal has many star player in the lineup but still no one can match the importance of Cristiano Rinaldo for them. The 36-year-old runs up and down the whole pitch looking for opportunities to create something special.
Although he only scored from the spot, his overall game has been spot-on and he has made some key passes and plays in the game. When in need of a goal, his teammates always look o him as they know this man has the ability to do something special.
RUI PATRICIO KEEPS THEM IN
If Portugal would have lost the game tonight, they were out of Euro 2020. That is how important this game was and Rui Patricio surely rose up to the occasion tonight. France were attacking in heavy numbers, taking shots whenever they could but Rui Patricio refused to get beaten for the majority of the game.
Around the 67th minute, France were looking threatening as Pogba fired a shot from long range and was just about to score but Patricio made a jaw-dropping save keeping his team in the completion. He made two good saved in quick succession as the Frenchmen were shooting the ball whenever they could.
The Portuguese fans have their keeper to thank for keeping them in Euro 2020 as things could have gone horribly wrong for them if it wasn’t for him.
THE GROUP STAGE ENDS ON A HIGH NOTE
Hungary, the dark horses of the tournament were really close to beating Germany but the Germans managed to make a comeback. Now that the group stages have been done, the 4 teams remaining from the 3rd place spots from all the groups are, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Portugal.