Tuesday, July 16, 2024

France Kick Portugal Out On Penalties In Euro 2024, Secure Semis Spot | Pragativadi | Odisha News, Breaking News Odisha, Latest Odisha News – N.F Times

Hamburg: France secured a spot in the Euro 2024 semi-finals after defeating Portugal on penalties (5-3) in Friday’s quarter-final match at a packed Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, setting up an exciting semi-final clash against Spain.

In a tense game, which was only the second European Championship match on record (since 1980) to not have a single shot from inside either box in the first half, both teams created a few moments apiece in the second half that could have won it for them.

The game took until an hour had passed to suddenly spring into life following a dour opening period. Portugal struck first, forcing back-to-back saves from Mike Maignan, first from a João Cancelo shot, and then from a Ronaldo backheel. At the other end, Ruben Dias made a sliding block to stop a Kolo Muani shot, followed by an excellent chance to score scuffed wide by Eduardo Camavinga.

Given that France hadn’t scored from open play in the entire tournament and Portugal’s last knockout game ended 0-0 in normal time, extra time seemed inevitable. Cristiano Ronaldo had a gilt-edged chance to put his side ahead in the first period of extra time but instead blasted his shot well over. Shortly afterwards, Ousmane Dembele skipped away from Pepe and found himself in a great position to shoot, but instead, he passed to Kylian Mbappe, who couldn’t convert.

Rafael Leao had a shot well blocked in the first period, and after the break, João Félix hit the side netting with another goal attempt. There was superb defending throughout the game, but simply not enough cutting edge in attack, leading to penalties.

Dembele scored the opening spot-kick and was matched by Ronaldo for Portugal. Youssouf Fofana netted his attempt, and again Portugal also hit the mark with Bernardo Silva. Jules Kounde stepped up for France’s third and duly converted, but João Félix was the first to miss when he hit the post.

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