Portugal held to a goalless draw: France win on penalties!

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Portugal and France clashed in the Quarter Finals of the EURO 2024 with the Les Bleus coming out on top on penalties after succumbing to a goalless draw. Neither France not Portugal have lived up to their standards in the tournament so far.

Portugal had plenty of chances to break the deadlock against France and clinch the tie. Although, they would falter every time and were unable to finish clinically. Furthermore, Ronaldo and Mbappe were unable to leave a mark on the game. Portugal arguably had better chances of the two teams.

Bruno Fernandes couldn’t beat Mike Maignan and the Frenchman would also deny Vitinha. Randal Kolo Muani’s shot on goal would deflect just wide off of Ruben Dias. Eduardo Camavinga also had a chance to seal the deal for France but he wasn’t able to keep his composure.

Cristiano Ronaldo would also miss his mark after a cutback from Francisco Conceicao. Nuno Mendes would also fail to score. Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes was taken off before penalties.

France would begin the shootout by finding the back of the net. Ronaldo would score keeping Portugal in contention. Eventually, Joao Felix would hit the post to the agony of Portugal fans as France saw their golden opportunity.

Theo Hernandez stepped up and found the back of the net to set up an exciting semi final against Spain!

France put a halt on Portugal and Ronaldo’s European journey!

Roberto Martinez’s Portugal would fail to score in their 3rd successive game at the EUROs. Portugal should have taken this competition by storm. Especially, considering their star studded lineups. However, they just haven’t found their groove.

Portugal appointed Roberto Martinez in-charge after Fernando Santos’ couldn’t beat Morocco at the World Cup. Portugal started brilliantly under Martinez winning all 10 of their EURO qualifiers. Moreover, their squad depth and quality has immensely improved when compared to previous generations.

They were definitely one of the favorites coming into the tournament. However, their groups in both the qualifiers and the EURO finals were relatively easy when compared to other teams. Martinez’s men would win their first game barely against Czechia with a late goal by Franciso Conceicao. Subsequently, they would capitalize on Turkiye’s errors in the second game and clinch it by 3-0 to secure qualification for the knockout rounds.

Although, they would falter against Georgia in the 3rd game losing 2-0. They would face Slovenia in the RO16 failing to score again. Ronaldo would miss a penalty to clinch it for his side. Diogo Costa’s heroics in goal led Portugal in the final 8.

Unfortunately, they were unable to replicate their penalty prowess against France as they would lose 3-5! The defeat would mark the end of Ronaldo’s EURO career.

41-year old Pepe was excellent for his side. However, he would also be left in tears as he was being consoled by his captain.

Mbappe out of form: France unconvincing!

Didier Deschamps took charge of Les Bleus in 2012. Subsequently, France would go on to the 2016 EURO finals as the host nation and would lose to Portugal! France yet again would have an exceptional side under Deschamps as they would enter World Cup 2018.

Eventually, they would go on to beat Croatia to lift the World title. Deschamps would also win the Nations League in 2021 with the Les Bleus. Additionally, they would go on to play consecutive world cup finals against as they would lose to Argentina in a thriller on penalties.

France have been one of the most consistent sides in recent years always having top talents to employ. However, Didier Deschamps’ France still haven’t found the back of the net from open play in this competition. Moreover, their talisman Kylian Mbappe is out of form having merely scored once and that too from the penalty spot.

Deschamps made the following remark when asked about Mbappe:

“With everything that’s happened with him, he’s hanging in there. He’s not at his top form and over time, with the efforts he put in, he felt very tired.”

France face a tough Spain challenge ahead who have been terrific so far. Kylian Mbappe will be key for France if they are to beat the La Roja.

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