Sunday, July 21, 2024

Georgia upsets Ronaldo’s Portugal, goes through to last-16!

Georgia made history and reached their first major tournament knockout stage with victory over Portugal at Euro 2024.

Portugal had already won the group, but were shocked in their final group stage game before the clock struck two minutes as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia drilled a low shot past Diogo Costa.

That goal came as Georgia hit Portugal on the break after overturning possession and set the tone for how much of the rest of the night would play out.

The underdogs did not require dominance and made their chances count as Georges Mikautadze delivered from the spot when they were handed a second-half penalty to further propel Georgia to their shock success.

Georgia were content with letting Portugal control possession – as they were steely in defence and closing down space to limit Portugal’s chances – and waited for the opportunity to threaten on the counter.

Few opportunities came Georgia’s way, but few of any real danger were handed to Portugal; the underdogs held their shape to perfection and caused the Group F winners to become increasingly frustrated.

Cristiano Ronaldo lacked the service to make the difference in the final third, Portugal’s midfielders struggled to pass the ball in a way that did anything more than merely boost their possession statistics, and Georgia finished their group stage in fine fashion.

By beating Portugal, Georgia completed the biggest Euros upset in history, based on Fifa rankings, and created a night to remember in their debut major tournament. They will now play Spain in the last 16, while Portugal take on Slovenia.

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