Euro 2024: Portugal vs. France, 0-0, 3-5 on Penalties

By Score More

Hamburg, Germany – The beautiful game is as cruel as it is thrilling. Portugal faced off against World Cup runners-up France, showcasing courage and nearly securing victory. However, in football, history remembers not the valiant, but the relentless. In the penalty shootout, the French were flawless, whereas Portugal faltered, bowing out of Euro 2024 with a 3-5 loss on penalties.

End of an Era

The tears of Pepe, clinging to Ronaldo post-penalties, marked the end of an era for a generation that had the quality to go further. It was a poignant moment, symbolizing the close of a chapter filled with remarkable journeys and memories.

A Bold Portuguese Performance

Portugal dared to match their dreams against one of the tournament favorites. They played with courage and faith, demonstrating their true potential and leaving fans with a glimmer of hope. The team displayed quality, ball control, and above all, a fearless plan against the formidable French side.

Coach Roberto Martínez maintained the 4-3-3 formation, entrusting the playmaking duties to Vitinha, Bruno Fernandes, and Bernardo Silva. Bernardo, playing more centrally, was pivotal, while Leão was positioned to disrupt France’s defense, staying high and ready to counterattack.

First Half: Tactical and Cautious

Portugal controlled the tempo, dictated play, and kept France on the run. Yet, they lacked the firepower needed to score. Leão’s bursts and Bruno Fernandes’s off-target shots were the only notable attempts in the first half.

France weathered the pressure and responded with two threats around the 20-minute mark from Theo Hernandez and Kylian Mbappé, both saved by a vigilant Diogo Costa.

Second Half: Momentum Shifts

The second half began with Portugal in control, but neither Vitinha nor Bruno Fernandes could beat Maignan. France’s coach, Didier Deschamps, introduced Dembélé for Griezmann, boosting France’s pace and creating danger like never before.

Rúben Dias heroically blocked Kolo Muani’s shot, and Camavinga missed a close-range chance, keeping Portugal in the game. Martínez responded with substitutions, bringing on Nélson Semedo and Francisco Conceição for João Cancelo and Bruno Fernandes, which helped regain control but did not produce clear scoring opportunities.

Extra Time: Close but No Cigar

Extra time saw both teams cautious, with France posing a few threats, such as Thuram’s effort stopped by Pepe and Barcola’s shot hitting the side netting. Portugal had a golden chance in the dying moments when Bernardo Silva set up Nuno Mendes, but his shot was saved by Maignan.

With Félix and Matheus Nunes subbed in, it seemed Portugal was preparing for penalties. However, Félix’s missed penalty, combined with France’s perfect execution, sealed Portugal’s fate.

A Narrow Defeat

In football, a game of inches, the difference between victory and defeat can be minuscule. This time, it was France who edged out Portugal, advancing to face Spain in the semifinals.

Match Summary:

  • Penalties: Portugal 3-5 France
  • Regulation Time: 0-0
  • Notable Moments: Pepe’s tears, the end of an era for Portugal, tactical brilliance but a lack of finishing

Portugal exits Euro 2024 with heads held high, having demonstrated their resilience and skill, but ultimately falling short in the most heartbreaking manner.

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