EURO debutants into last 16 with stunning victory

UEFA EURO 2024 Group F

Georgia………2

Portugal………0

A famous victory was secured by Georgia in their debut appearance at the UEFA EURO 2024 tournament with goals from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Georges Mikautadze. This win ensured their progression from Group F alongside the 2016 champions, Portugal.

In the opening minutes of the match, Georgia took advantage of Portugal’s altered 3-5-2 formation. Mikautadze intercepted a loose pass from António Silva and delivered a perfectly timed through ball to Kvaratskhelia, who confidently found the back of the net, leaving Diogo Costa with no chance.

Portugal responded with increased intensity in their pursuit of a quick equalizer. Giorgi Mamardashvili made an impressive save, denying Cristiano Ronaldo’s powerful free-kick from long range. He followed it up by expertly positioning himself to catch João Palhinha’s fierce strike.

Georgia persisted in searching for long passes to break through the Portugal defense, but their own defensive line was facing mounting pressure. Francisco Conceição’s shot narrowly missed the target, while João Félix failed to hit the mark with another attempt.

Mamardashvili made a crucial save to deny João Félix just before halftime and managed to punch away Francisco Conceição’s corner kick from underneath the crossbar. This pattern continued in the second half, with Ronaldo’s close-range shot deflected onto the roof of the net within two minutes. However, Georgia still posed a threat on the opposite side of the pitch, as Kvaratskhelia misfired in front of the goal.

Portugal disregarded the warning signs and quickly found themselves two goals behind after António Silva was penalized for bringing down Luka Lochoshvili, resulting in Mikautadze calmly converting from the penalty spot.

Georgia had opportunities to extend their lead through Giorgi Chakvetadze and Zuriko Davitashvili. Mamardashvili also denied Nélson Semedo and Diogo Dalot’s attempts before the Georgian team could start their jubilant celebrations.

Line-ups

Georgia: Mamardashvili; Gvelesiani (Kverkvelia 76), Kashia, Lochoshvili (Tsitaishvili 63); Kakabadze, Chakvetadze (Mekvabishvili 81), Kochorashvili, Kiteishvili, Dvali; Kvaratskhelia (Davitashvili 81), Mikautadze

Portugal: Diogo Costa; António Silva (Nélson Semedo 66), Danilo, Gonçalo Inácio; Dalot, João Neves (Matheus Nunes 75), Francisco Conceição, João Palhinha (Rúben Neves 46), Pedro Neto (Diogo Jota 75); Ronaldo (Gonçalo Ramos 66), João Félix

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