Georgia stun Portugal 2-0 to advance at Euro 2024

Georgia stun Portugal 2-0 to advance at Euro 2024
Georgia stun portugal 2-0 to advance at euro 2024Georgia stunned former champions Portugal 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the knockout stage at Euro 2024 —- their first ever major tournament.
The match was settled by an early Khvicha Kvaratskhelia strike and a Georges Mikautadze penalty kick.
The win, albeit against a largely second-string Portugal who had already made it into the next round, represented the greatest result for Georgia.
This was since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
But there was nothing undeserved about the way Willy Sagnol, a former Bayern Munich and France defender, and his side claimed a third-place finish in the tournament’s Group F.
It was a win that had now set them up for a last-16 meeting with three-time Euro winners Spain.
Georgia’s win also means that England will line up against Slovakia, Romania take on Netherlands and Portugal face Slovenia in the round of 16.
Hungary, who had been in contention for a spot in the next round, were edged out.
The tournament debutants took the lead in the second minute when Kvaratskhelia, the Napoli winger, raced away after a careless pass by Antonio Silva.
He then powered a low shot past Diogo Costa in Portugal’s goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo —- one of only three starters for Portugal who also played in their 3-0 win over Turkey on Saturday —- stretched and strained for every ball.
This was as he sought to become the oldest goal scorer at a Euro tournament at the age of 39.
But Georgia defended as if their lives depended upon it and sought to catch Portugal on the break.
In the 53rd minute, Silva compounded his earlier error by committing a foul in the penalty box which led to an award of a penalty kick after a VAR check.
Mikautadze, who had provided the pass for Kvaratskhelia to open the scoring early on, steered his kick past Costa, making him the top scorer at Euro 2024 so far with three goals.
Ronaldo was booked in the first half for arguing and he cut a frustrated figure when he was substituted after the break, kicking out at a water bottle.
Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili made late saves to keep Portugal at bay in the final minutes.
At full time, Georgia’s squad and coaching staff sprinted on to the field to celebrate in front of thousands of their fans.(Reuters/NAN)