Portugal books last 16 ticket with a 2-2 draw against France
In one of the most exciting games of the European Championships, the defending champs Portugal played against France which ended in a 2-2 draw. Old Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored a brace each for their teams.
This game was a good result for both teams because France topped Group F. Ronaldo scored both of his goals from the penalty spot which was what Portugal needed to stay alive in the tournament. CR7 also equalled the all-time goal-scoring record in men’s international football with the 109th goal of his career to tie Iran’s Ali Daei.
On the other hand, Benzema proved he deserved a spot in the France lineup. He scored a penalty of his own just before halftime. It was a 1-1 draw at the break but Benzema scored another goal in the 47th minute to take the lead. However, CR7 equalized with his second penalty of the game, turning it into a draw.
How Portugal was saved at the last minute
When Portugal and France were playing, the other two teams in the group - Germany and Hungary also went up against each other. After 68 minutes, underdog Hungary was set to take the world by surprise by making it to the main stage. If they won, both Portugal and Germany would’ve been eliminated from the event.
Thankfully, Leon Goretzka proved himself by scoring in the 84th minute which was the reason why they won a point in the table. It was enough to lift them to the second spot while Portugal was saved as well and their draw gave them a spot in the main stage as the third seed.
France coach Didier Deschamps talked about the chaotic end to the group stage. He said, ‘We were seeing the scoreline in the night's other match as Hungary were beating Germany, and it was making things very complicated. It was an insane match that went in all directions’.
It was a fantastic ending for the ‘Group of Death’ because it lived up to the hype. Every team in Group F performed well which is not a surprise given the hype that surrounded the group.
Football is beautiful
Group F proved why football is called the ‘Beautiful Game’. It was filled with great storylines because of the quality of the teams that played. Thankfully, the best situation happened when all of the three big teams made it to the main stage. It was sad for Hungary to miss out but they showed their potential to be a good team in the future.
Deschamps talked about how he fell in love even more with the sport.
‘I am really satisfied. Football is pure magic, from one situation to another the emotions can change so quickly’, he said. ‘The morale of the team can change too. Tonight was pleasing even though not everything was perfect. It was a match on the top level’.
It will be an exciting last 16 with so many good games across the board. The stage is set with Germany in a big game against England on the 29th of June. Portugal and Belgium will play against each other in one of the most titanic matchups of the event. France will face Switzerland where they will be favoured. They should not overlook the Swiss who had a great group stage run.
This will be a great climax to the European Championships since it’s still poised to be one of the best main stages ever.
Words: Cholo Martin