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Euro 2024: Portugal Reaches Knockout Stage, Georgia Bags Historic First Ever Point



Portugal has booked its place in the Euro 2024 knockout stages with a resounding 3-0 victory over Turkey at the Dortmund Stadium on Saturday.

The triumph ensures Portugal’s spot in the last 16, solidifying their position as favorites to win the tournament.

Bernardo Silva opened the scoring for Portugal in the first half, capitalizing on a deflected cross from Nuno Mendes.

The lead was doubled just before the half-hour mark in a comical fashion, as a poor pass by Joao Cancelo intended for Cristiano Ronaldo was miscued by Samet Akaydin, resulting in an own goal.

Portugal sealed their win early in the second half, with Ronaldo selflessly squaring the ball for Bruno Fernandes to finish.

With six points from two games, Portugal has secured first place in Group F and will face Georgia in their final group match on Wednesday.

They will then advance to a last-16 tie in Frankfurt on July 1 against one of the best third-place finishers.

Bernardo Silva expressed the team’s satisfaction with the win, stating, “We are mainly very happy with the three points, with the qualification in first place, and it is just another step for being closer to our goal, a goal that is still very far away, which is to try to win the cup.”

Coach Roberto Martinez echoed Silva’s sentiments, adding, “We are first in the group, and we can make changes in the next game, which for me is very important, as there are lots of players in the dressing room who deserve to play.”

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo, appearing in his sixth Euros at 39, had a few pitch invaders approach him for a selfie during the game. While he initially obliged with a smile, he appeared visibly irritated as the number of invaders grew. Coach Martinez expressed concern over the incident, stating, “It is a concern because today we were lucky that the intentions of the fans were good. If those intentions are wrong, then the players are exposed, and we need to be careful with that.”

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In an earlier match, Georgia secured their first-ever point at a major tournament with a 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic.

Patrik Schick’s improvised finish earned the Czechs a draw, canceling out Georges Mikautadze’s penalty for Georgia.

Both teams face a challenging road ahead, requiring wins in their next games to remain in the competition.

Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili hailed the historic moment, saying, “I am quite happy and satisfied just for being here… our first point is a historic moment.”

Czech coach Ivan Hasek echoed the sentiment, stating, “We don’t want to go home yet. We will fight until the very end against Turkey so we can get into the knockout rounds.”

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