Portugal and France both advanced to the knockout stages in Euro 2020 after an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Tonight’s first chance fell to Kylian Mbappe. The youth was played through on goal by an excellent Paul Pogba through ball, but his finish was overwhelming for a player by his standards.
From then on, it was half soaked in controversy, beginning when Portugal got a penalty kick in the 28th minute. Danilo Pereira got his head against a post and was caught by Hugo Llori’s arm at the follow-up.
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz pointed to the spot despite protests from French players. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and slammed his penalty kick past Lloris.
Just before half-time, more controversy arose when France were awarded a penalty kick. Mbappe went under contact from Nelson Semedo, but repetitions showed the decision to be soft at best.
VAR controlled the incident, but the original decision is stuck. Karim Benzema was the replacement.
And Benzema doubled his personal number after the break. He locked on an inch perfect pass from Pogba and ended up from the far post. The lineman initially flagged for offside, but VAR intervened and gave the goal.
But this lead lasted only 12 minutes when Portugal got another penalty kick. Ronaldo’s cross was handled by Jules Kounde and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner rolled his penalty kick into the bottom left corner. It was his 109th goal on the international stage, equivalent to the record set by Ali Daei.
France were close to regaining the lead after 68 minutes. Pogba hit a shot from range on goal, but Rui Patricio was in full swing to turn it across and then rose quickly to deny Antoine Griezmann on the rebound.
There were not many chances from then on, but there was still time for a little more controversy during the injury time. Kingsley Coman took over Bruno Fernandes and went down, but a fourth penalty was not awarded. There was clear contact, but it could have been right outside the box.
The match ended 2-2, which ensured that both sides progressed. France finished the group stage in first place, meaning they face Switzerland in the round of 16. Portugal finished in third and play Belgium.
Rui Patricio (7/10) – Could not do much about the goals. Made a great double save in the second half.
Nelson Semedo (7/10) – Unfortunate for the penalty. Handled the pace well in Mbappe. Subbed off with an injury.
Pepe (7/10) – Helped keep people like Mbappe and Griezmann quiet with a solid performance on the back.
Ruben Dias (5/10) – Fought against Benzema who got the wrong side of him for the second goal.
Raphael Guerreiro (6/10) – Not added near as much as he could get ahead. Be nice defensively.
João Moutinho (6/10) – Put a good post in the lead up to the first penalty kick. Struggled to handle Pogba in the middle.
Danilo Pereira (6/10) – A brave header to win the first penalty kick. Some on a touch. Finished at half time.
Renato Sanches (7/10) – A promising performance from the former Bayern Munich man. Could have earned a solid place in start XI.
Bernardo Silva (6/10) – Had a good first half, but did a little in the second.
Cristiano Ronaldo (7/10) – Took both his punishments with confidence and never seemed to be missed. Created history with its 109th international goal.
Diogo Jota (4/10) – Anonymous all night. Somehow remained in the whole 90.
João Palhinha (6/10)
Bruno Fernandes (4/10)
Ruben Neves (6/10)
Diogo Dalot (6/10)
Sergio Oliveira (NA / 10)
Hugo Lloris (5/10) – Reckless blow for the first penalty kick. Not one of his finest evenings.
Jules Kounde (5/10) – Definitely not a natural right back. Offered nothing going forward and conceded a penalty kick.
Raphael Varane (7/10) – Can not be blamed for both goals. Helped keep Ronaldo quiet from open play.
Presnel Kimpembe (7/10) – Much like Varane did not do much wrong for both goals. A reliable 90 minutes from PSG man.
Lucas Hernandez (5/10) – Sometimes he fought against Bernardo Silva and got a yellow card. Replaced at the break.
N’Golo Kante (6/10) – Won the ball a few times back and protected the defense well. Did not do a whole lot on the ball.
Paul Pogba (9/10) * MOTM * – Noticeably a cut over the rest. Confident on the ball, creative, played the two best passes of the evening and was unlucky with an excellent strike that was saved.
Corentin Tolisso (5/10) – Did his part in the defense, but offered almost nothing going forward.
Kylian Mbappe (5/10) – A quiet evening. Missed a great chance to make it 1-0 early.
Karim Benzema (8/10) – Stuck his punishment well away. Good run and goal for his second.
Antoine Griezmann (7/10) – So bright on the ball and always seemed to make something happen and contributed with defense.
Lucas Digne (NA / 10) – Replaced six minutes after arriving due to injury.
Adrien Rabiot (6/10)
Kingsley Coman (6/10)
Moussa Sissoko (NA / 10)