Fernando Santos looks ahead to Belgium challenge
Portugal manager Fernando Santos gave his thoughts after his team booked a mouth-watering clash against top-ranked Belgium in the last-16 of Euro 2020.
Portugal and France get away with a point each as the final scoreline read 2-2 in Hungary’s Puskas stadium. Portugal managed to squeeze their way into the lucky losers spot in the group of death.
After a positive start by the Portuguese, France conceded a penalty on the 31st minute and Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and finished the ball for them in the net. In the dying minutes of the first half, Kylian Mbappe went down in the penalty box of Portugal as he got a little contact with Nelson Semedo which was enough for VAR to give them the penalty.
The extremely experienced Benzema stepped up behind the ball and buried the ball in the left corner. By the end of the first half, France had only one attempt at goal whereas Portugal had 7 close chances on goal. France had been chasing the ball the first 45 which surely annoyed the French players — by the end of the half, France had three players down with a yellow card already. The teams kept exchanging possession looking for a way to create something.
France started their second half with a bang as Karim Benzema scored after an inviting through ball for him to finish. The goal was about to be disallowed due to the off-side rule but it was eventually given. It was France’s game to lose at this point.
In the 60th minute, the game saw yet another spot-kick as this time Kounde had committed handball while stopping a cross from the left flank. Ronaldo stepped up again for Portugal and as expected, smashed the ball in the back of the net.
France and Portugal were level again. The second half was more of the same for the sides as they tried keeping possession, attack in numbers and pressing high up on the pitch as well.
France were attacking in heavy numbers, taking shots whenever they could but Rui Patricio refused to get beaten for the majority of the game. Around the 67th minute, France were looking threatening as Pogba fired a shot from long range and was just about to score but Patricio made a jaw-dropping save keeping his team in the completion. He made two good saved in quick succession as the Frenchmen were shooting whenever they could.
Portugal 2-2 France
Ronaldo (30) pen, Benzema (45+2) pen, Benzema (47), Ronaldo (60) pen