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Georgia Shocks Portugal To Reach Knockout Stages

  • June 26, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Georgia Shocks Portugal To Reach Knockout Stages

In a stunning upset, Georgia defeated Portugal 2-0 at Veltins Arena on Wednesday, securing a dramatic qualification for the Euro 2024 knockout stages.

Portugal coach Roberto Martinez opted to rest key players like Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Rueben Dias and Joao Cancelo, a decision that backfired spectacularly.

Georgia took advantage from the outset. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia capitalized on a second-minute opportunity, firing past the goalkeeper to give the underdogs a shock lead.

Despite controlling possession (70%), Portugal struggled to break through. Ronaldo’s trademark free kick in the 15th minute was denied by the Georgia goalkeeper. Kvaratskhelia remained a constant threat on the counter for Georgia.

Portugal emerged from halftime with a midfield substitution, but Georgia doubled their lead. Otar Kiteishvili earned a penalty after a VAR review, and Giorgi Mikautadze converted it with confidence.

Desperate for a response, Martinez brought off Ronaldo and Antonio Silva, but it was too late. Ronaldo expressed his frustration on his way to dugout as Georgia held on for a historic victory.

Despite the loss, Portugal still topped Group F on goal difference. Georgia, the group’s surprise package, qualified as one of the best third-placed teams with four points. They now face Spain in the knockout stages, while Portugal will battle Slovenia.

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Samkelo Biyela

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