Joao Felix hits the post with his penalty to send France into the semi-finals against Spain

The striker was the only one to fail in the decisive shoot-out and Portugal says goodbye to the Euro Cup. 0-0 in 120 slow and boring minutes.

France will be the rival of Spain in Eurocup semi-finals after overcoming Portugal in the penalties of a slow, grey and boring match. After signing a somewhat exciting 0-0 for 120 minutesGauls and Portuguese challenged each other in a round in which only one failed Joao Felixcrashing his shot into the post.

France plays ugly. Neither better nor worse, just ugly. That’s how it was when they lifted the World Cup in 2018 And that’s how it is now in Germany, while they have the supposedly best team in the tournament in the locker room. That’s how it is and that’s how they want it. DeschampsBecause playing ugly also means playing a little bit well. Because France, which plays ugly, also plays well: it defends extraordinarily, it is the most solid team in the competition and it is extremely difficult to surprise it in transition. Even if you are Portugal.

Deschamps, cautious in his new ideas, introduced two changes to his supposed ideal eleven. One was mandatory, that of Camavinga by the sanctioned Rabiotand another due to the inertia of the matches, giving the opportunity to Kolo Muani, scorer against Belgium, instead of Thuram. In front, Roberto Martinez was faithful to its gala lineup, with Cristiano Ronaldo on point.

The “ugly” way France plays was evident in a tactical first half, slow, predictable and without clear chances. As against Belgium, this is Deschamps’ favourite scenario, because despite the fact that Portugal was the team that proposed more on the pitch, accumulated more possession and more corners, reached half-time without having a single shot on goal.

After the embarrassment that was the extra time of the Spain-Germany match in the press box, the eyes closed for a first quarter of an hour of pure indifference. Footballers of the highest world level crouched in a duel of minimums.

Portugal took possession and wanted to bite, but the French physicality is superior to everything in this Euro. Relentless. Only Lionfine, was able to create danger by winning the night clash KoundéThe Milan player’s runs to the back line were the best of the Portuguese, but no cross reached a Cristiano who was well marked by Saliba and Upamecano.

In 19, Theo Hernandez France had the great chance in the first half when they tested an inspired Costa from distance. The following minute, Mbappé appeared for the only time in the opening half, finding the byline, but Costa was again skilful. Little more than a team destined to win the tournament.

France, as in the own goals of Austria and Belgium In the debut and in the round of 16, he looks for his rival to fail. For the match to fall on his side by its own weight like reinforced concrete. Which is his team. A situation that sooner or later can turn against him. Saliba and Pepe They were the best in the first half and that says it all. Superior to Cristiano and Mbappé.

After the break and as the minutes passed, the match opened up. Infected by each other, the duel picked up speed when the teams began to feel the fear of losing. In the 60th minute, I cancel He saw a good run from Bruno at the edge of the area and the United player found himself in front of Maignan, who saved his shot.

A minute later, a start of Little Vitinhavery active breaking lines with the ball, ended with the PSG midfielder finishing off a cross from inside the area first time. Lion and causing a new stop Maignan.

And as some arrived, others arrived. France saw the fear and stood up to it. In 1965, Kolo Muani connected a wall pass with Koundé and had a volley comfortable a few meters from Costa, as in the last second of the World Cup final against Argentina, but Ruben Dias crossed his path. The match, now, had the level and pace of a Euro Cup.

Deschamps withdrew a Griezmann inconsequential and opted for Dembele’s to make the match even crazier. PSG started two consecutive chances, one for Mbappé and another for Camavingawho appeared alone inside the area after a rebound and defined just wide of the Portuguese post.

The flood of chances was not going to last forever and the game returned to low speed heading into the final minutes with both teams thinking about extra time.

In extra time, only Portugal proposed, who had the semi-finals in the boots of Cristiano, unable to finish a pass back from Conceptionand of Lionwhose goal he prevented Upamecano. And Pepe, always Pepe, made himself eternal when he appeared to save a shot from Mbappé on a counterattack, the only French option. Deschamps withdrew Kylian before the penalties and the goalpost Joao Felix That was what decided the match in the final round. Only the striker failed. Spain already knows its opponent in the semi-finals.

 
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