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The Mayan Day

07/07/2024 | Hamburg, Germany

With information from Ap

France and England, two of the favourites to win the Euro Cup, were perfect in their penalty shoot-outs to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.

The French penalty shoot-out is over, as is the final Euro of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career.

Didier Deschamps’ men beat Portugal 5-3 on penalties on Friday to advance to what should be a showdown with Spain, ending Ronaldo’s dream of winning the title in his last appearance at the tournament.

After both sides failed to open the scoring in regulation and extra time, Joao Felix hit the post with his shot – the only lapse in the shootout. Theo Hernandez took charge of converting the decisive shot, sending the ball into the corner.

Cristiano, who was playing in his record sixth Euro, got the first shot of the shootout on target. The 39-year-old, who has said this will be his last, ended up consoling his teammate Pepe.

Kylian Mbappé and France’s triumph put an end to a series of disappointments in penalties. They had succumbed in their last two major tournaments by doing so. The French also lost on penalties in the 2006 World Cup final to Italy.

Mbappé was unable to take even one penalty in the series. He was substituted after the first extra time, following a series of collisions that further injured his nose, which was fractured and protected by a mask.

“Les Bleus” will face Spain in the semi-finals on Tuesday, after beating Germany 2-1 in extra time in Stuttgart, a controversial match, as what seemed to be a clear penalty in favour of the hosts was not awarded in the final stretch. “La Furia Roja” has scored 11 goals, while the French have only conceded one.

Three years after losing the Euro final on penalties, England beat Switzerland on penalties.

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored the winner for the team in pink, who converted all their penalties to win 5-3 and decide the match that ended in a 1-1 draw after extra time.

Bukayo Saka also scored, having missed a decisive penalty in the 2021 tie against Italy and received a wave of racist abuse on social media. The 22-year-old had earlier scored the equaliser, which forced extra time.

The talented English side will now face the Netherlands (three wins in five games and nine goals scored), who became their rival for the semi-finals after beating Turkey 2-1 in an exciting duel in which the Turks almost equalised at the end. The match will take place on Wednesday in Dortmund.

Edited by: Fernando Sierra

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