Diogo Costa monstrous: saves three penalties and sends Portugal to the quarter-finals. Ronaldo misses, cries but is saved


By John

Portugal-Slovenia 3-0 (after penalty kicks)
PORTUGAL (4-2-3-1): It costs 9; Cancelo 6 (12′ sts Semedo sv), Dias 6, Pepe 5.5 (12′ sts Ruben Neves sv), Mendes 6; Vitinha 6 (20′ st Jota 6.5), Palhinha 6; Bernardo Silva 6, Fernandes 6, Leao 6 (31′ st Conceicao 5.5); Ronaldo 5. On the bench: Rui Patricio, Sa, Pereira, Dalot, Antonio Silva, Inacio, Matheus Nunes, Neves, Neto, Felix, Ramos. Coach: Martinez 6.
SLOVENIA (4-4-2): Cloud 8; Karnicnik 7, Drkusic 6, Bijol 7, Balkovec 6; Stojanovic 6 (41′ st Verbic 5.5), Cerin 6.5, Elsnik 6 (1′ sts Ilicic 5), Mlakar 5.5 (29′ st Stankovic 6); Sporar 5.5 (30′ st Celar 5.5), Sesko 6. On the bench: Belec, Vekic, Blazic, Brekalo, Lovric, Zeljkovic, Horvat, Vipotnik, Zugelj, Kurtic. Coach: Kek 7.
REFEREE: Orsato (Italy) 6.5.
PENALTY SEQUENCE: Ilicic saved; Cristiano Ronaldo goal; Balkovec saved; Bruno Fernandes goal; Verbic saved; Bernardo Silva goal.
NOTE: serene evening, pitch not in perfect conditions. At 15′ sts Oblak saves a penalty kicked by Cristiano Ronaldo. Yellow cards: Drkusic, Karnicnik, Stankovic, Bijol, Balkovec, Cancelo. Corners: 11-4 for Portugal. Injury time: 3′; 5′; 1′; 1′.
FRANKFURT – Portugal wins 3-0 on penalties against Slovenia and advances to the quarter-finals of Euro 2024. On July 5th in Hamburg, Martinez’s team will challenge France. At the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, after the 0-0 draw in regulation time and extra time, the hero of the evening is Diogo Costa, capable of saving all of Slovenia’s penalties (three out of three); on the other side, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva are impeccable. However, CR7 had missed a penalty in the 15th minute of the first half of extra time, saved by Oblak (with the help of the post). Tears for Ronaldo and then smiles at the end of the match.
From the first minutes, Portugal vehemently occupies the opponent’s half of the field, but Slovenia is good at defending with order and malice. Kek’s national team, as the minutes pass, gains courage, trying to immediately verticalize for the forwards once they have recovered the ball. In the recovery of the first half, the best chance for the Portuguese arrives: Palhinha hits the ball from the edge of the area and hits the base of the post.
In the second half, Portugal besieged the Slovenian half, but almost never managed to shoot on goal. Slovenia then found more space on the counterattack and, in the 62nd minute, Pepe was providential in disturbing Sesko, who was running all alone towards the goal. In the 89th minute, the Slovenian wall threatened to collapse, when Ronaldo found himself alone in front of Oblak: the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, however, performed a miracle and took the match to extra time. In the 103rd minute, Diogo Jota dribbled half the Slovenian defense but was brought down by Drkusic: the Italian referee Orsato had no doubts and awarded the penalty. Ronaldo stepped up to the spot, ready to score the first goal of his European Championship: Oblak made no concessions and saved the penalty from the former Real and Juve player. Ronaldo was in tears and inconsolable after the mistake. In the second extra time, Slovenia proves to be more brilliant than their opponents and comes close to taking the lead in the 115th minute: Sesko steals the ball from Pepe but is hypnotized alone in front of Diogo Costa. In the penalty shootout, Diogo Costa excites Portugal, while Slovenia collapses emotionally, with errors by Ilicic, Balkovec and Verbic.