Georgia upsets Portugal 2-0 to reach the last 16 at Euro 2024 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Georgia upsets Portugal 2-0 to reach the last 16 at Euro 2024

Georgia's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group F match between Georgia and Portugal at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Georgia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in European Championship history on Wednesday, beating Portugal 2-0 and advancing to the last 16.

The Georgians needed a win to reach the knockout stage at Euro 2024 and got their opening goal after only 93 seconds. Georges Mikautadze intercepted a poor pass and set up Khvicha Kvaratskelia to score with a low shot.

António Silva gave away the ball before the first goal and gave away a penalty for the second, tripping Luka Lochoshvili inside the penalty area. Georges Mikautadze hit the spot kick low and past Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa in the 57th minute.

“We can fight against everyone," Kvaratskhelia said. "I’m so proud.”

Georgia advanced in its debut at a major tournament as one of the best third-place teams. Portugal had already qualified from Group F after winning its first two games.

Portugal great Cristiano Ronaldo, who felt he deserved a penalty in the first half, kicked away a water bottle when he was substituted in the 66th minute.

Ronaldo was given a yellow card for his protests after his penalty appeal was turned down. He wanted the decision after his shirt was pulled in the area by Lochoshvili as a cross came in. No foul was given.

With Portugal already qualified, Ronaldo was one of only three players kept in the lineup from the previous 3-0 win over Turkey, along with Costa and midfielder João Palhinha.

Portugal created little in the second half as Georgia’s defense sat deep, but the 2016 champions had chances in added time. Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili kept Georgia’s two-goal lead intact with saves from Nélson Semedo and Diogo Dalot, while Francisco Conceição narrowly missed the target.

At the final whistle, Georgia's players sprinted off the bench to embrace Mamardashvili in a huddle and leapt with joy in front of their raucous fans.

Turkey beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in the other group match. The Turks also advanced while the Czechs were eliminated.

Georgia's victory also eliminated Hungary, which finished third in Group A.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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