Euro 2024: Diogo Costa extends Cristiano Ronaldo's life within the elite | Euro 2024 Germany | EUROtoday

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When Cristiano Ronaldo had already began to cry, like when Morocco kicked Portugal out of their final World Cup, a hero with gloves got here to the rescue, the brand new Dibu Martinez from Qatar, one other Iker from South Africa. Oblak had saved a penalty from CR7 within the first half of additional time. Eight years after being within the shootout of the Champions League ultimate in Milan and seeing the ball go in from his left whereas he dived to the opposite facet, this time he selected the left and there was once more the Portuguese shot, from which tears started to movement. He nonetheless had traces of tears left when Sesko stood alone towards Diogo Costa, who prolonged his foot and despatched the tie to penalties, the place he prolonged Cristiano's life within the elite slightly longer with three saves. Portugal beat first-timers Slovenia on the best way and can face France within the quarterfinals on Friday, nearly as disappointing of their play as Roberto Martinez's group.

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Jan Oblak, Jaka Bijol, Vanja Drkusic, Jure Balkovec, Zan Karnicnik, Adam Gnezda Cerin, Timi Max Elsnik (Josip Ilicic, min. 105), Petar Stojanovic (Benjamin Verbic, min. 85), Jan Mlakar (Jon Gorenc Stankovic, min. . 73), Andraz Sporar (Zan Celar, min. 74) and Benjamin Sesko

Penalty shootout:
1-0. Cristiano. 2-0. Bruno Fernandes. 3-0. Bernardo Silva.

Referee Daniele Orsato

Yellow playing cards

Vanja Drkusic (min. 31), Zan Karnicnik (min. 36), Gorenc-Stankovic (min. 100), Jaka Bijol (min. 105), Jure Balkovec (min. 106), Cancelo (min. 106)

The match that was set to be a tearful drama, with Cristiano's mom additionally in shock within the stands, ended with the crowning glory of the Porto goalkeeper, the primary to avoid wasting three penalties in a shootout in your complete historical past of the European Championship.

Only a feat of such calibre might barely alter the gravitational pressure exerted by Cristiano Ronaldo, an unavoidable pull even in his twilight years. It is troublesome to discern whether or not once you go to the Frankfurt Arena you’ll the spherical of 16 of your nationwide group or to say goodbye to a legend. From a number of hours earlier than the beginning, cries of “Siuuu” are lit across the stadium like little fires. Like greetings from a not-so-secret brotherhood that gathers for a ultimate ceremony, or maybe the penultimate one. With an enormous urge for food for any gesture to recollect.

Cristiano just isn’t the identical as earlier than, in fact, however the fascination has added to that final likelihood level. Everyone celebrates every part. And every part, in his case, is nearly fixed. Except for the penalty. Until that agonizing second, the Portuguese followers get excited when he nearly completes a backheel on a counterattack, when he nearly manages to move a cross that flies just a few centimeters over his head, when he nearly finishes within the space, once they assume he nearly convinces the referee to whistle a penalty. As the farewells strategy, life is more and more an nearly.

Diogo Costa with the other Portuguese players after the match.
Diogo Costa with the opposite Portuguese gamers after the match.Kai Pfaffenbach (REUTERS)

It's not simply the general public that appears prepared to have a good time something. His teammates are additionally prepared to grant him his final whims. Like a kind of free kicks from the facet that at all times begs to be become a cross into the field, except it's taken by Real Madrid's Cristiano in 2012 towards Apoel Nicosia within the Champions League. Or if as we speak's Cristiano is chasing the title of the oldest scorer within the historical past of the European Championships, which continues to be Modric.

Apart from their casses, Portugal confirmed little greater than management. It was a management like free items, disjointed, that didn’t movement, solely when the ball circulated between Vitinha, Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes. Even Leão, or João Cancelo, escapee on the opposite facet. The subsequent step was CR7 and that was once they received caught. Portugal's recreation glided with slightly extra ease away from him, however that was additionally hovering removed from the aim. And the aim, like Cristiano Ronaldo, is unavoidable. How can we not dwell round them? Although increasingly voices are showing that time out the decline of the star, and the risk that his affect will have an effect on the entire group. As lengthy as he stays, he’s the tip all, the thrower of all of the fouls.

Slovenia, who have been making their first European Championship final 16 appearances, had constructed a good construction that might face up to all probabilities, together with assaults from Leão and Cancelo down the flanks. They had a plan: to take advantage of the house left behind by the virtually perpetual assault of the Portuguese group to discover a run for Sesko. Before the cleanest one, they’d one other, with nothing in entrance of them however Costa, with Pepe and his 41 years chasing him. On his first time out of labor after his contract expired on June 30, the veteran centre-back managed to cut back the lead and pressure him right into a shot that went huge. If Cristiano nearly desires to recollect Cristiano, Pepe nearly makes us overlook that he has been right here for greater than twenty years. Although the night time in Frankfurt will really go down because the one by which CR7 nearly died, however by which Diogo Costa appeared because the enlightened one in every of all time to see if the legend says goodbye to his final Euro Cup towards Mbappé.

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