Tearful Ronaldo reprieved as Portugal beat Slovenia on penalties

Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears turned into elation as Portugal beat Slovenia on penalties to reach a Euro 2024 quarter-final against France despite the 37-year-old’s missed spot-kick in extra-time.

A sobbing Ronaldo had to be consoled by team-mates after Jan Oblak brilliantly saved his penalty in the 105th minute but, following a gruelling goalless draw, he converted Portugal’s first effort in the shootout as goalkeeper Diogo Costa made saves from Josip Ilicic, Jure Balkovec and Benjamin Verbic to send them through.

Costa’s heroics allowed Bernardo Silva to convert the winning kick after Bruno Fernandes had also scored, and came after a similarly crucial one-on-one save from Benjamin Sesko deep in extra-time as Slovenia came agonisingly close to an historic upset.

Predictably, though, it was Ronaldo who dominated the encounter. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward was on a mission to open his account at Euro 2024 having blanked in the group stage and cut an emotionally-charged figure from the start.

His efforts on goal over the course of the 120 minutes, including four unsuccessful free-kicks, all prompted animated reactions but his anger was replaced by devastation after Oblak denied him from the spot shortly before the halfway point of extra-time.

Oblak had also saved from Ronaldo in the 89th minute and the goalkeeper was not the only Slovenia player who shone as the underdogs kept Roberto Martinez’s star-studded side at bay for long periods, demonstrating defensive doggedness and occasional flashes of attacking threat at the other end.

For Portugal, it was left to Costa to ensure Ronaldo’s redemption, the Porto goalkeeper following up his vital save from Sesko with a hat-trick of stops in the shootout to set up a last-eight tie which will pit Ronaldo against Kylian Mbappe in Hamburg on Friday night.

In pictures: Ronaldo’s tears… then joy

Cristiano Ronaldo saw an extra-time penalty saved during Portugal's last-16 tie with Slovenia
Ronaldo steps up to take his penalty in extra-time

Slovenia's goalkeeper Jan Oblak blocks a penalty kick by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during a round of sixteen match at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, July 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Oblak dives to his left and makes a full-stretch save

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing to score on a penalty kick during a round of sixteen match between Portugal and Slovenia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, July 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Oblak celebrates as Ronaldo holds his face in his hands

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is seen in tears during half-time of extra-time

Cristiano Ronaldo in tears after missing a penalty in extra-time against Slovenia
Ronaldo had to be consoled by team-mates, including the 41-year-old Pepe

Cristiano Ronaldo was consoled by team-mates after seeing an extra-time penalty saved against Slovakia
Former Manchester United team-mate Diogo Dalot also tried to comfort him

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo celebrated his penalty shootout in muted style

Cristiano Ronaldo and Diogo Costa
Ronaldo embraces Portugal hero Diogo Costa

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo holds up his fist in celebration towards the Portugal fans

Stats: Story of the match

Who plays who in the quarter-finals?

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top