CR7 scores two penalties, the Real striker one: in the second round for the Portuguese there is Belgium, for the French there is Switzerland
There were many unfinished business for a challenge that in itself already had the stature of a final. Like that of 2016, in fact, that France lost at home to Portugal. World champions against reigning European champions, then. The ideal stage to see Ronaldo against the heir Mbappé, in a duel that allowed the five-time Golden Ball to break the taboo against the Bleus. The bianconero had never scored against the French, however already qualified. On the seventh attempt, all a symbol, CR7 corrected the anomaly by equaling the overall record of goals in the national team, hooking the Iranian Ali Daei at 109. Two goals from a penalty, alternating with the brace of the former colleague Benzema who did not he had never scored in a European, since his first participation in 2008. Two liberating goals. The first on a penalty, provoked by Mbappé, to resurrect France that closes the group in first place, ahead of Germany, with Portugal third.
Ready to go and it is immediately Ronaldo who explains that Portugal does not intend to submit. On the cross from Sanches, the bianconero puts his head in it, but Lloris controls without problems (5 ‘). Mbappé replies with an acceleration on the wing. Just to put the record straight, as heir in pectore of the childhood idol. Pogba favors him, in theory in a double median with Kanté, but free to create. The former bianconero opts for verticalizations and at 16 ‘breaks the lines by catching Mbappé who, however, gets his right blocked by Rui Patricio. While on the rest of the field, it is hand-to-hand for each ball. And the continuous duels end up exalting the Portuguese who progressively become masters of the field and inevitably take the lead. Not on action, but on penalty. A mess of Lloris, in reality, who comes out of his fist to reject a punishment and knocks down Danilo Pereira. Ronaldo obviously goes to the spot, ruthless as usual.
From the ropes, France comes out on the wire. The anomalous error in the disengagement of Varane, which Ronaldo wastes (20 ‘), and a yellow to Griezmann for protests certify the nervousness of the World champions who suffer the game of the European champions. In fact, Silva and Jota on the flanks are irrepressible. The 35-year-old Moutinho sings melodies between the lines as if he were the age of the 23-year-old Sanches who keeps tensing Tolisso and rookie Koundé alone. In short, Portugal superior, but that stumbles at 45 ‘. And to mislead him thinks Mbappé, again primed by Pogba. The Parisian enters the area but goes down to the slight contact with Semedo. On the spot, however, Benzema shows up who had missed the last three penalties in the national team, the last one at the beginning of the month in a friendly match with Wales. This time the Real Madrid star puts in and CR7 congratulates too.
Ready for the recovery, and this time it is Benzema who makes the difference. And again on a cue from Pogba. The Real star escapes Dias on the right and on the edge of the offside, closing diagonally in the opposite corner. The linesman raises the flag, but the Var validates. While no slow motion is needed to ascertain Koundé’s hand ball on Ronaldo’s cross from the back. Another penalty, and another goal for CR7, the new world scoring emperor. But then the 2-2 Rui Patricio preserves it with a miraculous double save, helped by the crossing on the right from outside Pogba, and on Griezmann to the rejected. A thought goes to the six French fans who were wrong about the capital, landing in Bucharest instead of Budapest. But with first place, France will play the round of 16 against Switzerland in Romania. It all comes back.
June 23, 2021 (change June 23, 2021 | 23:53)
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