SELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finalsSELECCAO SICKENER! Old guard reduced to tears as Portugal pay the penalty and dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finals

Portugal pay the penalty as dismal France somehow reach Euro 2024 semi-finals

PORTUGAL 0-0 FRANCE (PENS 3-5): A dour game in Hamburg saw France and Portugal cancel each other out for the most part, with the best performer on the night being Les Bleus ‘keeper Mike Maignan before the dreaded shootout decided things

Joao Felix reacts after missing from the spot for Portugal

Joao Felix reacts after missing from the spot for Portugal (

Image: Getty Images)

France were largely dreadful and uninspired in Hamburg, but Didier Deschamps’ side somehow got the job done against a Portugal side who will rue their missed chances.

Les Bleus were as horrible as the election campaign currently taking place back home but were perfect from the penalty spot, winning 5-3 on spot-kicks after stinking out the place for 120 minutes.

Joao Felix was the guilty party for the Seleccao, in Cristiano Ronaldo’s final game at a European Championship. Felix, on loan at Barcelona last season and unwanted at Atletico Madrid, hit Mike Maignan’s post from 12 yards, the only player of nine to miss.

Roberto Martinez’s side had been the better side and missed the better chances during the actual match, but with Ronaldo now a shadow of his former self, lacked the cutting edge required to beat the impressive Maignan.

France, who have faced criticism for their attacking play at this tournament, appeared more than happy to allow Portugal to have the ball in the opening exchanges.

Rafael Leao livened up a period of rather sterile possession with a superb flick for Nuno Mendes, but the left-back’s cross couldn’t find Cristiano Ronaldo, something Portugal tried to do too often in the last-16 against Slovenia.

Bruno Fernandes knows his own way to goal though, and he fired the first shot in anger from distance which was deflected off Premier League rival William Saliba.

That spurred France into life somewhat, and left-back Theo Hernandez struck a fierce effort that Diogo Costa kept out, but in truth that was pretty much all the French could muster in a poor first half.

At the other end there were gasps when Ronaldo allowed Fernandes to take a free-kick in a promising position. He sent it over the bar.

Cristiano Ronaldo walks past France forward Kylian Mbappe

Cristiano Ronaldo walks past France forward Kylian Mbappe 

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe speaks with France's head coach Didier Deschamps

Kylian Mbappe speaks with France’s head coach Didier Deschamps 

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

In passing up the opportunity to go for goal Ronaldo failed to add to his 11 first half touches, the fewest of anyone on the pitch including both goalkeepers, and his frustrations began to show early in the second period when Bernardo Silva overhit a cross in his direction.

Kylian Mbappe was cutting a frustrated figure too, and when finally got his first effort at goal away it was straight at Costa.

The masked Mbappe was then still shaking off the after-effects of a ball in the face when Joao Cancelo created the game’s best chance, and Portugal’s first shot on target, with an incisive ball to Fernandes. The Manchester United star drew back his right foot but Mike Maignan saved well.

Mike Maignan denies Bruno Fernandes

Mike Maignan denies Bruno Fernandes 

Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

The France stopper was at it again moments later when Leao teed up Vitinha, who fired straight at the goalkeeper, with Ronaldo unable to convert the follow-up.

Finally we had a game, and France forward Randal Kolo Muani linked up with Jules Kounde but snatched at an effort which deflected wide off Ruben Dias. Mbappe was then brilliantly denied by Mendes, Eduardo Camavinga fired wide and substitute Ousmane Dembele shaved the post from range as France remembered how to attack.

The sense that the extra half hour would be needed was a very real one though, and the 90 minutes ended with Ronaldo, back on free-kick duty, thumping one into the wall, before Pepe, stretching all of his 41-year-old limbs, superbly blocked France sub Marcus Thuram and Mbappe fired straight at Costa.

Ronaldo takes a freekick

Ronaldo takes a freekick 

Image:

Extra-time began with Portugal sub Francisco Conceicao teeing up Ronaldo only for his skipper to blaze high and wide, before Pepe was then pumping his fists in celebration after a brilliant block on Mbappe at the other end.

Leao then had a goalbound effort blocked by Dayot Upamecano before, with France having taken off a struggling Mbappe midway through extra-time, Portugal sub Joao Felix headed into the side netting before Mendes almost won it late on.

After Felix missed from the spot it was left for Theo Hernandez to crack into the top corner to win it for France.

Deschamps doesn’t care for style points and insists if you want to be entertained you should change the channel. Spain stand in their way in the last four.

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