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France reaches Euro 2024 semifinals after penalty shootout victory over Portugal

France edged into the semifinals of Euro 2024 after beating Portugal 5-3 in a penalty shootout after the game finished 0-0 on Friday.

Theo Hernández scored the decisive penalty to seal the quarterfinal victory in Hamburg, after João Félix had hit the post earlier in the shootout.

The game had been billed as Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Kylian Mbappé but it was a match of few chances, with both teams showcasing their excellent defensive records at the tournament rather than taking risks to find a goal.

Mbappé was substituted at the end of the first period of extra-time. Meanwhile, Ronaldo scored Portugal’s first penalty of the shootout, though he also missed a golden chance during normal time when he was set up by Francisco Conceição.

France will face Spain in the semifinals on Tuesday, July 9 in Munich.

Mbappé celebrates after France beats Portugal. - Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images
Mbappé celebrates after France beats Portugal. - Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Hernández had the first shot on target of note in the 20th minute, but his long-range effort was parried away by Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa, the star of his team’s penalty shootout victory over Slovenia in the previous round.

Mbappé, who was once again playing in a mask for the broken nose he suffered earlier in the tournament, had his first real opening early in the second half after exchanging a quick one-two with N’Golo Kanté, though the France captain’s shot was straight into the waiting arms of Costa.

The best opening of the match came on the hour mark when Bruno Fernandes was fed the ball after a run from midfield. Having collected the ball, Fernandes unleased a powerful shot at goal but a strong hand from France goalkeeper Mike Maignan denied the Manchester United star.

France had its best chance of the game when Randal Kolo Muani exchanged passes with Jules Koundé to free himself in the box and just when it looked like his shot might be heading into the net, Portugal defender Rúben Dias appeared out of nowhere for a crucial block.

That chance appeared to spark Les Bleus into life and soon after Eduardo Camavinga’s shot from close range somehow missed the target.

The introduction of Ousmane Dembélé midway through the second half gave France a new attacking dimension, with the Paris Saint-Germain winger going close with a curling effort.

Ronaldo had his first real chance to make an impact on the game in extra-time. After some excellent wing play from Conceição, the 39-year-old found the ball at his feet inside the French penalty area but he could only fire over the bar.

A superb block from Dayot Upamecano then denied Rafael Leão when the Portuguese wide-man had an opening.

There was a big surprise at the end of the first period of extra-time when Mbappé handed his captain’s armband to manager Didier Deschamps before going to sit on the bench with an icepack on his nose.

Mbappé had suffered a blow to his head earlier in the game in blocking a shot and appeared to be in some discomfort afterwards.

Mbappé holds an ice pack on his nose as he looks on from the bench after being substituted in extra-time during France's game against Portugal. - Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Mbappé holds an ice pack on his nose as he looks on from the bench after being substituted in extra-time during France's game against Portugal. - Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Mbappé has been wearing a protective mask ever since breaking his nose earlier in the tournament. He has previously said that it is “horrible playing with a mask.”

In the 120th minute, Portugal had a brilliant opportunity to win the game but Nuno Mendes’ effort with his weaker right foot was straight at Maignan and so the game went to penalties.

Dembélé opened up the shootout with a successful attempt before Ronaldo, who was at the center of much penalty drama in the win over Slovenia, comfortably swept his home.

Deadlock in the shootout was broken when Felix, a late substitute in extra-time, hit the left upright with his attempt, leaving the door open from France.

And the 2022 World Cup runner-up didn’t pass up the opportunity, with Bradley Barcola and Hernández both scoring past the despairing Costa – who had saved three Slovenian penalties in the last-16 round – to book its spot in the final four.

Theo Hernández scores France's winning penalty against Portugal. - Lars Baron/Getty Images
Theo Hernández scores France's winning penalty against Portugal. - Lars Baron/Getty Images

While the French players celebrated, it was an emotional evening for Ronaldo who has in all probability made his final appearance at a European Championships.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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