Turkey’s seven seconds of madness help impressive Portugal into last 16

Bruno Fernandes celebrates Turkey's defender #04 Samet Akaydin's own goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group F football match between Turkey and Portugal at the BVB Stadion in Dortmund on June 22, 2024
Bruno Fernandes converted an easy finish to make it 3-0 - Getty Images/Franck Fife

It was an own goal of such pure slapstick that it would have been funny enough in isolation. But the comical preamble served only to heighten the pantomime feeling as Turkey pressed the self-destruct button during seven seconds of madness.

Samet Akaydin is unlikely to forget his eighth senior appearance for Turkey in a hurry, and for all the wrong reasons.

By the time he was substituted in the 75th minute with a suspected shoulder injury, Turkey’s No. 4 must have been wondering what else could go wrong on a day to truly forget.

Akaydin had watched Nuno Mendes’ cross for Bernardo Silva’s opening goal sail through his legs and would also be wrongly booked for a fine tackle on Rafael Leao but there was no doubting his ultimately indignity.

Indeed, the Fenerbahce defender will now have the dubious distinction of bloopers reels being played for years to come reliving that moment when he played a blind pass past his goalkeeper Altay Bayindir into an empty net and, with it, torched any hopes Turkey had of getting back into a game they were trailing 1-0.

A promising attack looked to have broken down when Joao Cancelo and Cristiano Ronaldo got themselves in a tiff.

Cancelo, having played a quick one-two with Bruno Fernandes after showing brilliant awareness to dart ahead of the flat-footed Ferdi Kadioglu to win possession just inside Turkey’s half, played a pass into the space that he thought Ronaldo was about to chase.

Ronaldo, though, had checked his run and, furious at Cancelo’s haste, threw a mini-tantrum. You’ve seen this scene before - the one where he jumps in the air, throws his arms down in frustration and, head bowed, turns his back on the play. A bit like his Siuuu celebration but without the smile.

Cancelo, in turn, had his arms outstretched and was remonstrating with Portugal’s deified No. 7 as if to say: ‘Why did you stop your run?’. Unbeknownst to both players, though, something altogether more daft was unfolding in front of them.

Under zero pressure, Akaydin had failed to look up to check Bayindir’s positioning and played a blind pass intended for his goalkeeper, only to belatedly discover to his horror that Andre Onana’s understudy at Manchester United was not where he thought he was all along.

Ronaldo, hissy fit over by this time, suddenly glanced up and could not believe what was unfolding in front of him: the ball trickling towards the goal line as a desperate Bayindir and Turkey’s right back Zeki Celik hurtled back in a forlorn bid to retrieve a desperate situation.

The Portugal fans behind the goal held their breath and their Turkish counterparts, who had turned out in spectacular force, for once were silent. The scene played out almost like it was in slow motion and culminated with Bayindir and Celik crashing into the net together, their attempts to clear coming a fraction too late, as referee Felix Zwayer got the signal the ball had crossed the line and Portugal’s players wheeled away in celebration. In an instant, Ronaldo and Cancelo’s flashpoint was forgotten. And, in one bonkers moment, you could feel all the fight and hope drain out of the Turkey players. Sensing the ridicule likely to come his player’s way, Vincenzo Montella opted not to rub salt into Akaydin’s wounds. “There was a misunderstanding,” the Turkey coach said, with considerable understatement. “Sometimes it happens and unfortunately today it happened to us. Next time, it may be our opponents.”

Turkey had a big chance early on when Kerem Arturkoglu, a few yards out, could not turn in Celik’s cross to the far post but once Portugal took the lead, they never looked like surrendering it. And after Akaydin’s brain fart, the game was over. Portugal made certain 10 minutes after the restart when Abdulkerim misread Ruben Neves’ pass, leaving Ronaldo free to run in behind and selflessly square for Fernandes to tap in goal No. 3.

A few observations: Vitinha, once of Wolves, is morphing into a fine footballer. Bernardo and Fernandes brought real quality going forward and then there is 41-year-old Pepe, the oldest player in the history of this competition but still very much young at heart. At one point late in the game, he was spotted winning a tackle down the left wing and then dribbling clear of a couple of Turkey players. Defensively, he was flawless and oozed calm and nous, one superb sliding challenge on Orkun Kokcu read to perfection.

“A neutral watching Pepe play wouldn’t believe he was 41!” Roberto Martinez, the Portugal coach, said. “He’s a great example of Portuguese football. He is a professional for 24 hours a day – he trains, he sleeps right. The focus is on playing another year, then another one. Then there’s a love of the game and his body’s genetics – you can’t buy that!”

That other golden oldie, Ronaldo, had a solid game of his own and when a young fan raced on to the pitch in the second for a selfie with the five time Ballon d’Or winner, the great man was happy to oblige. Even Ronaldo’s children, sat in the stands with his partner Georgina Rodriguez, saw the funny side as the kid was carted away by stewards to rapturous applause from the crowd.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal reacts after a pitch invader attempts to take a selfie photograph
The second of five invading selfie seekers manhandles Cristiano Ronaldo - Lars Baron/Getty Images

It was less amusing when a second pitch invader tried his own luck and had to be dragged away from an unimpressed Ronaldo by stewards as boos rang out. By the time a third person stormed the pitch, the stewards had become better practised at apprehending the perpetrators but even that did not deter three more people from trying to make a beeline for Ronaldo. Uefa are set to investigate the security breach and Martinez voiced his concern while Ronaldo himself made no attempt to conceal his unhappiness to stewards at the final whistle. One suspects he was still feeling a whole letter better than poor Akaydin, though.

Turkey 0 Portugal 3: as it happened

07:07 PM BST

On the pitch incursions

Ronaldo was OK with the first one:

Ronaldo and a child
Ronaldo poses for a selfie - Jurgen Fromme/firo sportphoto

But it then became increasingly tiresome and Ronaldo progressively hacked off. Uefa will have to take action.

Pitch invader with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo before being detained by stewards
Another pitch invader grabs Ronaldo round the neck - REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

07:02 PM BST

Portugal go through to the Round of 16

Joining Germany and Spain in the draw with a game to spare.

06:56 PM BST

Full time: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

A fifth camera-wielding incursion after the final whistle. Ronaldo shakes his head and pushes him away.

Oddly ham-fisted stewarding and two ridiculous defensive mistakes by Turkey will be the story of the match. But let’s not overshadow how good Portugal were. Bernardo was terrific, Pepe magnificent and Bruno Fernandes incisive with his running. They won it in 2016 with a worse team than this.

06:53 PM BST

90+5 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Portugal defend a Guler corner, head upfield and Ruben Neves tries a potshot from 25 yards with Ronaldo screaming for a cross, blazing over.

06:51 PM BST

90+4 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Bernardo is bundled over on the box but it was shoulder on shoulder,

And here comes a fourth security breach.

06:50 PM BST

90+1 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

This is getting tiresome now. A third supporter has run on for a selfie. Not cute anymore. Certainly not at the size of the latest interloper.

06:48 PM BST

90 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Five minutes of stoppage time are paraded on the board.

06:47 PM BST

89 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

First glimpse of Benfica’s Joao Neves who replaces Vitinho for the last knockings. Man Utd are said to want the 19-year-old but his release clause is £102 million.

06:46 PM BST

87 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Guler’s menacing cross is headed away just before Celik could meet it, having cut in off the right. Then Portugal break and Ronaldo and Neto combine, the former instead of turning and shooting from the left of the box laying it back off to the Wolves winger who shoots into congestion.

06:44 PM BST

85 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Turkey are pinging passes around nicely for a spell but when they lose the ball and Bruno threatens to skip away, Kadioglu fouls him from behind.

06:41 PM BST

82 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

When the game eventually resumes, Pepe departs to a resounding ovation. He has been outstanding again.

Antonio Silva ⇢ Pepe.

06:39 PM BST

81 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Another kid runs on and this time Ronaldo is not happy. He’ll never hear the end of this if he keeps posing. So this time he doesn’t. The first time can be excused but a second go is tiresome and reflects badly on stewarding and security.

06:38 PM BST

78 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Turkey corner on the right. Calhanoglu takes and Pepe heads it behind for another. Then he heads away the second attempt and a third cross when Calhanoglu tries again in vain. He maybe channelling Robert the Bruce but doesn’t succeed against the veteran Portuguese colossus who is treated to ‘We’re not worthy’ bowing down worship by the Portugal fans.

06:35 PM BST

75 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

A lengthy delay in play after Akaydin slipped and fell awkwardly, hurting his lower back. He receives treatment but cannot go on.

Demiral ⇢ Akaydin.

06:32 PM BST

Strike a pose

A young lad has just stormed the pitch and made an immediate beeline for Ronaldo, who poses for a picture with the kid. The fan then makes a run for it before eventually being caught by the stewards and walked to the tunnel as applause cascades down from the stands. Even Ronaldo’s kids sitting behind me seemed to enjoy it.

ROnaldo and kid
Costly photo - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

06:30 PM BST

71 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Vitinha is scissored by Yazici who wins the ball but the referee penalises the execution not the outcome.

06:29 PM BST

69 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Yilmaz is sent spawling in the box as he entered into a chase with Pepe but it was a legal collision not an illegal demolition.

06:28 PM BST

67 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

The world feed has not shown it but a kid ran on the field, evaded several stewards and took a selfie with Ronaldo who posed smiling. Off the kid runs and is then promptly detained.

Another thing to cheer Turkey fans:

Arda Guler ⇢ Akgun.

Semedo ⇢ Cancelo.

06:25 PM BST

65 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Ronaldo mistimes his run when Berbardo runs in up the byline on the right and stands up a left-foot cross perfectly for the Madeiran Kopfballungeheuer. He has buried scores of those but leaps ahead of the ball and then nods it square.

06:21 PM BST

62 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Yildiz, the second sub, is the 19-year-old Germany-born Juventus forward, and he plays a one-two with Yilmaz when cutting in off the left then scoops his right-foot shot into the crowd.

06:20 PM BST

60 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Double Turkey substitution:

Yuksek ⇢ Ayhan
Yildiz ⇢ Akturkoglu.

06:18 PM BST

58 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 3

Turkey have popped their own party. Individual errors and panic have set in.

06:13 PM BST


Turkey 0 Portugal 3 (Fernandes)  Now they’ve shot themselves in the other foot. Cancelo chips the ball up the right, Bardakci makes a feeble lunge to try to intercept it and misses it and Celik tries to spring the offside trap when the others had already gone. So he steps up and allows Ronaldo to jog through on to the ball and draw the keeper then square it to Bruno Fernandes to steer a 10-yard shot into an empty goal.

06:12 PM BST

53 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Yazici has the ball in the inside-right channel and, with defenders backing off, tries to bend it into the bottom left. He curls it too much so it comes back into the middle but Costa still has to deal with an awkward bounce which he does competently.

06:10 PM BST

50 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Two Portugal crosses from both sides of the box elude red shirts. Lee Dixon says it’s because Ronaldo is not as mobile as he was and was still between penalty spot and six-yard box when the first ball came through. The second eventually found Neves whose shot was blocked at close range by Celik.

06:07 PM BST

48 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Turkey corner on the left, despite Pepe’s protests that he kept it in and the whole ball hadn’t crossed. Calhanoglu takes and it’s headed away by Ruben Dias and Portugal break. Bruno Fernandes would be clear if the right pass were played but much to his exasperation the pass goes astray.

06:04 PM BST

46 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Portugal happy to knock it around at the back before Mendes bends a pass up the left for Bruno Fernandes who bulldozes Celik in a challenge and concedes a free-kick.

06:03 PM BST

Portugal replace their two booked players

Ruben Neves ⇢ Joao Palinha
Pedro Neto ⇢ Rafael Leao.

For Turkey:

Yusuf Yazici ⇢ Orkun Kokcu.

05:59 PM BST

Turkey’s centre-forward has an admirer on the south coast

Brighton interested in Galatasaray and Turkey forward Baris Alper Yilmaz.

05:57 PM BST

ITV pundits Aluko and Neville

Are principally blaming the goalkeeper for the own goal but the defender didn’t pick his head up and Bayindir made a great deal afterwards of telling him he had been warning Akaydin by shouting.

Turkey's Samet Akaydin scores Portugal second with an own goal as Zeki Celik and Altay Bayindir react
Bayindir and Celik scramble in vain - REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

05:48 PM BST

Half-time: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Promising start from Turkey but they have been thwarted by Pepe, picked off by a fine move down the left and then shot themselves in the foot. Two skilful sides but Portugal are in a far higher class.

05:47 PM BST

44 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Third yellow card in two minutes, this one for Palhinha for a trip.

05:45 PM BST

42 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Akaydin is booked for a sliding tackle on Leao but, as ITV’s excellent referee/pundit points out, another angle showed that he won the ball.

Celik is booked for arguing when only the captain is allowed to talk to the referee without invitation.

05:42 PM BST

40 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Rafael Leao is booked for a daft and terribly executed dive when Celik slid in but didn’t touch him. Leao kicked up both heels and planted his nose into the grass. Martinez is livid but that’s his second booking for the same offence in the tournament and will miss the next game.

05:41 PM BST

38 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Pepe shoes his alertness again to pick off Akturkoglu’s centre, the Galatasaray winger having beaten Cancelo. As Yilmaz waited by the penalty spot, Pepe snapped in front and intercepted it.

05:39 PM BST

36 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Turkey mistime the press and Portugal open them with a long ball, left to right, to Bernardo who dribbles forward, his little Ernie Wise legs a blur. He makes it to the 18-yard line and then plays a square ball across to Ronaldo to the left of the D. He takes a touch and smacks a right-foot shot over the bar.

05:37 PM BST

34 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Bernardo is in peak City form tonight, skimming a wonderful pass to send Bruno Fernandes clear down the inside-right channel and the Manchester United captain bears down on goal then blazes over.

Bernardo and Cancelo
He … and his shadow - AP Photo/Michael Probst

05:34 PM BST

30 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 2

Turkey almost give themselves some hope with an attack down the inside left but Portugal see it behind for a corner which they defend well.

05:29 PM BST


Turkey 0 Portugal 2 (Akaydin og)  Comically bad own goal. Am overhit intended throughball was picked off by Akaydin 22 yards out and he turned back to give it to his goalkeeper, not having realised that the keeper had come to the left and wanted it to feet. Akaydin didn’t check his position and blithely hit it towards the centre of goal with Bayindir stranded. Both the keeper and Celik desperately scrambled to retrieve it but too late. The ball was about 20cm over the line before Celik hooked it out.

The preamble to that comical own goal was almost as funny as the cock-up itself. Ronaldo had thrown a mini tantrum at team-mate Joao Cancelo after a mix-up between the pair when the Manchester City full-back thought his captain was making a run and played a pass into space. Ronaldo, though, had checked his run and as the ball rolled to no one Portugal’s No. 7 jumped in the air, threw both arms down in anger as he landed and turned his back to the play. Cancelo, meanwhile, had his arms outstretched as if to say ‘why did you stop your run’. Unbeknownst to Ronaldo, Samet Akaydin had just played a blind pass intended for his goalkeeper that rolled past Altay Bayindir and it was not until moments before the ball crossed the line that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star knew what was happening.

05:28 PM BST

24 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 1

Bardakci is booked for a foul when off his feet.

The Turkish din is momentarily silenced with that Portugal goal. It won’t last long, though. Every Portugal touch is being jeered or whistled.

05:22 PM BST


Turkey 0 Portugal 1 (Bernardo) Leao comes short down the left to take the ball then spins and rolls it down the side for Mendes on the underlap. The left-back sees the attacking runs and cuts the pass back across the box, just behind Ronaldo but no matter because Bernardo is there to sweep a left-foot shot into the bottom right from about 12 yards. That’s his first goal in two World Cups and two Euros.

05:21 PM BST

21 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

The old warhorse Pepe sprints across to stop Kokcu running on to Ayhan’s perfectly weighted pass down the inside left. Brilliant tackle.

05:19 PM BST

19 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Ayhan is penalised for a foul on Bernardo, much to the disgust of the Turkey fans who make their anger known is the shrillest fashion.

05:18 PM BST

17 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Good game so far. Portugal are comfortable on the ball as are Turkey and both are committed to attack.

It is so loud in here. Portugal fans outnumbered at least 3 to 1 by Turkey supporters. I did well on my seat selection I must say – Ronaldo’s kids and partner Georgina Rodriguez are sat right behind me.

05:16 PM BST

15 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Ronaldo rolls back the years with a shimmy and a jink to beat Bardakci down the right before darting to the byline to hang up a deep cross that Rafael Leao again meets on the brow but misdirects.

05:14 PM BST

13 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Bruno Fernandes is trying to spin off Ayan every time Portugal mount an attack. Cancelo bombs down the right and passes to Vitinha then heads infield looking for the return. But Vitinha dips his shoulder, heads to the byline and crosses to the back post where Leao can only head it back across the box and Turkey clear.

05:12 PM BST

11 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Turkey's Ferdi Kadioglu, left, controls the ball as Portugal's Ruben Dias
Ferdi Kadioglu takes on Ruben Dias - AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

05:10 PM BST

9 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Ronaldo is found twice in the space of a minute in the box in this barnstorming start, the first time laying it off, the second heading off target as he met the ball with too much top of the bonce at the apex of his leap.

05:09 PM BST

8 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

What a miss! Celik is found marauding down the right by a long diagonal and he whips over a cross that Akturcoglu cuts in off the left to meet. But Vitinha sticks to him and gives him a nudge as he met it and he ended up prodding it back across goal from two yards out.

05:06 PM BST

6 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Kokcu’s cross from the right is trapped by Akturkoglu, leg at 90 degrees to the other, but his studs send it into the turf and Portugal hack it away.

05:05 PM BST

4 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Bruno Fernandes capitalises on a Turkey mistake when playing out from the back and shoots though Vitinha wanted it back. He’s 22 yards out and hammers his shot into Bardakci’s shins.

05:03 PM BST

2 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Pepe knocks it out to Cancelo on the right and he works it back. Portugal shift it up the left with Mendes and Vitinha who turns Akturkoglu and slips it to Bernardo. The City forward crosses deep to Ronaldo on the right of the box who takes it on on the volley but doesn’t connect properly and scuffs his shot at Bayindir.

05:01 PM BST

1 min: Turkey 0 Portugal 0

Portugal kick off, attacking from left to right. The far half of the pitch is in shade as Portugal knock the ball long, looking for sprinters up the right but the ball skips through to Bayindir who punts it long and Portugal will have a goal-kick that Pepe will take to play out from the back.

04:58 PM BST

The national anthems

Are raucously observed. Portugal’s first. Ronaldo stares ahead, eyes like flint.

04:55 PM BST

Out come the teams

Turkey are in white, Portugal in scarlet and green.

04:53 PM BST

Yellow wall turns red again

Turkish fans wait for the UEFA EURO 2024 group F soccer match between Turkey and Portugal
Turkey fans have been given the Südtribüne again and have turned it red - FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

04:30 PM BST

Martinez’s tactical tweak

It’s no surprise to see Roberto Martinez switch from a back three to a back four. The Portugal coach was always likely to stiffen the midfield, where Turkey are strongest, so Diogo Dalot drops out and Fulham’s Joao Palhinha comes in, with Joao Cancelo at right back. That’s Portugal’s only change from the 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. Ronaldo, as expected, starts in what will be his 209th appearance for his country spanning 21 years.

As for Turkey, there are four changes. Mert Gunok loses his place after being beaten too easily for the Georgia goal in their 3-1 win, with Manchester United’s second choice goalkeeper Altay Bayindir handed a start. The big news from a Turkish perspective is that Arda Guler, the 19-year-old Real Madrid attacking midfielder, is on the bench. He’s not fully fit, a blow because he was brilliant against Georgia and scorer of a fine goal.

Turkey players before their Euro 2024 match against Portugal
Turkey players before their Euro 2024 match against Portugal

04:19 PM BST

Turkey’s fans making their presence felt

Dortmund has been taken over by Turks. Academics and scholars estimate there are up to seven million people of Turkish descent living in Germany and, certainly on occasions like this, it feels like Euro 2024 has two home teams. The Turkish fans decamped en masse to Dortmund for their country’s opening 3-1 win over Georgia and they’re out in force again here. Many have flooded across from Cologne an hour away, with the Keupstrasse area of that city known as Little Istanbul.

I arrived at lunchtime to be greeted by thousands of Turkish fans outside the main station and, on the 35-minute walk in the gorgeous sunshine to the Westfalenstadion (it beats the rain in Dusseldorf), you could not pass a bar or restaurant that has not been taken over by jubilant Turks ready to party. Every other car that passed seemed to sport a Turkish flag as horns beeped and chants filled the air.

Turkey fans before their match against Portugal
Turkey fans before their match against Portugal
Turkey fans before their match against Portugal
Turkey fans before their match against Portugal

04:13 PM BST

Roberto Martinez characteristically upbeat

After the game against Czechia, we’re better, we’re more prepared. We know that even after going one goal down, we can turn the game around.

Now we’re playing against Turkey, everyone needs to be ready, whether you’re in the starting XI or not.

Portugal manager Roberto Martinez
Portugal manager Roberto Martinez

04:08 PM BST

Not sure Ronaldo requires a lanyard, but rules are rules

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal arrives at the stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal arrives at the stadium

04:01 PM BST

The two starting XIs

12:53 PM BST

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12:52 PM BST

Predict the score

12:51 PM BST

Preview: Dynamism vs serenity

Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the Group F match between Turkey and Portugal at Euro 2024. Both sides come into today’s match on the back of victories on Tuesday, Turkey’s in a four-goal thriller with Georgia replete with screamer, banger and last gasp 70-yard dash towards an open goal, Portugal’s in a scrappy 2-1 defeat of the Czech Republic when they had to rely on an own goal and 92nd-minute close-range winner from another ‘Supersub’.

Roberto Martínez, who won the FA Cup with Wigan but doesn’t like to mention it, has seamlessly moved on to better and better jobs with enormously talented squads without ever demonstrating why the critics who depict him as criminally overrated are wrong. Yes, he took Belgium to third place at the 2018 World Cup, beating England in the group game and in the plate match and knocking out a Brazil side perpetually mired in Neymar melodrama, but they ought to have done better than the quarter-final at Euro 2020 and only beating Canada as they were eliminated at the group stage at the Qatar World Cup.

It has to be said that they were terrific in qualification, winning all 10 of their games, scoring 36 and conceding only two. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 10 of them and shows no sign of calling it a day at international level at the age of 39 but always picking him as a centre-forward restricts the coach’s tactical options and it showed against the Czech Republic when a more mobile striker could have brought more out of Bernardo Silva and Rafel Leao. Martínez has managed pretty serenely so far yet there will come a moment when he will have to be brave to make the whole more than a sum of its parts and that will be a true test of whether he is the ‘fraud’ of several denunciations.

Turkey, who qualified as winners of a group also containing Croatia and Wales, played very well, surfing on the crest of a wave of emotion, roared on by thousands of fervent expat fans, trading haymakers with a wonderfully game Georgia side until they prevailed. If they can lure the Portuguese into a streetfight, pitching their dynamism and the skill of Arda Guler against the elegance and nous of Portugal’s midfield and attack, they will have a fine chance of winning. After all, they have already been involved in the tournament’s most exciting match (Spain v Italy was the best).