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Olympics 2024 Daily Missions July to August – EN
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Ronaldo Still the Main Man as Portugal Reach Last-16

Turkey 0-3 Portugal

A Euro 2024 battle to claim Group F supremacy and secure their place in the last 16 with a game to spare.

That was the prize on offer in this Saturday teatime clash between two nations who impressed in their opening encounters.

Portugal were good value for their opening victory against the Czech Republic, even if they did leave it late!

Meanwhile, Turkey scored arguably the goal of the tournament so far in their 3-1 win over Georgia, a success bristling with intensity.

Who would prevail in Dortmund?


Highlights of the game

Among the Euro 2024 highlights to date, both nations had actually created a piece of history.

Against the Czechs, two veterans wrote their names into the record books as Pepe, at the age of 41 years and 113 days, became the oldest player in the history of the tournament, while Cristiano Ronaldo was appearing in a record sixth European Championship.

Of course, all eyes were on the latter.

‘Ronaldo 7’ shirts had been everywhere as fans prepared to welcome him and he celebrated like anyone else as Francisco Conceicao – 18 years his junior – snatched the dramatic winner.

His critics, more often than not English and stemmed through jealousy, argue his place in the starting XI holds Portugal back, that he becomes the focal point and has a negative impact on the forward line’s mobility.

But speaking to fans this week, it is clear the majority feel otherwise.

There were record breakers in the Turkish ranks too as Arda Guler cemented him as the youngest player to find the back of the net in the European Championships at 19 years and 114 days, a record previously held by Ronaldo.

Indeed, Turkey employed a bangers-only policy when it came to their goals, with Mert Muldur pulverising a volley into the net before Guler, part of Real Madrid’s never-ending supply of imported wunderkinds, upstaged him with a curler from range after Georges Mikautadze’s historic equaliser.

Of course, as long as it’s your team, nothing beats slotting into an empty net on the break after the opposition keeper’s gone up for a corner and Kerem Akturkoglu was the lucky man as the camera shook under the noise generated by the Turkish fans.

They were loud here too but, with Guler deemed only fit enough to be on the bench, the SBOTOP Euro 2024 betting odds would have distanced themselves on Vincenzo Montella’s outfit.

While they played a breathtaking game from start to finish against Georgia, they were never going to be able to dictate play against the Selecao and so it proved.

But for some distracting defending from Joao Cancelo, Akturkoglu may have put Turkey in front inside seven minutes.

However, once Portugal found their groove there was only one winner.

Rafael Leao combined with Nuno Mendes and his cross, with the aid of a slight deflection, reached Bernardo Silva who swept home a neat finish.

Seven minutes later, disaster for the Turks as Samet Akaydin failed to notice where goalkeeper Altay Bayindir was and, from outside the box, rolled it his own net despite desperate attempts by his teammates to keep it out.

Türkiye desperately need a win against Czechia to keep their Euro 2024 dream alive
Türkiye players after their Euro 2024 match against Portugal

Eleven minutes after the restart and it was all over as the evergreen Ronaldo chased a long ball over the top and unselfishly squared it for Bruno Fernandes who was never going to miss.

The only main talking point after that was play halted three times as fans invaded the pitch to get a ‘selfie’ with Ronaldo.

No doubt a question about stadium security awaits.

It’s not over for Turkey who may have only won one of their last seven matches but this was also just their third defeat in 16 competitive games. Another point will seal their place in their last 16.

Portugal are already there and look good!


Key statistics

When he netted in the 56th minute, Fernandes became the fourth player to score against his club goalkeeper in the history of the tournament – the first was Paul Gascoigne against Rangers colleague Andy Goram in 1996.

Ronaldo has more assists (seven) than anybody else in European Championship history.

Portugal boast an impressive record against Turkey – winning eight out of 10 matches, including the last seven.

They have now won all four of their clashes at the European Championships without conceding a single goal: 1-0 in 1996 (group stage), 2-0 in 2000 (quarter-finals) and 2-0 in 2008 (group stage).


What’s next?

It’s time for the final matches in Group F and there’s still plenty to play for.

Both games are on Wednesday evening (June 26) as Turkey face the Czech Republic and Portugal meet Georgia in Hamburg and Gelsenkirchen respectively.


 

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