Portugal suffer a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Georgia at Euro 2024

Portugal’s perfect run at Euro 2024 came to a close in Gelsenkirchen where they suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Georgia.

A loose pass from António Silva was punished in the 2nd minute, Georges Mikautadze releasing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who beat Diogo Costa from close range.

The Seleção started the second half strong but found themselves 2-0 down in the 57th minute, António Silva’s late challenge on Luka Lochoshvili resulting in a penalty that Mikautadze converted with confidence.

Roberto Martínez’s side threatened in added time but it was too little too late in a game to forget.

The defeat came with top spot in Group F already assured, the tournament now getting serious against Slovenia in the Round of 16.

The glory belonged to Georgia, Mikautadze's third goal for the debutants taking him to the top of the goalscorer chart at Euro 2024.

Silva's sloppy pass punished

Georgia hardly touched the ball in the opening 90 seconds until a horror pass from António Silva. He gave it straight to Georges Mikautadze, the striker doing well to release the speedy Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who raced clear and beat Diogo Costa.

Portugal got into the game with Francisco Conceição winning free kicks, Cristiano Ronaldo stepping up and testing Giorgi Mamardashvili with a dipping effort.

Conceição fired into the side netting after Pedro Neto’s cross had been tipped away by Mamardashvili, Ronaldo going down under pressure from Luka Lochoshvili and booked for continually complaining for a penalty.

Kvaratskhelia was proving to be a problem on the break, Diogo Dalot bringing the goalscorer down and fortunate to avoid a booking. Kvaratskhelia’s dangerous free kick narrowly avoided Giorgi Gvelesiani.

Mamardashvili wasn’t being tested at the other end, the goalkeeper watching João Palhinha’s shot sail wide before collecting João Félix’s low drive. Pedro Neto was booked after being clipped by Giorgi Kochorashvili, a poor end to a poor first half.

Roberto Martínez made one change at the break as Palhinha made way for Rúben Neves. His side made a lively start with Conceição’s shot deflected wide, Ronaldo’s effort diverted over the bar and Danilo missing from close range.

They couldn’t maintain the momentum and were fortunate not to go 2-0 behind in the 50th minute. A long ball sent Otar Kakabadze clear, his cross falling straight to Kvaratskhelia who couldn’t connect cleanly. 


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Portugal vs Georgia - Player ratings


Mikautadze scores from the spot

Rúben Neves was booked for holding back Giorgi Chakvetadze before Georgia’s sustained pressure paid off in the 57th minute.  

António Silva’s evening went from bad to worse after conceding a penalty. His late challenge on Lochoshvili initially went unpunished, referee Sandro Schärer watching replays on the touchline monitor before pointing to the spot where Mikautadze stepped up and made no mistake.

Lochoshvili immediately made way for Georgiy Tsitaishvili as Martínez brought on Nélson Semedo and Gonçalo Ramos for António Silva and Ronaldo.

Conceição fired a volley over the bar but Georgia continued to create counter attacking opportunites, Otar Kiteishvili releasing Giorgi Chakvetadze who was unable to keep his shot down.

Matheus Nunes and Diogo Jota replaced João Neves and Pedro Neto but Georgia were holding firm. Semedo tested Mamardashvili in added time, Conceição’s cross narrowly avoided Diogo Jota and Ramos before the keeper punched away Dalot’s drive.

A game to forget

Full credit must go to Georgia, they played like their tournament was on the line and were rewarded. They had plenty of support in Gelsenkirchen  where their players responded with a famous victory, the debutants advancing to the Round of 16 as the second best third-placed team.

Giorgi Mamardashvili had a strong game in goal with Georges Mikautadze going clear at the top of the goalscorers table, the striker scoring in every group game.

Roberto Martínez made eight changes to his starting side with top spot in Group F guaranteed. Diogo Costa, João Palhinha and Cristiano Ronaldo were the trio who held their positions.

There was only one way Georgia were going to play and even more so after they took an early lead. They sat back with a flat back five working tirelessly behind a midfield trio who sat deep, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Georges Mikautadze playing their part off the ball.

Portugal continually probed for opportunities out wide, looking for combinations or pieces of individual magic from Pedro Neto, João Félix and Francisco Conceição.

Ronaldo was given another start to bang in a goal and build some confidence, it didn’t happen and he is going to be one of the main talking points once again.

Few if any players improved their chances of breaking into the starting side which is now becoming well established. Martínez loves to tinker, but there is a feeling that some of it is overcomplicated, unnecessary and detrimental to the team.

A back three doesn’t seem to have any benefits for this squad, it mainly takes a man out of midfield and adds one to central defence. It hardly makes a difference to the wide defenders' ability to get involved in the game and moving the full-backs infield has not done much to add to the attack or provide more stability in transition.

Martínez will surely revert to a back four against Slovenia in the Round of 16 and reinstate Rúben Dias, Pepe, Nuno Mendes, João Cancelo, Vitinha, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Rafael Leão.

It's another good opportunity for Portugal to bounce back and get some revenge in the process, Slovenia beating the Seleção 2-0 in Ljubljana in March.

By Matthew Marshall at Arena AufSchalke

Line Ups

Portugal (3-4-3): Diogo Costa - António Silva (Nélson Semedo 66’), Danilo Pereira, Gonçalo Inácio - Diogo Dalot, João Neves (Matheus Nunes 75’), João Palhinha (Rúben Neves 46’), Pedro Neto (Diogo Jota 75’) - Francisco Conceição, Cristiano Ronaldo (Gonçalo Ramos 66’), João Félix

Unused substitutes: Rui Patrício, José Sá, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Nuno Mendes, João Cancelo, Vitinha, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva

Suspended: Rafael Leão

Coach: Roberto Martínez

Georgia (3-5-2): Mamardashvili – Gvelesiani (Kverkvelia 76’), Kashia, Dvali - Kakabadze, Chakvetadze (Mekvabishvili 81’), Kochorashvili, Kiteishvili, Lochoshvili (Tsitaishvili 63’) - Mikautadze, Kvaratskhelia (Davitashvili 82’)

Unused substitutes: Sigua, Tsitaishvili, Shengelia, Gocholeishvili, Kvilitaia, Gugeshashvili, Altunashvili, Zivzivadze, Loria, Tabidze, Kvekveskiri, Lobjanidze

Coach: Willy Sagnol


[0-1] Kvaratskhelia 2’

[0-2] Mikautadze P 57’