On Saturday, June 19, 2021, Portugal encountered the test of their lives when they faced Germany in their second Euro 2020 Group F match.
Germany who seemed like a team that was struggling at the start of the tournament summoned the motivation to thrash a more formidable side that has Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United, and Diogo Jota of Liverpool 4-2.
At the start of the game, it was looking like it was going to be another bad day for Germany as they conceded the first goal of the match as early as in the 15th minute, thanks to Ronaldo’s strike.
But two own goals in favor of Germany within 5 minutes in the first half of the game courtesy of Ruben Dias (35th minute ) and Raphael Guerreiro (39th minute) was all Germany needed to become more rejuvenated to beat the defending champions of the tournament 4-2.
With the 4-2 victory, Portugal are now the first defending champions of the European Championship to concede 4 goals in the history of the tournament. They have also failed to beat Germany in their last four meetings.
As expected, Cristiano Ronaldo showed up by scoring the opening goal and assisting Diego Jota to score Portugal’s second goal of the match. But his effort amounted to nothing thanks to the brilliance of Germany’s Kai Havertz and Robin Gosens who scored the country’s 3rd and 4th goal of the match.
After the game, Portugal slipped to the 3rd spot in Group F with 3 points in two games. While Germany climbed to the second spot with three points in two games. They are ahead of Portugal due to the head-to-head advantage over the Portuguese.
The head coach of Germany, Joachim Low said: “We have spoken about a few things over the past few days. We were still looking for balance after the France match and knew that we had to add gear to create more chances. We fought brilliantly and showed great spirit. We had a lot of good attacks against really strong opponents.”
While the coach of Portugal, Fernando Santos: “We started well, with good organization, looking to attack, getting some connections. We made good use of a counter-attack move, which was one of an aspect we knew they would struggle with. Germany were better but we had a foothold in the game. We had a second chance on the break that could have resulted in a goal. It could have turned out differently.”
As it stands, Portugal are on the hot seat in Euro 2020 Group F which is described as a group of death. They are condemned to beat France, a team that has beaten Germany and drew with Hungary so far in the tournament.
Recall that long before the Euro 2020 kicked off, France are regarded as the favorites to win the tournament not just because they are the reigning champions of the FIFA World Cup, they have one of the best sets of players in the tournament.
If France defeat Portugal, and Hungary manage to defeat Germany in the last matches of the group, Portugal would occupy the last spot of the group. But if they manage to draw or win France and Hungary draw or beat Germany, Portugal would scale through to the round of 16.
As stated earlier, the only clear way Portugal can scale through with little or no calculations is to beat France by any goal margin on Wednesday, June 23 at 20:00.