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Euro 2024: Georgia Stuns Portugal to Reach Knock-Out Phase

Georgia pulled off a historic 2-0 victory over Portugal on Wednesday, securing their place in the knock-out stage of a major tournament for the first time. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s early goal and Georges Mikautadze’s penalty were enough to see off a Portugal side that had already qualified for the next round and fielded several second-string players.

The match, held in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic Georgia fans, marks the most significant achievement for Georgian football since the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. This victory is particularly remarkable given the disparity in world rankings: Georgia, placed 74th, faced a Portugal team ranked sixth and boasting a recent European Championship win in 2016.

Georgia’s performance defied expectations, showcasing their resilience and determination. Kvaratskhelia’s strike came early in the match, setting the tone for an aggressive and confident display. Mikautadze’s penalty later sealed the win, sending the Georgia supporters into jubilant celebrations.

The Portuguese team, despite missing some of their star players, were expected to dominate. However, Georgia’s disciplined defense and effective counter-attacks left the 2016 champions struggling to find their rhythm. This unexpected result has reshaped the tournament dynamics, as Georgia advances with newfound confidence and a surge of national pride.

This victory will be remembered as a defining moment in Georgia’s football history, demonstrating their potential on the international stage. Fans and players alike will hope this momentum can carry them further in the tournament, as they continue to challenge the established footballing nations.

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