Georgia’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Reflects On Nation’s First Ever Tournament Victory As Portugal Face 2-0 Defeat

The last round of the UEFA Euro 2024 group stages witnessed the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Georgia, participating in its first ever major international tournament comprehensively defeated title contenders, Portugal by a 2-0 margin. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia opened the scoring in the second minute which was followed by a compound penalty from Georges Mikautadze in the second half.

Georgian fans can be extremely proud of the exhibition presented by the national team. Portugal will still finish at the top and will play Slovenia in the round of 16. Georgia, on the other hand, finished behind Turkiye in third due to the head-to-head record. The nation will meet Spain in a historic first appearance in the knockout stages of the European Championship.

Roberto Martinez’s back-to-back experiment backfires again

Portuguese supporters were left stunned by Roberto Martinez’s decision to once again go with a back-three formation. The same arrangement was the biggest reason for Portugal’s terrible display against the Czech Republic on the first day of action. It looked like the coach threw out the system after the convincing performance with the traditional back four against Turkiye.

However, in Martinez’s changed lineup, Portugal returned to the 3-4-3 formation, which obviously affected the individual performances. It can be argued that blunders like those by Antonio Silva were the reasons behind the defeat but the correlation between the formation and the results for Portugal cannot be ignored. The Spanish coach will have to watch and must rely on the 4-3-3 to produce success.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia finally comes good for Georgia

In what was otherwise a fantastic display by Georgia in the European Championship, the one big disappointment was the lackluster performances of star forward, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. The Napoli man was definitely the player to watch out for in the Georgian squad, which led to the opposition defenders doubling up to reduce his impact. “We succeeded, I’m very proud”were the words of a delighted Kvaratskhelia after the game.

However, the 23-year-old was determined to redeem himself in a competition where anything but victory was of no value. Fate must have helped him, because the Portuguese gifted him a chance in the second minute itself, which Kvaratskhelia was focused enough to exploit. Even apart from the goal, the left side was a constant threat to the Portuguese rear with eight duels won and two successful dribbles.

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