Portugal 0-0 Slovenia (Jul 1, 2024) Game Analysis

Goalkeeper Diogo Costa saved all three penalties as Portugal won 3-0 in a shootout against a brave Slovenia side who had held them to a 0-0 draw after Cristiano Ronaldo‘s extra-time miss from the spot in a dramatic Euro 2024 round-of-16 clash on Monday.

Portugal had the lion’s share of the chances, but also their goalkeeper to thank for a one-on-one save from Slovenia striker Benjamin Sesko as fortunate Portugal stumbled into a quarterfinal meeting with France in Hamburg on Friday.

Costa saved from Josip Ilicic, Jure Balkovec and Benjamin Verbic in the shootout to send his side into the next round with a performance that lacked spark for the most part.

Ronaldo in particular will come under the spotlight as he wasted several opportunities to go with a penalty miss in extra time that left him in a flood of tears and needing to be consoled by teammates.

Portugal were awarded the spot kick late in the first half of the added period when Diogo Jota‘s storming run into the box was stopped by defender Vanja Drkusic, who had already been booked and was lucky not to receive a second yellow card.

They have a reliable penalty taker in their team in Bruno Fernandes but captain Ronaldo elected to take it and his effort was superbly saved to his left by Slovenia’s Jan Oblak, who pushed the ball onto the post.

Slovenia’s tactics were limited and every time they had a scrap of possession they sent the ball long to forwards Andraz Sporar and Sesko to try and make something of it.

But it was a ploy that worked well and Sesko had two one-on-one opportunities in the game from Pepê mistakes, but his first was scuffed wide and the second well saved by Costa.

The second of those misses will no doubt haunt Sesko and when it came to the pressure of the shootout, his side wilted in the face of excellent goalkeeping, much to the relief of Ronaldo.