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Kvaratskhelia Masterclass Sends Georgia To Euro 2024 Knockouts

Kvaratskhelia Masterclass Sends Georgia To Euro 2024 Knockouts

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was on fire as Euro debutants, Georgia dramatically qualified, after beating favorites and leader of the group, Portugal in the final round of the group stage.

A loose ball from António Silva was cut out by Mikautadze, who timed his pass through to Kvaratskhelia perfectly and the Napoli winger made no mistake, drilling low past the advancing Diogo Costa in the second minute to put Georgia ahead.

Roberto Martinez had decided to change Portugal’s lineup, bringing in Joao Felix and Danilo. He also tried the  3-5-2 formation.

Portugal tried to response, but Giorgi Mamardashvili pushed over a thunderous Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick from range before being well placed to catch João Palhinha’s fierce effort.

Mamardashvili defended another João Félix strike on the stroke of half-time and clawed out Francisco Conceição’s subsequent corner from under his crossbar. 

During the start of the second half, Ronaldo had a close-range effort deflected onto the roof of the net within two minutes. Kvaratskhelia also ended up miskicking in front of goal from a counter.

Moments later, Georgia was awarded a penalty after António Silva seemingly fouled Luka Lochoshvili, and Mikautadze coolly slotted in from the spot.

Georges Mikautadze is the top scorer at this summer’s tournament. Not many would have predicted that when Euro 2024 began almost two weeks ago.

The 23-year-old – who was born in France – has now scored in each of Georgia’s three matches in Germany. He also claimed the assist for Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s early strike that sent them to the knockouts.

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