Euro 2024: Georgia shocks Portugal to advance to the knockout rounds

Georgia is heading to the Round of 16 in Euro 2024 after beating Portugal. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Georgia is heading to the Round of 16 in Euro 2024 after beating Portugal. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Georgia is heading to the knockout rounds of Euro 2024 in its first major tournament appearance.

Georgia stunned Group F winners Portugal 2-0 on Wednesday to clinch third place in the group and a spot in the Round of 16. With wins in its first two games of the tournament, Portugal rested seven players who had started those games. Players like Bruno Fernandes, Pepe, Rafael Leao and João Cancelo all started the game on the bench.

Cristiano Ronaldo started, however, and the Portuguese were still significant favorites. And they weren’t tied with Georgia for long.

Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored in the second minute to put Georgia up 1-0. Georgia doubled its lead in the 57th minute on a penalty by Georges Mikautadze. The penalty was given after a lengthy video review that eventually awarded Georgia the spot kick.

Georgia qualified for its first European championship via penalty kicks in a playoff game against Greece. Georgia tied Greece 0-0 and neither team scored in extra time. Georgia won the shootout 4-2 and got one of the last three spots in the 24-team tournament.

It briefly looked like Georgia could finish second in Group F, but Turkey scored late to get a 2-1 win over Czechia. That was Turkey’s second win of the tournament and it finishes ahead of Georgia on six points. Georgia scored four thanks to a draw against Czechia.

With 24 teams in the tournament and 16 teams advancing to the knockout rounds, the top four third-place teams advance to the Round of 16. The Netherlands and Slovakia also earned four points in group play along with Georgia, while Slovenia earned three. Slovenia advanced ahead of Hungary thanks to a neutral goal differential. Hungary had a goal differential of -3.

Georgia’s win means it plays Spain on June 30 on the second day of Round of 16 play. The elimination games start on Saturday with Germany vs. Denmark and England vs. Slovakia.

The Netherlands will play Romania and Slovenia plays Portugal.

Romania won Group E on Wednesday with a tie against Belgium while Ukraine tied with Slovakia. All four teams in that group finished with four points, but Romania and Belgium each had a +1 goal differential. Slovakia had a neutral goal differential and finished third, while Ukraine’s -2 goal difference meant it became the first team to finish fourth in a Euro group with four points.

The official Euro 2024 bracket.
The official Euro 2024 bracket.
  • Spain vs. Georgia

  • Germany vs. Denmark

  • Portugal vs. Slovenia

  • France vs. Belgium

  • Romania vs. Netherlands

  • Austria vs. Turkey

  • England vs. Slovakia

  • Switzerland vs. Italy

As you can see, the top half of the bracket is loaded. Spain, Germany, Portugal and France were the next four favorites behind pre-tournament favorite England. And only one of them can make the final.

England, meanwhile, have no excuses to not advance to the final for the second straight Euros. Yes, England has struggled mightily so far in group play with two drab scoreless draws after a 1-0 win to open the tournament. But England is far more talented than any other team on its side of the bracket. And oddsmakers still like the Three Lions' chances.

England is still the favorite at BetMGM to win the tournament at +400, while Spain is at +450 along with Germany. France has also been unimpressive so far and is at +500 ahead of Portugal at +650.

There’s a big gap back to the Netherlands at +1200, and then Italy is at +1600 and Austria is at +1800. No other team has odds better than +2800 to win the tournament.