France beats Portugal 5-3 in a penalty shootout in Euro 2024 quarterfinals

France's heartache in penalty shootouts is over. So is Cristiano Ronaldo's last-ever European Championship.

The victory ended the recent heartbreak of Kylian Mbappé and France in shootouts, having lost in them at their last two major tournaments – in the last 16 at the Euros in 2021 and in the 2022 World Cup final.

Before that, the French were also defeated on spot kicks by Italy in the 2006 World Cup final. So it had been 26 years – since beating the Italians in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 1998 – that Les Bleus had been victorious in a shootout.

Mbappé didn't even take a penalty this time, having been substituted during halftime of extra time following a couple of knocks to his broken nose that was covered by a protective mask. France coach Didier Deschamps said his captain was tired, too.

Les Bleus didn't need their star player, as Ousmane Dembele, Youssouf Fofana, Jules Kounde and Bradley Barcola all found the net in the shootout – held at the end housing Portugal's vocal fans – before Theo Hernández's coup de grâce set off jubilant scenes for the French inside the stadium in Hamburg.

“It wasn’t easy," France goalkeeper Mike Maignan said. “We didn’t always play that great, it was a complicated game.

“We got to the penalty shootout and didn’t waver. We can be proud of ourselves.”

Top corner

Portugal substitute Joao Felix hit a post with the only miss in the shootout and Hernández showed no sign of pressure by converting the clinching kick into the top corner.

“We need to go through this moment of our loss, which is very painful,” Pepe said.

(With newswires)

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