Thursday, July 25, 2024

Euro 2024 data dive: Ronaldo breaks assist record, Group E set for historic finish

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jun 2024

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The action continued at Euro 2024 on Saturday, with Portugal becoming the second side to clinch their place as group winners, after Spain.

It was a memorable day for Cristiano Ronaldo, and not only because a total of six pitch invaders attempted to get a picture with the legendary forward.

He laid on a record-breaking seventh goal at the European Championships as the Selecao crushed Turkiye 3-0, while there was nothing to separate Georgia and Czechia in a 1-1 draw elsewhere in Group F.

In Group E, meanwhile, it’s all to play for with all four teams on three points after two games, following Belgium’s 2-0 victory over Romania.

Here, we run through all the best Opta stats to emerge from the day’s matches.

Georgia 1-1 Czechia: Mikautadze replicates Shevchenko feat

The first game of the day served up yet another entertaining encounter as Georgia claimed their first point at a major tournament against Czechia in Hamburg.

Georges Mikautadze gave Georgia the lead after Robin Hranac was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area, scoring from the penalty spot to become the sixth player to net both of his nation’s first two goals at the European Championships, and the first since Andriy Shevchenko in 2012 for Ukraine.

Giorgi Mamardashvili made eight saves in the first half, equalling the most of any goalkeeper in an entire game at Euro 2024, as Georgia held their advantage until the break.

Despite his heroics, Georgia’s lead was gone 14 minutes into the second half as Patrik Schick moved ahead of Milan Baros as Czechia’s top scorer at the Euros, putting the ball in off his chest from close range for his sixth goal at the competition (five in 2020).

Czechia continued to dominate proceedings, but their lack of clinical edge in front of goal proved costly. They recorded 12 shots on target against Georgia; the most by a team who failed to win a match at the European Championships on record (since 1980).

But a lot of that was down to the inspired performance of Mamardashvili. The Georgia goalkeeper made three saves in the second half, taking his tally to 11 for the match, with only Latvia’s Alexanders Kolinko (12) making more in a game at the Euros on record (since 1980), against the Netherlands in 2004.

However, Georgia had a golden opportunity to earn their maiden win at a major tournament when they found themselves three-on-one with the clock ticking down, but Saba Lobjanidze could only fire the ball over the bar.

Georgia now know they must beat Portugal in their final group game in Gelsenkirchen next Wednesday, but they can take confidence from their recent form.

Since losing three in a row between June and September 2023, Georgia have only lost two of their last nine games in all competitions (four wins, three draws).

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