The winner of the group of death has been decided. France and Portugal faced off in a group F matchup on Wednesday, and a 2-2 drew kept France atop the table. There was plenty of controversy surrounding the match stemming from a pair of penalties given in the first half, and both sides capitalized on opportunities from the spot.
French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was handed a yellow card from a reckless challenge on Danilo Pereira. He came off his line to clear a ball but made strong contact with the ball and the Portuguese midfielder's head. Christiano Ronaldo laced a ball into the back of the net to put Portugal up 1-0 in the 30th minute after officials refused to listen to French arguments against the decision.
France equalized when Nelson Semedo impeded Kylian Mbappe in the penalty area. Karim Benzema unexpectedly stepped up to the spot and got on the score sheet in first-half stoppage time. Both teams had one goal at the break, and more drama ensued in the second half of the contest.
A Paul Pogba through ball to Karim Benzema put France up just two minutes into the second half. While the goal was initially taken back for offsides, a review confirmed that a Portugal defender kept Benzema on.
Portugal’s attack was relentless after going down, and Jules Kounde was called for a handball that obstructed a Ronaldo cross. Portugal’s star tied the game with a second penalty in the 60th minute and became the men’s soccer all-time leading international scorer with 109 goals.
Neither side could make the net bulge in the final 30 minutes of the match, but plenty of exciting attacks nearly broke the draw. As a result, Portugal will advance to the round of 16 despite the tie as one of the tournament’s best third-place teams.