Chile nullify Cristiano
Last night's win for the Chilean international side was a massive boost for the country thanks to the efforts of an extraordinary generation of talent. Watching how he motivated his team mates before the round of penalty kicks was indeed inspiring. They had every right to feel crestfallen. They had a great call for a penalty turned down by referee Faghani who didn't even considering the VAR system and then proceeded to hist the post, not just once but twice. Injustice linked with misfortune. Despite this brief adversity they went into the shoot-out in determined fashion and this was personified by the way Arturo Vidal struck his spot-kick.
Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo stopped all three Portuguese penalties with an unnerving confidence as if the spot kicks were being taken by children. With Vidal, Aránguiz and Alexis slotting home Portugal only got to shoot three times with Cristiano Ronaldo lined up to take the fifth and the player was clearly stunned as Fernando Santos' men lined up together in the centre circle. The same thing happened back in Donetsk during Euro 2012 when Portugal lost to Spain. The forward from Madeira was primed to hit the fifth spot-kick which never materialised.
It was a disappointing end to the tournament for Cristiano who now has to stay in Russia to play in Sunday's consolation game and those third/fourth place games in truth provide little consolation for any player. Then, afterwards it's a question of "wait and see" as we'll discover which line his future plans take. I'm pleased for Chile and hope that the winners of tonight's second semi-final between Germany and Mexico go onto produce a decent final. To be frank, there were times when the football served up last night was pretty unpalatable, a tetchy game with players constantly on match official Faghani's back. However the tension and drama of the shoot-out was in part able to mask some of the dreary football we'be been earlier exposed to as Chile take their place in Sunday's final.
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