Deemed as the group of death, group F didn’t fail to live up to the hype it amassed at the time of the draws. With France, Germany, and Portugal in the same group, it was always destined to showcase the most mouthwatering of fixtures. With the qualification saga going down to the last matchday of the group stages, the standings kept on changing throughout the 90 minutes. Germany, who entered the tournament as the lesser of the three, ended up finishing second by securing a draw against Hungary.
The first matchday saw France and Portugal secure three points against Germany and Hungary respectively. The group looked along the lines of the collective prediction. Hungary, who put in a convincing defensive display, were eventually penetrated. On the other side, Germany looked far from satisfactory in terms of attack.
However, the second matchday brought drama to the picture. France were held at a 1-1 by Hungary in Budapest, a result which was fortunate for the world champions, as they were the ones who went a goal down early on. Meanwhile, Portugal took an early lead against the Germans through Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the tournament. However, it didn’t provide relief for long, as the ever so dominant Germany made a first half comeback, before adding two in the second half as well. Although the defending championships pulled one back to make it 2-4, they stood outclassed by the 2014 world champions.
The third matchday was supposed to put Portugal and France in a tough spot, but it was Germany who were really in a sticky situation. After conceding early at the Allianz Arena, they found it difficult to get the equalizer. However, when they did equalize, a defensive blunder followed to give Hungry the lead again with Germany’s reply coming just two minutes ago.
Portugal and France went on to play a 2-2 draw, which saw them both qualify. The real dilemma lied in the German ranks, with them being on fourth with the 1-2 score line. However, the four-time world champions were relentless in their search for a goal, which served them with the result. Substitute Leon Goretzka buried a powerful shot in the net with time running out.
With them leapfrogging from 4th to 2nd, it shaped up an extremely dramatic ride over the three games. France are set to face Switzerland, while Germany will visit Wembley to go up against England. Portugal, who finished third, will be facing Belgium in the round of 16.