The plight of extra-time addicts points to miserable end in Real Madrid ace’s Euros dream

The plight of extra-time addicts points to miserable end in Real Madrid ace’s Euros dream

Portugal were the first nation to book a Euro 2016 semi-final spot, overcoming Poland in a penalty shootout after the teams couldn’t be separated in 120 minutes.

Incredibly, despite being guaranteed a last four berth, the Seleccao have yet to win a match inside normal time and haven’t been ahead for more than 22 minutes across the entire tournament.

Still, Cristiano Ronaldo and co will shamelessly grace the field at the revamped Stade Gerland against either Wales or Belgium looking to book a spot in the Saint-Denis showpiece.

But after three grinding group games, 240 minutes of knockout football and a penalty shootout, will they have the wherewithal to see off their final four foe and justify odds of 5/1 that say they’ll conquer the continent?

Sadly for CR7 and his supporting cast, based on the antics of the extra-time addicts from major tournaments past they’re about to run out of gas.

In the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Argentina were the only nations to engage in multiple bouts of extra-time; de Oranje ultimately went home with the bronze medal, Albiceleste took silver.

However, the decorated duo’s semi-final collision provided their respective second helpings of an additional 30 minutes. Argentina progressed on penalties but lost the final that followed against Germany, which also lasted 120 minutes.

As for Costa Rica, they fell to the Netherlands in the quarter finals, which was also their second match that required an additional 30.

Similar circumstances saw to South Korea in the 2002 edition of the same tournament.

Some questionable refereeing decisions allowed them to take Italy and Spain and to extra time, where they applied liberal portions of egg to their prestigious contemporaries’ faces, but they too lost the semi-final that ensued after two additional half hours.

Paraguay stumbled their way to the Copa America decider in 2011 without winning a single match, drawing three in the group stage and advancing via penalties in the quarters and semis.

Once again two doses of extra-time proved too many, as Uruguay exploited their sapped energy resources to prevail 3-0 in the final.

At the European Championships of 2000 and 1996 the eventual winners, France and Germany, were both taken to extra-time twice, but, fortunately for them, their successful second helpings happened to be the final.

Two forays over the 90-minute barrier, it seems, is the limit for any team when battling the congestion of a tournament schedule, so back Wales or Belgium to don the executioner’s hood in the semis.

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