Soccer-Tbilisi erupts in celebration as Georgia advance at Euro 2024

(Reuters) -The Georgian capital Tbilisi erupted in celebration on Wednesday after the national side completed a stunning victory over Portugal that propelled them into the last 16 of the European Championship in Germany.

Georgia's 2-0 win over Portugal in their final group match drew people out onto the streets, waving national flags from car windows and letting off fireworks.

It was the first time Georgia have qualified for a major international tournament, let alone advanced beyond the group stage.

"It's incredible, I can't describe it in words. You should see what happens in the dressing-room," Levan Kobiashvili, President of the country's Football Federation, told Georgia's Interpress.

In Tbilisi, amid blaring horns, people could be heard chanting "Sakartvelo!", the local word for the country's name.

"The boys really gave us a miracle. Everyone deserves more than thanks. It's a wonder," Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze told reporters.

"They fought until the end and apart from the fight, it was proven once again that Georgians have football talent."

In Liberty Square, videos on social media showed hundreds of cars gathered, creating a traffic jam around the area, with fans climbing on the St George Statue to celebrate the moment.

"This signifies that wherever there is faith, purpose, selfless dedication, and the spirit of victory, there lies victory!," President Salome Zourabichvili wrote on Facebook after personally congratulating the players.

"Congratulations to everyone! I congratulate Georgia... not only for entering Europe... but for aiming high!"

Georgia's journey continues on Sunday in Cologne when they play Spain in the round of 16.

(Reporting by Felix Light in Tbilisi, Writing by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Ed Osmond)