Poland 1-1 Portugal (3-5 pens)
Portugal narrowly defeated Poland in a dramatic penalty shootout in Marseille tonight to book their place in the semi-finals of EURO 2016. Jakub Błaszczykowski missed Poland’s fourth penalty leaving Ricardo Quaresma with the winning kick to see Portugal progress deeper into the competition. Robert Lewandowski had fired the Poles into the lead before teenager Renato Sanches’ deflected strike had the sides level at the half.
It was a long night in Marseille, but there was an explosive start, as Poland’s star striker Lewandowski, who had not found the net in four previous matches at EURO 2016, needed just one minute and 40 seconds to open the scoring.Portugal defender Cedric Soares completely misjudged the flight of a cross field ball which gave Kamil Grosicki time and space to deliver a low cross from the left, which Lewandowski gleefully guided home from near the penalty spot to score the second-fastest goal in European Championship history.
Cristiano Ronaldo began to find his feet around the half hour mark when he fired a shot on goal before being bundled over in the box by Kamil Glik. The Portuguese man had a case but referee Felix Brych waved away the Real Madrid stars appeals. With 33 minutes played Renato Sanches displayed exactly why Bayern Munich bought him from Benfica earlier this summer. The 18-year-old played a neat one-two with Nani before drilling a shot towards goal. His strike was aided by a deflection off the knee of Grzegorz Krychowiak that saw the ball fly past the sprawling Lukasz Fabianski. That was the last notable moment of an entertaining opening forty-five minutes.
Unfortunately the second half wasn’t as exciting as the first. Ronaldo went close early on when he hit the side netting and later failed to connect with a Nani cross. Artur Jedrzejczyk almost steered Pepe’s pass beyond his own goalkeeper before Ronaldo squandered a gilt-edged chance when he completely failed to connect with Joao Moutinho’s lofted ball one on one with the keeper.Both sides needed extra-time in their last-16 matches and an extra 30 minutes was required once again after an edgy second-half short of goalmouth action.
Ronaldo’s luck didn’t change in extra-time as he almost immediately saw the ball get caught under his legs inside the Polish box.Very few chances were created in either half with the game slowing to a walking pace at times. As a result the game would be decided on penalties. Poland won the toss and captain Lewandowski opted to go second.
Ronaldo stepped up for Portugal and converted his kick. Lewandowski dispatched his penalty keeping the sides level. Sanches, Moutinho and Nani all scored from the spot with Arkadiusz Milik and Glik responding for the Poles before Blaszczykowski saw his effort palmed away by the dive of Rui Patricio to his left.That paved the way for Quaresma to power the fifth spot kick into the roof of the net to secure Portugal’s place in the last four.
Man of the Match – Renato Sanches (Portugal)
- Bartosz Kapustka replaces Kamil Grosicki 82 mins
- Tomasz Jodlowiec replaces Krzysztof Maczynski 98 mins
- Joao Moutinho replaces Adrien Silva 73 mins
- Ricardo Quaresma replaces Joao Mario 80 mins
- Danilo Pereira replaces William Carvalho 96 mins
Poland – Artur Jedrzejczyk,Kamil Glik,Bartosz Kapustka.
Portugal – Adrien Silva,William Carvalho.