Portugal snatch extra-time win – Croatia v Portugal EURO 2016
Croatia 0-1 Portugal (AET)
Ricardo Quaresma scored a dramatic late extra-time winner as Portugal beat Croatia 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016. A drab contest in Lens looked to be heading to penalties until Quaresma headed home from close range in the 117th minute after Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot had been saved. Less than a minute earlier, Ivan Perisic had almost given Croatia the lead when he headed against the post. Portugal will now face Poland in the quarter-finals in Marseille on June 30 while Croatia will head home.
In truth, neither side looked likely to score in a cagey contest, with Ronaldo’s shot that set up the goal the first on target in the match. The first half especially was short of goalmouth action. With Southampton duo Cedric Soares and Jose Fonte starting in defence, Portugal sat back and kept Croatia at bay. The returning Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic could not create anything for Ante Cacic’s side and it was Pepe who spurned the best opportunity of the half when he headed over the bar from a free-kick. Perisic shot into the side netting shortly afterwards but the goalkeepers were not tested before the break.
That remained the case in the second half as Marcelo Brozovic blazed over the bar after a quickly-taken corner and Domagoj Vida headed wide from a free-kick. The introduction of Renato Sanches gave Portugal more energy in midfield but they were still unable to create any chances of note, with Ronaldo not managing a shot in normal time. The game remained cagey in extra-time and penalties seemed a certainity.
Croatia went close in the 113th minute when Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio came to claim a corner, missed and Vida failed to hit the target with his header. Minutes later, the game burst into life. After Perisic headed against the base of the post at one end, Portugal broke quickly. Nani’s miscued shot found its way through for Ronaldo, who was brilliantly denied by Danijel Subasic, only for Quaresma to turn in the rebound.There was still time for Croatia to create a late chance but Vida volleyed just past the far post.
Man of the Match – Renato Sanches (Portugal)
- Nikola Kalinic replaces Mario Mandzukic 88 mins
- Marko Pjaca replaces Ivan Rakitic 110 mins
- Andrej Kramaric replaces Vedran Corluka 120 mins
- Renato Sanches replaces Andre Gomes 50 mins
- Ricardo Quaresma replaces Joao Mario 87 mins
- Danilo Pereira replaces Adrien Silva 108 mins
Croatia – None
Portugal – William Carvalho