UEFA Euro 2016
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France
Portugal win 5-3 on penalties.
Portugal progressed into their second consecutive European Championship Semi-final after coming from a goal down to beat Poland 5-3 on penalties at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.
An early goal from Robert Lewandowski had put Poland ahead before a deflected strike from youngster Renato Sanches levelled the scores for Portugal before half-time. That was before substitute Ricardo Quaresma slotted home the winning penalty after Jakub Błaszczykowski had his spot-kick palmed away by Rui Patrício to send Portugal into their fifth ever European Championship Semi-final.
Despite Portugal dominating possession in the game, it was Poland who initially started well and went ahead immediately in the second minute when Cédric Soares misjudged a header and Kamil Grosicki surged forward before pulling the ball back to Lewandowski who fired home past Patrício.
Portugal went close in the 27th minute when Nani found Cristiano Ronaldo who managed to get the better of Michał Pazdan before firing an effort that Łukasz Fabiański saved comfortably.
Two minutes later, Portugal had a good shout for a penalty when Ronaldo was bundled over by Pazdan despite a cross from Nani evading both the players, however the referee was unmoved.
Four minutes later, Portugal were deservedly level. Sanches played a nice give-and-go with Nani who backheeled the ball to the youngster who fired home via a slight deflection off Grzegorz Krychowiak. It was the youngster’s first ever goal for Portugal as well as his first in the tournament. He became the youngest player to score in a knockout game at the Euros, and the third youngest overall to score in Euros history.
After the interval, Poland went close when Łukasz Piszczek sent in a good cross into the path of Lewandowski whose diving-header under-pressure was saved easily by Patrício.
Seven minutes later, Portugal had a good chance when Nani played Ronaldo through and he had João Mário in support but instead he went himself from a tight-angle and fired wide into the side-netting, when he should have passed in truth. Four minutes later, they had another good chance when Mário found Nani who pulled the ball back to Ronaldo who fluffed his lines and miscued his effort: swinging and missing the ball completely.
Four minutes later, Portugal went close when Ronaldo found Soares who unleashed an effort that drifted inches wide of the far-post an effort that had Fabiański scrambling to his right.
Five minutes later, Poland went close when Artur Jędrzejczyk found Arkadiusz Milik at the near-post with a cross and the forward met the delivery with a first-time effort that Patrício instinctively saved before gathering at the second-attempt.
In the 80th minute, Portugal went close to taking the lead when a Pepe pass was almost intercepted into his own net by Jędrzejczyk but it went inches wide with Fabiański out of position. Five minutes later, Portugal had another chance when substitute João Moutinho wonderfully picked out Ronaldo who was onside and looked set to bury the effort on the volley but he miscued the ball in similar fashion to his effort against Iceland; again: swinging and missing the ball completely.
The game then went to Extra-Time where Portugal should have gone ahead a minute into the restart when Eliseu sent in a teasing delivery that Pazdan missed, into the path of Ronaldo, but he miscontrolled his effort after being put off by Pazdan.
Poland went close in the 114th minute when substitute Bartosz Kaputska sent in a dangerous cross-come-shot towards goal but the delivery across goal, just drifted behind.
There was still nothing to separate the two sides after 120 minutes and so the game headed to the lottery of a penalty shootout.
After four perfect Portuguese penalties, it was Błaszczykowski’s turn to level the scores for Poland. However, despite stuttering in his run-up, his spot-kick was saved. Patrício guessed right to palm the effort away.
That meant that if substitute Quaresma scored, Portugal would progress into the Semi-finals for the second consecutive. He stepped up and fired home despite Fabiański getting a hand to the effort to send the Seleção into the Semi-final of the European Championships for the fifth time in their history.
The result meant that Portugal progress into their second consecutive European Championship Semi-final whilst Poland bow out of the competition after reaching the Quarter-finals of the European Championship for the first time in their history. It will be Portugal’s fifth European Championship Semi-final.