Portugal reach semi-finals after shoot-out win over Poland

After a 1-1 draw, the Seleccao managed to beat Poland 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out to become the first team to make it to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

Renato Sanches of Portugal celebrating with Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring his first goal for his nation
Renato Sanches of Portugal celebrating with Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring his first goal for his nation

Poland made the perfect start to the match as they went ahead after just two minutes. Grosicki profited from Cedric’s mistake, before picking out Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich star kept his composure and finished behind Rui Patricio to score his first goal of the tournament.

The Portuguese responded on the 10th minute. Cedric picked out Ronaldo in the centre, but the forward’s effort was blocked, while Mario’s follow-up shot got deflected and went safely into the arms of Fabianski.

Six minutes later, the Polish went close after Krychowiak stole possession near the halfway line and found Milik. The Ajax striker fired an effort that went inches wide of the far post.

Milik and Lewandowski linked up brilliantly to create another good chance for Poland. Lewandowski delivered a ball towards Milik who had just Pepe to beat. However, the Real Madrid defender did well and blocked his shot for a corner.

Portugal had a good chance to get an equaliser on the 28th minute after Ronaldo had his first real sight of goal. Nani got away from Lukas Piszczek and passed the ball towards Ronaldo. The Portuguese captain fired a shot that failed to trouble Fabianski.

Ronaldo protested for a penalty on the 31st minute. Pazdan realised that was beaten to a cross, and shoved Ronaldo from behind. To the astonishment of many, Felix Brych decided to play on.

Despite feeling that they were denied a penalty, Portugal kept on improving and scored an equaliser two minutes later. Nani got into the box and clipped the ball behind to find Renato Sanches. The eighteen year old’s shot took a deflection off Grzegorz Krychowiak before ending up at the back of the net to score his first international goal.

Poland responded on the 38th minute when Patricio failed to parry a cross to put his defence under heavy pressure. Luckily for the goalkeeper, the defence managed to clear their lines.

After a splendid first half, the second half lacked rhythm and flow, with only few chances created. The first chance on goal came for Ronaldo on the 57th minute. The Real Madrid player raced forward after being played by Carvalho. However, his shot ended up into the side of the net.

On the 68th minute, Patricio had to produce a smart save to keep Portugal level. Milik got on the end of Grosicki’s cross at the near post, and redirected an effort at goal. Nevertheless, the Sporting goalkeeper went to his left and saved.

The best chance for Portugal came on the 85th minute. Ronaldo was played through on goal by Moutinho, but failed to make contact with the ball to the disappointment of Portugal’s fans who witnessed an excellent chance being squandered.

With both teams not risking too much in the dying minutes of the match, the game went into extra time. This was the second extra thirty minutes for the two teams in less than a week.

During the extra thirty minutes, fatigue affected both teams who found it difficult to create good chances that would have sealed the match, and the match went into penalties.

From the spot kicks, Błaszczykowski missed the crucial kick for Poland, while Quaresma netted the last one for Portugal, to give them a 5-3 win and a fourth European semi-final against either Wales or Belgium.

Poland starting line-up (4-4-2): Fabianski; Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski, Grosicki; Lewandowski, Milik.

Portugal starting line-up (4-4-2): Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Eliseu; Adrien Silva, Renato, William, Mario; Nani, Ronaldo.

Yellow cards

Jedrzejczyk (Poland), Glik (Poland), Silva (Portugal), Kapustka (Poland), Carvalho (Portugal).

Referee

Felix Brych (Germany)

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