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You are here: Football Euros Euro 2016: Portugal advance to semi-finals on Penalties

Euro 2016: Portugal advance to semi-finals on Penalties

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A brilliant save down to his left from Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio to deny former Polish captain Jakub Blaszczykowski decided the game between Poland and Portugal, sending the latter through to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 after another tense and at times rather dull affair in Marseille.

Poland threatened to set the game alight when they scored the fast goal of the tournament thus far with Skipper Robert Lewandowski finally netting his first goal of Euro 2016 as he latched on to Kamil Grosicki's left wing cross after a horrible defensive error from Cedric Soares, who allowed the ball to bounce over his head.

Poland stayed in front for a little over half-an-hour before Bayern Munich's new summer signing Renato Sanches showed just why the German champions are paying so much money for him as he cut in from the right wing, played a good one-two with Nani before smashing the ball past former Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski in the Polish goal.

Sanches' effort was aided by a significant deflection, which took the ball further away from Fabianski, who tried his best to reach it, but saw it glide past his outstretched hand nevertheless.

The second half failed to live up to the quality of the first, but the best chance of the game did fall to Cristiano Ronaldo as the former Manchester United forward was played through on goal by a ball clipped over the top by Portuguese substitute Joao Moutinho. Ronaldo though uncharacteristically appeared to kick air as his technique let him down at just the wrong moment.

There was one more gilt-edged opportunity to come his way in extra-time, but at that moment it seemed that it just wasn't going to be his day as the match made its way to penalties.

Poland won both coin tosses, but surprisingly opted to hand over the initiative to Portugal, asking them to go first in the shootout. Ronaldo obliged by sending Fabianski the wrong way.

In fact, the Swansea keeper was having a bit of a shocker as he dived to his left three times in a row only to see the ball go to his right, and then dived to his left to see Nani's penalty go in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, Poland struck three gorgeous penalties, but Jakub Blaszczykowski, whose two goals in the last two games for Poland have kept them in competition, saw his effort expertly saved by Rui Patricio as he guessed correctly.

That miss meant Ricardo Quaresmo could knock Poland out of Euro 2016 with his kick, and the influential sub showed his immeasurable value to the squad as he stroked home powerfully, even with Fabianski finally getting his hand on the ball, not getting enough on it to keep it out of his goal, thus making the Portugal the first team through to the semi-finals o the European Championships.

Teams:

Poland: Fabianski, Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Blaszczykowski, Maczynski (Jodlowiec 98'), Krychowiak, Grosicki (Kapustka 82'), Milik, Lewandowski.

Portugal: Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Eliseu, Carvalho (Danilo 96'), Silva (Moutinho 74'), Sanches, Mario (Quaresma 80'), Nani, Ronaldo.

Final Score: Poland 1-1 Portugal (Lewandowski 2', Sanches 33')

Penalties:

Portugal: Ronaldo scored, Sanches scored, Moutinho scored, Nani scored, Quaresma scored

Poland: Lewandowski scored, Milik scored, Gilk scored, Blaszczykowski saved

Portugal win 5-3 on penalties