Portugal advance to semis after shootout win
01 Jul. 2016– Entering their quarterfinal match-up, Portugal had not won a game this Euro in the first 90 minutes, drawing in every single one. They hoped that would change in their semifinal match against Poland, it didn’t. Although they advanced to the next round, it took extra-time, and a penalty shootout to do so. Portugal won the shootout 5-3.
Things didn’t start well for Portugal, as within less than two minutes into the game they conceded a goal. Right-back Cedric committed a crucial mistake allowing Kamil Grosicki to get behind him, and send the ball to Lewandowski setting him up to score his first goal of the tournament. Poland continued to attack continuously putting pressure on Portugal’s defense, but they held their own. Real Madrid star Pepe was spectacular, clearing crosses, and blocking shots time after time. Soon after, Portugal began to gain some momentum until finally finding the back of the net twelve minutes before the half. Youngster Renato Sanches leveled the two after a couple of nice passes between him, and former Manchester United man Nani becoming the third youngest Euro scorer in history. He was also awarded ‘Man of the Match’ for the second consecutive game.
Entering the second half all tied up, the Portuguese continued to play well, but just could not score a goal. Ronaldo, along with defenders Pepe and Jose Fonte all had beautiful opportunities to take the lead, however all failed to do so. Once again Portugal were forced to play extra-time in hopes of advancing to the next round. Going into desperation mode, Poland slightly took control of extra-time coming up with a few nice chances to take the lead, but couldn’t take the lead. With extra-time ending scoreless, a penalty shootout was needed to crown the victor.
Poland, coming off a quarterfinal penalty shootout victory against Switzerland could not repeat as Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio completed a miraculous save diving left and keeping Jakub Blaszczykowski’s shot out. With that being their fourth penalty, all Quaresma had to do was score, and Portugal would win. He did just that, securing his country’s position in the semifinals. They play the winner of tonight’s match between Belgium and Wales.
Article by: Nick Husni