Portugal beat Poland on penalties to advance into the semi-finals of Euro 2016 – despite not having won a game in 90 minutes at the tournament.
Robert Lewandowski had given Poland an early lead with the second-fastest goal in the history of the competition but 18 year old Renato Sanches levelled. The 1-1 draw was a largely drab affair but both sides produced in the penalty shoot-out, only for former Poland skipper Jakob Blaszczykowski to see his effort saved with Portugal advancing courtesy of a 5-3 success as substitute Ricardo Quaresma struck the winning penalty.
After drawing all three group games and sneaking through in third place, Fernando Santos’ side beat Croatia late on in extra-time in the round of 16 and, with an off-colour Cristiano Ronaldo up front, they needed penalties in Marseille.
Poland were almost immediately in front when Lewandowski turned in Kamil Grosicki’s cross with just 100 seconds gone.
Ronaldo had his side’s first effort as Nani robbed Lukasz Piszcek of possession before teeing up the Real Madrid forward, whose shot was straight at Lukasz Fabianski in the Polish goal. The Portugal skipper had big shouts for a penalty turned down on the half-hour mark but his side were soon celebrating an equaliser as Nani’s clever backheel picked out Sanches, who flashed a drive past Fabianski.
The t second-half started at a slower pace, with Southampton full-back Cedric arrowing a shot just wide as Portugal strived to complete their comeback. Fabianski was left scrabbling as Artur Jedrzejczyk intercepted Pepe’s ball through only to divert it just wide of his own post.
Ronaldo passed up a good late opportunity when he allowed a cross to pass through his legs when well-placed.
Extra-time petered out, taking the first Euro 2016 quarter-final to an inevitable penalty shoot-out.
Ronaldo struck first for Portugal before Lewandowski stroked Poland level, with Sanches tucking his away with aplomb. Milik sent Patricio the wrong way to keep Poland up with Portugal, who then saw Joao Moutinho succeed with the third kick. Kamil Glik continued the theme of sending the opposing goalkeeper the wrong way with neither side blinking after the opening six penalties.
Nani kept his composure to give Fabianski no chance before Blaszczykowski saw Patricio push his low effort away.
That left it down to Quaresma to send Portugal into the last four and he duly delivered by hitting his effort straight down the middle.
POLAND: Fabianski, Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk, Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski (Jodlowiec 97), Grosicki (Kapustka 81), Milik, Lewandowski. Subs not used: Szczesny, Cionek, Linetty, Stepinski, Wawrzyniak, Peszko, Salamon, Zielinski, Starzynski, Boruc.
PORTUGAL: Rui Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Eliseu, William Carvalho (Danilo Pereira 96), Joao Mario (Quaresma 80), Renato Sanches, Adrien Silva (Joao Moutinho 73), Nani, Ronaldo. Subs not used: Lopes, Bruno Alves, Carvalho, Eder, Vieirinha, Rafa, Eduardo.