Portugal outlasts Poland in penalty shootout to reach Euro semifinals

Portugal outlasts Poland in penalty shootout to reach Euro semifinals

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Portugal outlasts Poland in penalty shootout to reach Euro semifinals

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Both sides came into Thursday afternoon’s clash undefeated at this summer’s Euro 2016, but it took an additional half hour and penalty kicks to finally separate the quarterfinalists.

Ricardo Quaresma’s final penalty kick sent Portugal through to the next round after defeating Poland, 1-1 (5-3 on penalty kicks). Portugal will face either Belgium or Wales in the semifinals on July 6th in Lyon.

After neither side missed through the opening seven shots in the penalty shootout, Portuguese keeper Rui Patricio came up with a massive save on Jakub Blaszczykowski, before Quaresma ended the match moments later.

Euro 2016 hadn’t been the tournament Robert Lewandowski had been hoping for, despite Poland’s strong run, but he made his impact known early on against Portugal.

The Bayern Munich striker netted after just two minutes, giving Poland’s star his first finish of the tournament. Lewandowski scored the second-fastest goal ever at the European Championships after latching onto Kamil Grosicki’s cross.

Portugal responded just after the hour mark, though, when Renato Sanches equalized in the 33rd minute. The 18-year-old attacker worked a clever one-two combination with Nani inside the penalty area before unleashing a strong left-footed effort that gave Lukasz Fabianski no chance.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Rui Patricio made four huge saves on the night during regulation, but his fifth came at the most critical juncture, stopping Jakub Blaszczykowski in the penalty shootout.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

The way the first seven penalties were taken, it seemed like the shootout would last all night, but Rui Patricio’s save provided Portugal with a cushion, before Ricardo Quaresma’s winner.

MATCH TO FORGET

Jakub Blaszczykowski didn’t have the impact he would have liked on the afternoon, and his penalty-kick miss proved to be Poland’s undoing in the quarterfinals.

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