Both sides struggled to find a decisive touch in the final third throughout regulation, but Ricardo Quaresma’s late winner sent Portugal to the quarterfinals after a tightly-contested match.
After reaching the knockout rounds for their sixth-straight European Championship, Portugal kept their ride going on Saturday, defeating Croatia, 1-0, in extra time. Quaresma headed home a close-range effort in the 117th minute, setting up a date with Poland in the quarterfinals on June 30.
Pepe came the closest for Portugal in the 25th minute. Following Raphael Guerreiro’s in-swinging cross, the Real Madrid centerback nodded the ball over the bar.
Croatia managed to consume the greater share of possession throughout the game, however, the Vatreni couldn’t find its way around the Portuguese backline.
The Croatians found the best chance of the match in the 62nd minute when Domagoj Vida connected with Darijo Srna’s cross, flashing his header just wide of the far post and goalkeeper Rui Patricio. Vida found another header opportunity in the 113th minute after Marcelo Brozovic’s corner kick picked out the defender.
The two teams failed to hit the target during the opening 90 minutes, while Portugal managed the only two shots on goal in extra time.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Ricardo Quaresma only entered the match at the of regulation, but the veteran Portuguese attacker got the biggest touch of the afternoon for his side.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
With no shots on goal throughout regulation, something had to give. Ricardo Quaresma’s header in the 117th minute sent Portugal through to meet Poland in the next round.
MATCH TO FORGET
Outside of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s late push forward, the Real Madrid attacker was quiet for the majority of the match, despite Portugal’s progression to the quarterfinals.
The better team lost, the golden generation of modric, perisic, rakitic, mandzukic, srna, etc missed a golden opportunity to get to the final from this side of the bracket.
Shocking decision from the Hrvatska coach to basically waste 110 minutes and try to outsmart the portugese instead of taking the game to them…cruel cruel game this is…