The match ended up being decided (5-3) on penalties, but Portugal managed to defeat Poland in Marseille to reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals.
It was a test of nerves for the players as well as the spectators, as at the conclusion of standard time, and the added 30 minutes of extra-time, the game remained drawn at 1-1. Robert Lewandowski, top scorer of the tournament, struck early in the 2nd minute, to convert a cross from Kamil Grosicki, and give Poland an edge. It was recorded as the second fastest goal in the history of the Euro Cup. It took Renato Sanches, with a pass from Nani, 33 minutes to catch up and post an equalizer for Portugal.
Playing an aggressive game from the start, 18-year-old Sanches, overshadowing a rather subdued and disappointing Cristiano Ronaldo, acted as Portugal’s leading player, earning the man of the match honor. Sanches’ promising talent has been noticed, as he was recently signed by Bayern Munich.
Ronaldo scored the first penalty for Portugal, but he missed a golden opportunity in the 85th minute. The fireworks fans had been expecting from the superstar in this tournament have yet to be lit.
Both teams scored on the first three penalties. Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio stopped Poland’s fourth, leaving Portugal with a matchpoint. Extra-time specialist Ricardo Quaresema struck the winning goal, taking Portugal into the semis, but just by a hair.