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Poland vs Portugal a few quick thoughts

  • Portugal progress to the Semi Finals of Euro 2016 but once again they fail to excite
  • Their performances are asking the old age question. Would you rather win ugly or lose in style
  • It seems in Euro 2016 Portugal are opting for the former
  • They are yet to win a tournament game in 90 minutes but the longer they keep scraping through the more chances they have of winning the whole competition
  • For Poland the lottery of penalties was not to be a fortuitous one
  • After beating Switzerland last Saturday in the Round of 16 thanks to spot kicks they didn’t have the same luck last night
  • But it started perfectly for Poland
  • Talisman Robert Lewandowski finally opening his tournament account as he rifled his effort past Rui Patricio
  • It came after good work on the left hand side and an inch perfect cross for the Bayern Munich forward to get on the end of
  • If late goals were the theme in the group stages it seems as if early ones are the theme in the knockouts
  • But Poland’s goal would have had many people spouting the cliche ‘had they scored too Early’s
  • Cristiano Ronaldo drew his fourth blank of the tournament and had a decent penalty shout waved away in the first half
  • But Portugal would be level just after the half hour
  • It was to be Lewandowski’s new Bayern teammate Renato Sanches who hit a fantastic effort from the edge of the area
  • His strike flew past Lukasz Fabianski and we were level at one a piece
  • The pace of the first half was going to be difficult to keep up and you could see the drop off in energy levels after the break
  • The longer the game went on both sides were prepared to play for extra time
  • That then turned into preparations for penalties with neither team able or even willing to break the deadlock
  • So once again the game was left to be decided by a penalty shootout
  • The first 7 kicks were all expertly taken
  • Then it was time for Jakub Blaszczykowski to step up
  • He saw his effort palmed away by Rui Patricio
  • Portugal were one spot kicks away from the Demi’s
  • It was left to the quarter final hero Ricardo Quaresma to step up
  • After a stuttering run he duly obliged and hammered his kick past Fabianski to put Portugal into the semi finals where they will meet either Wales or Belgium
  • Agony for Poland but it has been a relatively successful tournament for them
  • Portugal now will be keeping a keen eye on tonight’s result
  • Will two lots of extra time finally catch up with them in the next game or will they edge past another nation on the way to what seemed an unlikely final
  • Can Cristiano Ronaldo finally lay the ghost of Euro 2004
  • We will find out in the next week or so

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