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Blaszczykowski misses, Portugal make it to semis

 Abreshmina S Quadri |  2016-07-02 01:16:49.0  |  New Delhi

Blaszczykowski misses, Portugal make it to semis

This was the second time in a row that Quaresma net the all so important ball in after his goal against Croatia in the Round of 16.  Portugal has now made it to the semi-final of the European Championship without actually winning a single game within the span of 90 minutes.

It was a glorious day for the youngest cap of Portugal, Renato Sanches who scored his first ever senior international goal and that too with a thunderous strike. Despite being the youngest player of the side, he took a confident penalty kick giving his side an edge. 

Robert Lewandowski ended his goal drought with the second fastest goal in the history of the competition as he gave Poland the lead within two minutes of the game time from a low cross by Kamil Grosicki. 

Portugal thereby built good moves and but the Polish defence closed down very well disallowing Portugal much prenetration. Within a few minutes Nani snatched the possession from Lukasz Piszcek and set up Ronaldo whose shot went straight to the Polish keeper Lukasz Fabianski. 

At the half hour mark, Ronaldo appealed for a penalty when he was pushed down by Michal Pazdan but the referee put down their call. Just three minutes later, quick exchanges between Sanches and Nani where ticked a cheeky back pass towards Renato led to a stunning strike from the 18-year old and Portugal levelled the game. 

The game was Renato’s first start of the tournament and his goal, made him the youngest ever to score in Euro knockout stage. Subsequently, both Poland and Portugal made efforts at the goal but got no results. In the 55th minute, Nani played Ronaldo through in the box but his angled shot found only the side net. Nine minutes later, Cedric Soares took a wonderful long shot that went just over the goal. 

Post Portuguese pressure, Poland came close to taking the lead in the 69th minute when Milik’s touch to Jedrzejczyk’s cross at the near post was pushed away by Rui Patricio.

The Real Madrid star had the chance of winning the game for his country in the 85thminute when Moutinho beautiful lofted pass left him one on one with the keeper but he failed to connect with the ball. While the extra time was a drab affair with neither teams putting up many chances but early on Ronaldo wasted an opportunity when he could not control a pass into the box.

The penalty shootout saw Ronaldo, Sanches, Moutinho, Nani and Quaresma score for Portugal while Lewandowski, Milic and Glik netted in for Poland with former captain Blaszczykowski’s kick being the only one to be been stopped by Patricio.Portugal will next face the winner of Friday’s Belgium versus Wales at Stade de Lyon on July 7.

Del Bosque quits after Spain crash out of Euro 2016
Vicente del Bosque quit as Spain’s coach after the defending champions crashed out of Euro 2016, ending one of football’s most successful managerial dynasties. 
Del Bosque, 65, won a World Cup and a European Championship in a glorious era for Spanish football. He also won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid. 

His legacy was tainted by Spain’s disastrous first round exit at the 2014 World Cup and now their defeat in the last 16 at the European Championship. Some of the team’s greatest players are also expected to retire soon.

“Without a doubt, I have no intention to remain as coach, but you have to be discreet,” Del Bosque told Spanish public radio RNE late on Thursday. “No matter what the result of the Euros, I had no doubt about what my future would be. I have handled this issue discreetly. But it is a decision that was taken in advance.”

Del Bosque, who succeeded the late Luis Aragones after Spain’s triumph at Euro 2008, is a popular figure in Spain. 

Abreshmina S Quadri

Abreshmina S Quadri

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