MATCH REPORT AND PLAYER RATINGS: QUARTER-FINAL 1
|R. Lewandowski 2’||
Renato Sanches 33’
Portugal won 5-3 on penalties
Poland faced Portugal in the first quarter-final of Euro 2016 as both sides locked horns for a place in the semi finals. It was the Poles who got the first goal after Robert Lewandowski finished off a beautiful cross from the left wing in the second minute. However, Portugal responded in another beautiful goal of their own as Renato Sanches finished off an exquisite one-two play with Nani in the 33rd minute to level the scores. After extra time, only penalties could separate the two sides as Ricardo Quaresma was the hero once again. The Portugal striker sealed the last penalty after Patricio saved Blaszczykowski’s penalty.
Above: 18-year-old sensation Renato Sanches blasts the ball through the Polish defence and into the back of the net.
Lukasz Fabianski – 3/5
Couldn’t do much about Sanches’ strike, which was deflected. Can’t blame him on any of the perfect taken penalties.
Michal Pazdan – 2/5
Was slippy in defence unlike his usual self. Kept slipping allowing his team to be under constant pressure.
Artur Jedrzejczyk – 3/5
Strong up and down the left Poland flank. Should be proud of his efforts throughout the tournament.
K. Gilik – 3/5
Composed display from the Pole. Made sure the Portugese were limited in their attack. Slotted the penalty in the shootout.
Lukasz Pisczek – 3.5/5
Very strong display from the Dortmund player. Never stopped running and tired Portugal throughout the match.
Jakub Blaszczykowski – 1.5/5
Disappointing performance. Could never ignite the Polish attack like his last game. Had his penalty saved to cap off a lacklustre display.
Grzegorz Krychowiak – 3.5/5
Unlucky to deflect Sanches’ shot into his own net but had an amazing work rate. No surprise by his consistent effort to keep possession.
Krzysztof Maczynski – 3/5
Dominant and giving Portugal no chance to rest in the match. Solid presence.
Arkadiusz Milik – 2.5/5
Tried to find the back of the net with some blasting shots. Could not test the goalkeeper like he wanted.
Kamil Grosicki – 3/5
Tried to get past the Portugal defense countless times following his assist for the opener. Replaced after 82 minutes.
Robert Lewandowski – 3.5/5
Caused all sorts of trouble for Portugal after side-footing his shot in the second minute. Led his side by example tonight.
Tomasz Jodlowiec (Substitute) – 2.5/5
Brought on and provided insurance for his side.
Bartosz Kapustka (Substitute) – 2.5/5
Tired the Portugese down the flank but was relatively quiet.
Rui Patricio – 3.5/5
Like Fabianski, had no chance with conceding the opening goal. However, he upstaged the Polish keeper with a fine save in the shootout.
Jose Fonte – 3/5
Strong in possession and made a robust presence within the Portugal backline throughout the match.
Pepe – 4/5
Did everything that was asked of him. Made a number of crucial blocks and frustrated the Polish attack with his challenges.
Eliseu – 2.5/5
The effort was there but did not translate to the performance he would’ve wanted. Couldn’t go forward but did a mediocre job in the back.
Cedric Soares – 2.5/5
Sloppy possession allowed the Polish opener. However grew into a more calm and composed performance as the game grew on.
Joao Mario – 3/5
Created space for the Portugal attack off the ball. Made some solid sprints. Subbed off in the 80th minute to a roaring ovation.
Nani – 3.5/5
Completed a beautiful one-two touch pass to Sanches for the equaliser. Slotted home the penalty in the shootout with composure.
Adrien Silva – 2.5/5
Could never produce the spark that Portugal needed. Subbed off after 74 minutes.
William Carvalho – 2.5/5
Was defensively sound however seemed to tire as the game grew on. Booked for a silly pull-back only to miss the next match.
Renato Sanches – 4/5
The 18-year-old proved why Bayern signed him. Wreaked havoc for the Polish defence and blasted the equaliser. Rocketed his penalty into the back of the net.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 1.5/5
A player of his calibre was dreadful tonight. Everything went wrong for him in front of goal. Missed a number of glorious chances that should’ve put his side ahead by a number of goals. Frustrating display.
Joao Moutinho (Substitute) – 3/5
Tried to find the spark but was often let down by his teammates.
Danilo Pereira (Substitute) – 3/5
Replaced William and did his job well.
It was a very tight match. Both teams produced both disappointing and fine displays. Poland should be very proud of their efforts throughout the tournament. Entering as one of the smaller teams, they proved many critics wrong by beating some strong teams such as Switzerland and keeping a goalless draw against world champions Germany. With a team that has produced some fine players such as Lewandowski, Blaszczykowski and Piszczek, their future looks bright and are more than capable of sealing a spot in the 2018 World Cup.
Above: Lewandowski celebrates after scoring a crucial 2nd minute opener.
Whilst Portugal must be congratulated on sealing a spot in the semi-finals, their performances have been rather disappointing. Many would expect them to have brushed past their opponents and they have not done so. Portugal have not won a single match in 90 minutes and that is a major problem that needs to be addressed within the team. After today’s lacklustre act, they must regroup and focus because if they continue this way, I do not see them getting past either Wales or Belgium.
Above: Cristiano Ronaldo must improve after failing to meet expectations so far this tournament.
What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know by commenting below.
– Written by Peter Hoang