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Portugal defeats Poland in penalty kicks to reach EURO 2016 semifinal
0:48 | Planet Futbol
Portugal defeats Poland in penalty kicks to reach EURO 2016 semifinal
SI Staff
Thursday June 30th, 2016

Portugal has returned to the European Championship semifinals after beating Poland on penalty kicks, 5-3, following a 1-1 draw.

Jakub Blaszczykowski had his penalty kick saved by Rui Patricio, and Ricardo Quaresma stepped up to hit the clincher, as Portugal goes through and will face either Belgium or Wales in the semifinals. Portugal was ousted in penalties in 2012, losing to Spain in the semifinal round, but turned its PK fortune around by hitting on all five of its kicks. Cristiano Ronaldo, chastised for not kicking in that 2012 round (he was set to kick fifth), took Portugal's first effort, and his quest for first major title with his country continues.

A Bayern Munich pair accounted for the scoring in regulation, as Robert Lewandowski and Renato Sanches scored in the first half. 

Lewandowski opened the scoring with the second-earliest goal in European Championship history, firing home after Kamil Grosicki crossed from the left to the center of the box. It was Lewandowski's first goal in 644 minutes of Euro play, dating back to the 2012 competition:

Lewandowski's soon-to-be Bayern Munich teammate leveled it up for Portugal in the 33rd minute with a screamer. The 18-year-old received a back-heel pass from Nani and rifled a left-footed blast from the edge of the box inside the near post to make it 1-1 with his first goal on the senior international level. In doing so, he became the third-youngest goal scorer in European Championship history. He also became the youngest to score in a Euro knockout match, taking that mark from Ronaldo, who was 19 when he scored in the semifinals in 2004:

The second half was a bit more cagey with teams less open to taking risks. Ronaldo had a half-chance set up by Nani, but his attempt from a tight left-sided angle went into the side netting:

Arkadiusz Milik came close to putting Poland back in front with about 20 minutes to go, but his redirect from close range was saved by Rui Patricio:

Ronaldo had a great chance to net the go-ahead goal in the 86th minute, receiving a pass over the top and having a clear look from about eight yards out. It would've been spectacular had it come off, but he completely whiffed when swinging his leg to meet the ball, flubbing the opportunity:

A pitch invader momentarily halted play in extra time, making a bee line for Ronaldo in the 110th minute, marking the second pitch invader incident in a Portugal match this competition. Ronaldo dodged it expertly, before security tackled the fan.

 

Poland had won on penalties in the round of 16, ousting Switzerland to reach Thursday's match.

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