Poland v Portugal preview: Portuguese look for fourth semi-final out of five
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 01/07/16 6:44am
Portugal are looking to reach the last four of the European Championship for the fourth time in five tournaments as they face Poland in the first quarter-final in Marseille on Thursday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal reached the quarter-final after a gruelling last-16 clash with Croatia, where a 117th-minute Ricardo Quaresma goal saw them through.
The Stade Velodrome crowd will see Real Madrid forward Ronaldo up against Poland and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, with the pair hitting a combined 93 goals in the 2015/16 season for their clubs.
Poland, who have reached the last eight of a major tournament for the first time since the World Cup in 1982, beat Switzerland on penalties in the last 16.
The winners will face a semi-final clash against either Wales or Belgium, who clash in Lille on Friday night.
Lukasz Fabianski is set to continue in between the sticks for Poland as Wojciech Szczesny still struggles with a thigh injury.
Portugal have been boosted by the return of Andre Gomes and Raphael Guerreiro to training ahead. The two players joined the main group in the morning session on Wednesday after sitting out two days of practice.
Defender Guerreiro and midfielder Gomes started Portugal’s 1-0 extra-time triumph over Croatia in the last 16 but sustained minor muscular problems.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos is expected to have all his players available to face Poland on Thursday.
This will be Poland and Portugal’s third encounter at a major tournament, their first in the European Championships.
They have so far won one each: 1-0 to Poland at the 1986 World Cup and 4-0 to Portugal at the 2002 World Cup.
Poland are unbeaten in their last three head-to-heads with Portugal (W1 D2).
Poland have made it to the quarter-finals of the European Championship for the first time in their history. The only previous time they reached the semis of a major tournament was in the 1982 World Cup.
Poland have never scored more than one goal in a single game at the European Championship (10 games). Actually, none of their 10 games in the competition has produced more than two goals (scored + conceded).
Poland are in fact the lowest scoring side among those to have made it to the quarter-finals (3 goals in 4 games).
Poland have yet to trail at any point in a game at this year’s European Championships. They’ve only conceded one goal so far in four games.
Portugal have played the most games in the history of the European Championships without ever winning the tournament: 32 games, 0 trophy.
I can’t believe Poland are as much as 3/1 to win this football match because this is a heads or tails game. Portugal have improved but at the same time Poland have made it this far and Lewandowski hasn’t turned up yet.
I like Portugal defensively, even though lots of people criticise that part of the team. They let in three goals against Hungary, but if you analyse them, two were deflected free-kicks and the other was a worldie. All three were from outside the penalty area and it’s hard to knock defenders when that happens.
Still, I fancy Lewandowski to come to the party and Poland win narrowly.
Portugal are Sky Bet’s 6/5 favourites for the victory with Poland up against odds of 14/5 while the draw and extra-time is priced at 2/1. The Portuguese have come in to 13/2 fifth favourites after defying the odds to beat Croatia, while their next opponents follow at 18/1 in the outright betting.
Ronaldo, who is the 6/1 joint second favourite for the Golden Boot, heads the first goalscorer betting at 11/4, followed by Lewandowski at 5/1. The Soccer Saturday pundits and Jamie Redknapp have provided their predictions, including Phil Thompson’s 50/1 fancy for Lewandowski to score first in a 2-1 victory.
What time is Poland vs Portugal? TV channel information ahead of first Euro 2016 quarter-final
It’s Cristiano Ronaldo vs Robert Lewandowski for a place in the last four and a meeting with either Wales or Belgium
- 22:33, 30 JUN 2016
- Updated 22:34, 30 JUN 2016
It’s Poland vs Portugal . It’s Robert Lewandowski vs Cristiano Ronaldo. And it’s a big one.
A place in the final four of Euro 2016 is on the line when the two go toe to toe in Marseille.
Poland impressed in following Germany out of Group C, not conceding a single goal before seeing off Switzerland in penalties thanks to Granit Xhaka ‘s miss.
Portugal limped their own way out of Group F but produced when it mattered to knock out Croatia in the last-16, Ricardo Quaresma with the last-gasp winner.
They’ll go head to head tonight for a place in the semi-finals and keep their dreams of a first tournament win alive.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the first of the quarter finals.
When is the match and where can I see it?
The game gets underway at 8pm (UK time), with ITV starting live coverage at 7.15pm.
Mirror Football will have a LIVE blog running so you can follow the match if you’re unable to access a TV.
In pictures: Croatia 0-1 Portugal
Poland: Keeper Wojciech Szczesny has returned to training after missing Poland’s last three games through injury, but Swansea stopper Lukasz Fabianski is set to continue in goal after impressing whilst deputising for Szczesny.
Boss Adam Nawalka has no other injury worries ahead of the quarter final showdown.
Portugal: Fernando Santos made four changes for his side’s last sixteen win over Croatia including three at the back, and a much improved defensive display means that Raphael Guerreiro plus Southampton duo Jose Fonte and Cedric Soares are likely to keep their places in the side.
Ricardo Quaresma will hope his late winner against Croatia will give him a starting berth, while Renato Sanches also impressed coming off the bench and could make a first start of te tournament.
Poland (4-4-2): Fabianski; Piszczek, Glik, Pazdan, Jedrzejczyk; Blaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Maczynski, Grosicki; Milik, Lewandowski.
Portugal (4-4-2): Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; Mario, Sanches, William, Gomes; Nani, Ronaldo.
Reasons for Poland fans to be optimistic
- The only goal Poland have conceded in the tournament so far is Xherdan Shaqiri’s spectacular scissor kick, making their defence one of the best in the business.
- Robert Lewandowski may not have hit the back of the net in France yet, but he’s one of the world’s top strikers and is certain to break his duck sooner rather than later.
- Scoring five penalties from five attempts in the shootout win over Switzerland showed Poland are more than capable of holding their nerve if the match is decided by spot kicks.
Reasons for Portugal fans to be optimistic
- With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma, Portugal have a wealth of players who can produce the spectacular which could prove crucial if the game is a tight affair.
- This is the first time Poland have reached the quarter finals of the Euros, meaning Portugal have a lot more experience of being at this stage of the tournament.
- They have one of Europe’s hottest prospects in their ranks, as Bayern Munich could end up paying £63 million for 18-year-old midfielder Renato Sanches after signing him from Benfica last month.
Last 5 meetings
- Poland 0-0 Portugal (Friendly, 2012)
- Portugal 2-2 Poland (Euro 2008 qualifying, 2007)
- Poland 2-1 Portugal (Euro 2008 qualifying, 2006)
- Portugal 4-0 Poland (World Cup, 2002)
- Poland 1-0 Portugal (World Cup, 1986)
In pictures: Switzerland 1-1 Poland (4-5 pens)
Poland – last 5 games
- Switzerland 1-1 Poland (4-5 on pens) (Euro 2016)
- Ukraine 0-1 Poland (Euro 2016)
- Germany 0-0 Poland (Euro 2016)
- Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland (Euro 2016)
- Poland 0-0 Lithuania (Friendly)
Portugal – last 5 games
- Croatia 0-1 Portugal (Euro 2016)
- Hungary 3-3 Portugal (Euro 2016)
- Portugal 0-0 Austria (Euro 2016)
- Portugal 1-1 Iceland (Euro 2016)
- Portugal 7-0 Estonia (Friendly)
Poland’s key man
Lewandowski may have been the man getting all the headlines during the regular season with Bayern Munich, but his Bundesliga counterpart Lukasz Piszczek has had an outstanding tournament at right back and will be crucial in helping to keep the Portugese frontline quiet.
He’s made over 200 appearances for Borussia Dortmund since joining them six years ago, and it’s not been hard to see why with his performances in these championships.
As well as being defensively sound the 31-year-old is a threat going forward, and combines well with club team-mate Jakub Blaszczykowski down the right.
Portugal’s key man
Since leaving Manchester United last summer Nani has become a much more consistent performer, and has arguably outshone Cristiano Ronaldo in these championships so far.
Two goals in the group proved crucial as Portugal scraped through to the last sixteen in third place, and against one of the most stingy defences in the competition they’ll need the Fenerbahce man to conjure some more magic if they’re to progress to the last four.
Odds collected from Unibet
Poland keeper Lukasz Fabianski: “It is our defensive record which has helped us get this far and we have taken a lot of pride from not conceding goals.
“Wojciech (Szczesny) started the tournament and I had to work hard and be prepared for anything and since he has been injured I am just trying to do my best.”
Portugal winger Nani: “The game does not have a favourite, we know that Poland is a very strong team with experienced players.
“The group is excellent, young, all demonstrating team spirit and we have all the conditions to go as far as possible.
“We have to be at our best, to go in with confidence to try and win the game.”
Poland vs Portugal – Highlights & Full Match
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The ‘1st half ENG’ and ‘2nd half ENG’ links are not working. Please let me know when this issue has been resolved. Thank you for all the hard work, by far my favorite footballing site
why do you even want to watch that match
I’m really happy portugal Won the Match
Why would you spoil the result you stupid cunt
Why would you read the comments before watching the video you ultra stupid cunt
Might I suggest to keep penalties in a separate tab? Otherwise, once you play it and look at the length, you know there’s gonna be penalties and extra time is not so interesting any more.
The ads don’t load and the video doesn’t continue, this sucks.
Yes. Playwire has destroyed the videos. Pls go back to ori player; ads can be put somewhere else.
there is a specific ad that block the match. also in other matches. in italy is the Illy one.
What a bunch of fucking loser comments and what kind off idiot gives away the score. this is the best football site thats out there.
To the makers of this site: keep up the good work, many many many thanks from New Zealand
Portugal are more dangerous now than ever. One may think they are not playing exciting football simply because CR7 is not running the show, but believe you me, this Portuguese side is the most formidable because it does not rely on individual skill. They are all playing as a team. An interesting thing is that CR7 seems to have realized the importance of playing as a team and that is why they are still in the contest today. I have a feeling that this Portugal team may pull a surprise and win the final. While CR7 may have had problems to score, his presence in the team has been the reason why they have reached this far and why I believe that they will take the trophy home to Lisbon. Opponents waste time closing space for CR7, leaving gap for others like Querisma, Sanchez and others to score. He has demonstrated maturity as captain as he has been encouraging his co to move forward. I must admit however, that it is hard to appreciate how CR7 has been in this tournament because many expect just too much from him. But we must always remember that this is international football and team work is more important than individual skill.
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Poland vs Portugal, Euro 2016 quarter-final live: Quaresma converts after Blaszczykowski’s spot-kick is saved to win on penalties
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Sam Wallace’s dispatch from Marseille
T here have been hundreds of games when Cristiano Ronaldo has performed better than he did in Marseille on Thursday night but the biggest star in the European game is going into the semi-finals of Euro 2016, and this time he can thank some of Portugal’s supporting cast.
I s the official man of the match and deservedly, too. He’s 18 years old but phenomenally mature and worth £30m easily in this market.
And on to the last four
P ortugal will play Wales or Belgium in the semi-final after winning on penalties. The first half was very good, the next 75 minutes pretty dull. Here’s Ricardo Quaresma, matchwinner for the second time in a week.
Praise the keeper
No team has ever won shoot-outs in successive games at a EURO.#POLPOR pic.twitter.com/8UtGmGgAtM
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
As you can see it was a terrific save.
Poor old Blaszczykowski
I t wasn’t a bad penalty, though he did the stutter run-up. But Rui Patricio held his nerve, guessed correctly and pushhed it away diving to his left.
Here is the penalty map
Quaresma to win it for Portugal
S cores. Portugal are through. High to the keeper’s left.
Portugal 4-3 Poland
Nani is the next man up
P ortugal 4-3 PolandStop-start run and a nonchalant chip high into the top right corner.
Here comes Kamil Glik
P ortugal 3-3 PolandBelts it in by the left post. Six wonderful pens so far.
Joao Moutinho volunteers
P ortugal 3-2 PolandSends the keeper the wrong way and rolls it to the left.
Milik walks up
P ortugal 2-2 PolandDrilled in near the left post.
Renato Sanches steps up
P ortugal 2-1 PolandSmashes it high into the left top corner.
Lewandowski up next
P ortugal 1-1 Poland
Rolls it to the keeper’s right after his shimmy sends him the wrong way.
Portugal 1-0 Poland
S cores low to the left.
Ronaldo will take the first one
A nd walks up holding the ball.
So penalties it is
F or the second time in a week for Poland.
In 16 EURO penalty shootouts, the team taking first has won on 6 occasions (38%). #EURO2016
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
A nd on to penalties. Not for the first time for Portugal in a Euro quarter-final. Remember 12 years ago?
K aputska has a snaps hot on the left 20 yards out but hits Pepe who positions himself superbly. It rebounds out and smashed over the bar by Piszczek. That’s your lot.
C ross from the right,a long diagonal from Piszczek that bisects thev darts to either post made by Milik and Lewandowski but was met perfectly by Pepe and headed clear.
N ice chest down from Kapustak takes him down the left to cross to . no one.
D anilo has the ball on the left. Urgency gone. A hopeful chip crossfield tries to find Quaresma but bounces out of play.
E liseu has put in about five fizzing crosses that deserved better. I can now confirm that the pitch invader was naked from the waist down. Filthy swine, as Bloodnok would say.
W e’re off again. And Nani wins the ball off Kapustka, accelerates across field then spins a pass down the outside-left channel for Ronaldo. He gathers by the touchline, hares off towards the box, lays it off to Renato Sanches who curls it back out to Eliseu on the overlap. The left-back centres deep and Nani cannot reach it. Pazdan backheads it out for a corner that comes to naught.
P lays stops while a pitch invader makes straight for Ronaldo and misses him by a metre. He seems not to be wearing trousers but given the TV does not show replays, to dilute the chances of fame, I cannot immediately conform whether he was, ahem, tackle out or merely short-panted.
M ilik to take a la Harry Kane and he plays it to the edge of the box where Krychowiak tries to scoop a chip into the box but hits Fonte and Portugal push them back upfield.
P oland corner after Pepe’s interception goes out.
B laszczykowski begins the half by leaning back after the ball was played through to him on the left and sending the ball to meet Chris Waddle’s 1990 penalty somewhere over the Alps.
T he first half of extra-time peters out. Penalties ahoy!
N ani drives a shot from 25 yards with his left foot straight down Fabianski’s throat just after a vicious ball through the box from Lewandowski just eludes Milik having given Rui Patricio the screaming ab dabs because of its angle as it came across him. One touch from a defender or forward and it would have almost ecratinly gone in.
L eft-foot shot from Milik at the edge of the D, side-footed and planted over the bar. It comes a minute after Quaresma had a dig and Ronaldo gave him a telling-off for not passing. Not for the first time. The ball rebounds to Nani who is no head tennis grand slam contender and eyebrows it at Fabianski.
P oland make another change: Jodlowiec on for Maczynski.
P ortugal substitution: William Carvalho for Danilo once of Maritimo, now of Porto. Poland look jiggered. Whoever gets through this you wouldn’t really fancy in the semis.
B laszczykowski, Ktychowiak and Milik work a triangle on the right with the holding midfielder driving forward to feed Milik who cannot hook his foot round to shoot past Rui Patricio.
H ere we go after that turgid second half. Renato Sanches holds the ball up on the left then plays it through to Eliseu on the overlap. He accepts the threaded pass and knocks in a lovely, searing cross that dips after it clears Glik at the near post and bounces under Ronaldo’s foot and catches the sole as he was surprised to be given a shooting opportunity. The ball squirts behind him off his studs.
W e’re going to have 30 minutes more to decide this.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
T he last minute of added time begins with Carvalho going into the book for dragging back Lewandowski. He too would miss the semi-. Poland free-kick 45 yards out that sails straight into Rui Patricio’s arms off Glik. That’s full time.
M aczynski is caught 10 yards into the Portugal half and Nani springs forward, working the ball out to theright before shifting it over through Carvalho to Eliseu who hist the first defender with his cross.
Q auresma takes the free-kick from 40 yards, standing it up towards the penalty spot and Pepe’s run but the referee blows for a foul.
L ong delay while Joao Moutinho has some ice applied to his head after being caught by Milik’s arm.
T he chipped pass over the top came from Joao Moutinho. Magnificent. Now he’s on the floor, rolling around after Milik’s aerial challenge. Kapustka is booked for stepping on Nani’s foot earlier in the move.
R onaldo misses a chance very similar to the one he fluffed against Iceland with a long diagonal that drops over his shoulder to meet his brilliantly clever run. As the ball dipped over his shoulder he air-kicked for the second time in the match. Difficult chance by normal standards. But not for one of his sublime talent.
Q uaresma turns Kapustka down the Portugal right then rolls the ball back into Cedric’s run. The right-back loops a cross to the far post that poses no danger to Fabianksi.
P oland make their first change. Kapustka on for Grosicki, punished for sending his last shot into orbit.
B limey! Renato Sanches cuts back on the left, works the ball over to Pepe lengthening his stride through the inside-right channel. The centre-half spears a low pass to the left of Pazdan towards Ronaldo’s run. Fabianksi, fearing the worst, comes out to narrow the angle but Jedrzejczyk slides in to intrecept and diverts the ball merely inches past the far post.
R icardo Quaresma comes on for Joao Mario.
F onte just misses out on a chance with a header. We expect Portugal to come on strong as they have done late on during each of their games.
E xcellent tackle from Blaszczykowski nicks the ball off Nani and sets off on another counter. It certainly served to spoil a decent Portugal chance. which would have been good enough but it also, via Piszczek, set up Grosicki to go raiding towards the box and welly a shot miles over the bar.
A ctually it was Adrien Silva who was booked, not Fonte whose flailing arm was not seen by the referee. Adrien was yellow carded for a lunge on Piszczek. And was substituted for Joao Moutinho shortly afterwards.
H ere is Poland’s shot map
Y ellow card for Fonte for throwing his arm out when battling for the ball with Lewandowski and smacking the centre-forward flush in the mooey.
T wice in a minute Poland fashion chances from the left, the first after fine work from Grosicki sends Milik clear but he fluffs the cut-back to Lewndowski who had stolen ahead of Pepe. Then Jedrzejczyk clips a near-post cross that Milik tries to Zola-flick past Rui Patricio from a very tight angle but cannot divert it past the keeper.
Lewandowski who has not had as many touches this half as Milik is thwarted when he pulls out to the right to pick up Piszczek’s pass. Fonte tracks him all the way and tackles him forcefully.
EURO’s youngest scorers
18yrs 141 days: Vonlanthen
18yrs 237 days: Rooney
18yrs 317 days: Renato Sanches#EURO2016 pic.twitter.com/M4L4TEEu4A
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
R onaldo continues to berate himself for a while when Pepe first dispossesses Krychowiak but snaps out of it with a sumptuous Cruyff turn that sends the ball Cedric’s way. The right back bends a shot from right to left with his laces from 30 yards that curls away from the far post at the last minute.
B ig chance for Ronaldo after patient build-up from Portugal down the left by Joao Mario and Eliseu. The pass finds Nani free down the left-hand side of the box and he cuts it back to Ronaldo 10 yards out. Joao Mario continues his run into the box and may have put Ronaldo off but that would be a generous reading of Ronaldo’s miskick that allows the ball to cannon off his shin. Adrien Silva at the edge of the box smashes his shot into Maczynski.
S hot from Eliseu, a description that may have been more apt if we substitute a vowel. He’s 30 yards out and simply balloons a left-footer, floating it one bounce into Fabianksi’s arms.
P oland are playing softly, softly catchee monkey to draw Portugal out, hence the possession switch on the graph.
R onaldo free on the left, bounds down the left horiozontal whitewash of the box as of old then spoons a left-foot shot into the side netting
P azdan strings the ball across the back four over to Piszczek who eventually, calmly, plays it up to Krychowiak in the centre-circle who tries to spring the offisde trap but mistimes it.
R enato Sanches twists Jedrzejczyk’s plasma as he turns him twice down the Portuagl right then rolls back a pass to Cedric who stands up a cross from the edge of the box to meet Ronaldo’s near-post run but it goes over his head. Seconds later he has a second bite from Adrien Silva’s cross but gets too close to Fabianski and barges into him.
Can imagine Anderson sat at home with a barrel of fried chicken watching Renato Sanches thinking, “I used to able to do that. ” #POLPOR
— Patrick O’Brien (@NorwoodTrash) June 30, 2016
P iszczek is not deterred and attacks on his own up the right twice in 30 seconds, first time pulling back the cross that Portugal scramble clear then booming one on the run from the touchline that loops over Fonte and reaches Lewandowski shortly after the bounce with Pepe in close pursuit. He had neither the time nor space to fashion a finish from 10 yards. Good work by Pepe.
B laszczykowski goes up the right, shifts the ball inside with a deft pass but Renato Sanches whisks it away from Milik. Krychowiak wins it back and passes it out to Piszczek who looks for his former BVB team-mate Blaszczykowski but the old right-wing telepathy is absent tonight and the ball goes out as a run is misread.
W e’re off again, both sides unchanged. Cedric chips a ball up the right with too much force and it skims off the slick turf through to Fabianski.
Here’s Portugal’s goal
I n glorious animation form:
D ecent match so far and Poland’s desire to make Portugal take the initiative and mug them on the counter-attack was perfectly poised after Lewandowski’s rapid-fire opener but Portugal took it to them, hazarded danger they would expose themselves to at the back and struck back.
G rosicki chases up the left, hareing after a low diagonal from Pisczcek but the ball skips away from him and out of play. When Rui Patricio takes the goalkick the referee calls time on the half.
B laszczykowski makes inroads up the right and shifts the ball inside to Krychowiak who works it out for Jedrzejczyk’s run beyond Cedric on the left. Renato Sanches loses his man and Maczynski is free in the box but the cross does not find him.
J edrzejczyk goes into the book for a churlish tug on Williams Carvalho that will rule him out of the semi-final should Poland make it through.
P ortugal move it up the left with Ronaldo stepping over the ball and angrily chopping it with his left foot back to Eliseu when Piszczek fronts him up. Adrine Silva takes it one, plays it back to the left-back who stands up a cross towards the penalty spot where Ronaldo is beaten by Glik.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
D ifficult chances for Poland, first from Milik and then from a free-kick but Lewandowski’s shove on Pepe, which he made the usual banquet of, persuaded the referee to blow for a foul.
P oland 1-1 Portugal (Renato Sanches) And what a strike it was, cutting in from the right after a lovely return pass from Nani following a daring run from centre to the left, he absolutely smashed a left-foot shot that hid Kruchowiak and deflected past Fabianksi who was helpless.
C edric on the overlap and by the right touchline arcs in a cross towards the back post that Glik clears because Ronaldo was caught in two minds about which post to attack.
P ortugal have a good shout for a penalty when Ronaldo goes up for a header in the box and is bundled over with a hand in the back by Pazdan. The referee turns down the prostrate Ronaldo’s pleas. Harshly, I think.
D iligent work from Nani pressures Krychowiak and Maczynski to win the ball and flood into the space between the two midfield pivots and the Polish back four. He spears a pass to Ronaldo who takes the shot on but finds neither the accuracy nor the precision.
H ere’s another shot of the goal as the game takes some respite with plenty of midfield Grand Old Duke of Yorking – marching up to the top of the hill and down again.
S ubtle move from the corner frees Blaszczykowski to play Grosicki in round the back via a pass from Jedrzejczyk on the left of the box and he scuffs his centre low through the area but should have shot. He was let down by a heavy first touch and Portugal clear.
J edrzejczyk takes a throw from the left but Cedric wins the header and forces Poland to retreat and knock the ball back to Fabianksi. Quick release frees Milik to run at goal from 30 yards and he pings a left-foot shot from the D that Pepe lunges and blocks out for a corner.
T he goal has encouraged Portugal to play on the front foot but also to play into Poland’s hands because now they eschew possession for counterpunches.
P oland pounce on the rebound and pile forward with plenty of support. When Krychowiak threads a pass through to Lewandowski he takes it into the box, shimmies to the right to make Pepe slip but by doing so narrows the angle. He shoots all the same, low and firm, but straight at Rui Patricio who drops to his knees to gather it.
F rom the goalkick Ronaldo wins a free-kick 40 yards out when bundled over and marks out his run in familiar style. The short steps at the beginning lengthen out until he scuds a low shot straight into the wall.
K rychowiak works the ball up to Milik then peels off down the right, screaming for the return but the Ajax centre-forward whacks a shot from 25 yards and slices it wide.
B laszczykowski makes the clearance and as Poland clear their lines Adrien Silva tries to spring the offside trap but his hesitation means the back four were out in time.
P oland pass the ball about the back four from side to side to try and lure Portugal to overcommit to steal it back but they won’t be drawn in so when Poland finally relent and knock it forward and lose the second ball, Portugal break at pace. With Cedric on the overlap and heading for the box, Joao Mario overhits his feed and Portugal have to settle for a corner.
P ortugal begin to pass the ball around with more confidence, using their full-backs, Cedric and Elsieu to push high up the pitch but so far Poland have been able to soak up the pressure of this mini-revival. Fernando Santos is on the touchline urging his men forward.
A nd he gets a second bite after a poor clearnce from Pazdan but Blaszczykowski bounds into the press and stops Portugal’s momentum.
N ani is picked off by Lewandowski in the Portugal half and again Portugal have to concede a throw-in to stymie a Poland attack. But they defend it well and work it forward through Renato Sanches.
H ere’s the goal that shows Lewandowski’s expert positioning and finish:
P oland 1-0 Portugal (Lewandowski)A mistake from the Southampton right-back Cedric is pounced on by Grosicki who advances down the left and whips in a cross to Lewandowski who buries a crisp right-foot shot from 15 yards. Lovely finish.
W e’re off and within 10 seconds Portugal win a throw-in on the right, followed by another as they work it forward. Renato Sanches turns back and plays it towards the centre-circle where Maczynski steps in and knocks the ball up for Grosicki but Cedric tackles him.
W ere sung with gusto. Not quite the ‘full Dallaglio’, but plenty of unselfconscious commitment.
After the national anthems
U efa informs us:
“The two teams and spectators will participate in a moment of applause in memory of the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Istanbul and other attacks which have occurred during the tournament.”
We have some late correspondence
F rom John McEnerney
Two of the best strikers in the world on show tonight both carry the hopes of their nations on their shoulders close to 100 goals between them in the domestic season so we should have a goal feast, yeah right. Portugal against Croatia no shots at all until minute 112 what was all that about. Penalties I think maybe 1-1 if we’re lucky CR7 & RL to score.
Lewandowski has to score tonight, hasn’t he? Seven games without a goal is Shearer 95-96-esque.
#POL have won both their previous games in Marseille – without conceding. #POLPOR #EURO2016 pic.twitter.com/ElO7teH247
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
#POR are unbeaten in 11 competitive games under Fernando Santos (W8, D3). #POLPOR #EURO2016 pic.twitter.com/x8t1n4JdeW
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) June 30, 2016
Giggs on Ronaldo
A machine, a special player. Obviously I was lucky enough to see him grow. He had a tough time, getting a bit of stick. We got hold of him in the dressing room told him not to dive and then one summer he came back a man, toughened up. He is the ultimate professional.
The warm-up continue
A nd Himself runs through his repertoire:
He’s scored eight goals in 18 Euro finals matches, one behind Michel Platini.
A nd here’s JJ Bull on how Portugal will play:
A prediction? Here’s our Jeremy Wilson
Ryan Giggs wins punditry
B y beginning in punchy fashion: Slams ‘washbag’ culture of English players, some of whom want to be famous as much as they want to be any good. He moves on to make prescient points about England players not playing for age-level teams. And concludes with a kicking for ‘too much too young’ culture.
A Poland fan
A ppropriates a Croatia theme:
Look who’s here
R yan Giggs is on the ITV panel but on condition that he will not speak about his future with Manchester United. So we begin with an England post mortem instead.
Meet the managers
Zbigniew Boniek, Poland’s greatest player and president of the FA, appointed his former national team midfield colleague Adam Nawalka to the job in 2013 after Waldemar Fornalik’s failure in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
N awalka had managed at Wisla Krakow and GKS Katowice and was at Gornik Zabrze when he was hired. After a torpid and alarming start in a friendly defeat by Slovakia, Nawalka moulded an industrious and formidably confident attacking side designed to serve Robert Lewandowski, a world-class centre-forward in the form of his life during qualification. They have managed so far to progress with Lewandowski labouring but surely will need him to fire tonight.
Lisbon-born Fernando Santos, who won the league with Porto in 1999 and took Greece to the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup, was appointed to succeed Paulo Bento for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. Santos, a right-back, ended his playing career at the age of 21, retrained as a telecoms engineer and returned to the game as coach of Estoril in 1987.
T he 61-year-old had his best spell in club football in Oporto then won the Greek Cup with AEK and was unlucky to be sacked by Benfica in 2007 on his return home.
Meet the teams, the old school way
P oland (4-4-2) Lukasz Fabianski; Lukasz Piszczek, Kamil Glik, Michal Pazdan, Artur Jedrzejczyk; Jakub Blaszczykowski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Krzysztof Maczynski, Kamil Grosicki; Arkadiusz Milik; Robert Lewandowski (capt).
Portugal (4-4-2) Rui Patricio; Cedric Soares, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Eliseu; Renato Sanches, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Joao Mario; Cristiano Ronaldo (capt), Nani.
Referee Felix Brych (GER).
Anyone been impressed with Nani playing through the middle?
And here are both sides
Portugal are the first to break cover with team news
R iddle me this. Tonight marks Portugal’s sixth successive European Championship quarter-final, which means since the tournament expanded to 16 teams for Euro 96, they have never failed to make the last eight. Even more remarkable that tonight will be the fifth consecutive European Championship that they have had the dubious honour of playing the first quarter-final and they have won three of them, defeating Turkey 2-0 in 2000, England on penalties in 2004 and revenge for 1996 over the Czech Republic in 2012. In 2008 Germany knocked them out 3-2 in Basel but nonetheless that is some record for a country that contrasts so sharply with our own lamentable struggles.
In Marseille the fans are warming up, as ever in that city it seems, with some hot flare action.
A nd this is Portugal:
Your pre-match guide
W hen is the match being played?
The first Euro 2016 quarter-final is TONIGHT – Thursday, June 30.
What time is kick off?
It’s a late one – 8pm BST.
Where is the game taking place?
The Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.
W here can I watch it?
It’s on ITV 1 from 7.15pm BST. Alternatively, you can watch highlights on BBC2 at 11.20pm. Or, you can follow ALL the live action right here when this very page becomes our match commentary from 7pm.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos will leave his final decision on team selection until the last possible minute because of injuries to at least two players.
Defender Raphael Guerreiro and midfielder Andre Gomes have not trained since Monday and on Wednesday were again not on the pitch with the rest of the squad.
How did they get here?
Poland scraped into the quarter-finals with a 5-4 victory over Switzerland in a penalty shoot-out, after their match had finished 1-1 after extra time. Portugal, on the other hand, saw off highly-fancied Croatia 1-0.
Poland – five players to watch
The star striker is making headlines for the wrong reasons in France. After scoring 13 times in qualification – more than any other player in the competition – Lewandowski is goalless at Euro 2016. The Bayern Munich striker has never stopped working and his runs have opened up space for teammates – coach Adam Nawalka has said he is doing “phenomenal work” in that role – but he will be keen to get off the mark against Portugal.
J akub Blaszczykowski
Poland may only have scored three times in four games, but Blaszczykowski has been the standout player in attack, scoring goals against Switzerland and Ukraine, in the latter game as substitute. He set up Poland’s only other goal at Euro 2016 with a pinpoint cross for Arkadiusz Milik in its Group C opener against Northern Ireland. With Lewandowski often marked intensely, Blaszczykowski could be key. Poland has never lost a game when Blaszczykowski has scored.
He wasn’t Poland’s first-choice goalkeeper when the tournament started, but Fabianski has become a key member of the team since Wojciech Szczesny hurt his thigh in the first game. He kept clean sheets against world champion Germany and against Ukraine. The only goal he has conceded outside a penalty shootout was the spectacular overhead kick scored by Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri in the round of 16. He didn’t need to make a save in the 5-4 shootout win over the Swiss, the only miss coming when Granit Xhaka skewed his spot kick wide of the post.
The defensive midfielder’s boundless energy has been crucial for Poland, which has only conceded one goal in open play – Shaqiri’s stunner. In attack, his smart passing helped the team to dominate Northern Ireland, earning him a man-of-the-match award. Krychowiak, a two-time Europa League winner with Sevilla, also blocked out the pressure to score the decisive penalty in the shootout against Switzerland.
B artosz Kapustka
Poland’s youngest player at just 19 years, Kapustka put in an eye-catching performance in his team’s 1-0 opening win against Northern Ireland, earning plaudits from former England defender Rio Ferdinand, who called him a “very clever, composed and skillful player,” in comments on Twitter. Former England striker Gary Lineker labeled Kapustka a “deliciously talented 19 year old.” But since then, Kapustka has only showed fleeting glimpses of that talent and missed the Switzerland game through suspension.
Portugal – five players to watch
Who else? Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at the European Championship as its undisputed star. However, he has hit both highs and lows so far. Some unflattering comments about fan-favourites Iceland were followed by him grabbing a TV journalist’s microphone and apparently throwing it into a nearby lake.
B ut he refused to let Portugal be eliminated at the group phase, scoring two goals and setting up another to secure a 3-3 draw with Hungary that sent his team through. He failed to score in the other three matches, and missed a penalty. But the Real Madrid forward did make up for a quiet match against Croatia by setting up the stoppage-time winner in the round-of-16. Against Poland, he will be aiming to equal Michel Platini’s all-time scoring record of nine goals at European Championships.
Portugal don’t have the tightest of defences, but the player who most often rescues his teammates at the last second is Pepe. The centerback is the heart of Portugal’s defence and a steady hand in comparison to Ricardo Carvalho, who was dropped for the last match against Croatia. Along with Ronaldo and goalkeeper Rui Patricio, Pepe is the only other Portugal player to have played every minute of the competition for coach Fernando Santos. He will be charged with making sure Poland striker Lewandowski doesn’t finally rediscover his scoring touch in Marseille.
Always in Ronaldo’s shadow, Nani has been Portugal’s most consistent attacking player in France. The winger scored Portugal’s first goal of the competition in a 1-1 draw with Iceland, and he started their fightback against Hungary with another goal. He celebrated his 100th appearance with the national side by launching the move that led to Ricardo Quaresma’s winner to oust Croatia in the round of 16.
W illiam Carvalho
Portuguese teenager Renato Sanches got all the attention following the 18-year-old’s move to Bayern Munich last month. And while Sanches has provided glimpses of promise coming off the bench, William Carvalho has quietly impressed as a serious, disciplined defensive midfielder. After not playing a minute in Portugal’s opener, Carvalho has been the focal point of Portugal’s midfield. The 24-year-old is second only to Pepe in passes attempted and completed, with a completion rate of 92 per cent.
With only one start in four matches, Ricardo Quaresma has provided some much-needed spark off the bench. The forward went on against Hungary and made an excellent cross for Ronaldo to score his second goal and seal the draw. Quaresma then had his moment to shine when he scored the injury-time goal to send Portugal past Croatia and into the final eight.
What are the odds?
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