Poland
Poland

Saint-Etienne (France), June 25 (IANS) Poland overcame Switzerland 5-4 via penalty shoot-out to secure a maiden entry into the quarter-finals of the Euro football championship here on Saturday.

Jakub Blaszczykowski swept home from a close range in the 39th minute in a clinical counter-attack but an overhead kick goal from Xhedran Shaqiri in the 82nd minute meant that the game went to penalties.

Star midfielder Granit Xhaka was the only one who missed out from the 12-yard kick. Captain Stephan Lichtsteiner, Shaqiri, Fabian Schar and Ricardo Rodriguez scored for the Swiss in the penalty shoot-out with the only blip in the form of Xhaka, whose left-footed kick went wide left.

For Poland, captain Robert Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik, Kamil Glik, Blaszczykowski and Grzegorz Krychowiak all converted the penalty kicks in the shoot-out.

Poland will face either Croatia or Portugal — who play later on Saturday night — in the quarter-finals on June 30.

In the match at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Poland started the match brilliantly. They could have been 1-0 up in the very first minute as a defensive lapse by Johan Djourou, who almost sent a short pass back to goalkeeper Yann Sommer straight into the path of Lewandowski but after the goalkeeper’s clearance, Milik blasted over the post.

Milik was also involved in a couple of good chance created by Poland but the Ajax forwards failed to put them to good effect.

Krychowiak also missed out on a great chance with his header going out after being set up by Blaszczykowski.

The Swiss grew in confidence late in the first half as the side-backs Lichtsteiner and Rodríguez provided plenty of pace and energy on the flanks but to no avail.

Rodriguez once cut inside on the edge of the box, hit a low effort, but missed the bottom-right corner.

Blerim Dzemaili once also tested rival team goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who palmed the ball away for a corner.

However, Poland were rewarded for creating several chances as Grosicki led the charge down the left following a Switzerland corner before picking out Blaszczykowski, all alone inside the area, to finish from close range.

Trailing by a goal, the Swiss came out with clear intentions in the second half and went on with their job smoothly. Xhaka showed them the way and once had his right-footed shot being punched out by Fabianski in the 51st minute.

Fabianski again came to Poland’s rescue when he tipped over a left-footed goal-bound free-kick from Rodriguez in the 73rd minute.

As the Swiss mounted the pressure, Switzerland made the mistake of allowing them by not pressing hard and just defending the lead.

As the Swiss pressed forward, lone striker Haris Seferovic hit the woodwork, much to the relief of the Polish camp in the 78th minute.

But the equaliser eventually came in the 82nd minute when Seferovic and substitute Eren Derdiyok combined in the area before the latter found Shaqiri, who beat Fabianski with a brilliant acrobatic effort inside the area, towards the left post of the Polish custodian.

The goal was enough to take the game to extra-time play where the first clear-cut chance went to Switzerland but Fabianski made a flying save to his right to keep out Derdiyok’s close range header following a long through ball from Shaqiri.

Later, Michal Pazdan made a crucial interception to a Seferovic’s deflected cross at the near post to thwart Derdiyok as the match headed to the penalty shoot-out where Poland won, thanks to Xhaka’s mistake.

  • SHARE
    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

    Related Posts

    Watch: MS Dhoni Takes Fans Back To The Famous Night At Wankhede

    Wankhede and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's trademark helicopter shot is one of the best combos in Indian cricket history. It was the very shot and...
    Jonny Bairstow, Ashes 2017-18, Batting Order, Number Six, Australia Vs England, Ben Stokes, Bristol Fight,

    Ashes 2017-18: In Ben Stokes’ Absence Jonny Bairstow Ready to Bat at Number Six...

    England middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow is ready to bat up the order for the visiting side if under investigation would not be available for...

    Arjun Tendulkar Bowls to Kohli in the Nets Ahead of the Opening ODI in...

    Arjun Tendulkar who is better known as the son of iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar at least as of now was seen bowling to the...
    Mithun Manhas | IPL |

    Mithun Manhas Joins Bangladesh U19 As Batting Consultant

    Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has roped in the Indian domestic stalwart Mithun Manhas as their batting consultant for the U-19 team. Manhas has already...

    Rohit Sharma Delighted to Start ODI Series at His Home Venue

    Team India after crashing Australia by a 4-1 margin in the ODI series is now gearing up for yet another dominating performance, this time...