Poland Through To The Quarter Finals Of Euro 2016

Poland have become the first team to progress to the Quarter finals of Euro 2016 after beating Switzerland 5-4 on penalties.

The game finished 1-1 after extra time as both teams couldn’t be split. Jakub Blaszczykowski had earlier given Poland the lead but that was cancelled out by a wonder strike from Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri.

Within the first 30 seconds of the contest Poland could have been ahead after a mix up from Switzerland Goalkeeper Yann Sommer and Johan Djourou. The defender was too casual and his back pass wasn’t great. Lewandowski tried to get the ball but Yann Sommer was off his line to block the initial effort.

Poland players celebrate after winning on penalties
Poland players celebrate after winning on penalties

From there the ball fell to Milik but he could only lash his effort over the bar.

Poland were dominating the contest and Yann Sommer had to be alert as Milik headed straight at Sommer from the back post.

Switzerland first chance on goal came from a corner as centre back Fabian Schar found space and his weak header went straight at Lukas Fabianski.

Ricardo Rodriguez in action for Switzerland
Ricardo Rodriguez in action for Switzerland

After that though Poland were ahead. It all started from Fabianski’s throw to Kamil Grosicki who in turn attack down the left flank. He did have a little bit of luck as he bundled his way through the hearts of Switzerland’s defence. He was able to pick out the run of Blaszczykowski who was screaming for the ball and he slotted the ball through the legs of Sommer to send the Polish fans into raptures. On the balance of play Poland deserved the lead.

In the second half Switzerland looked a total different side. They looked more energetic in their play and that showed as Shaqiri cut inside before unleashing a powerful effort at Fabianski which he saved.

Switzerland could have been down to ten men as Schar clumsily brought down Robert Lewandowski but referee Mark Clattenburg only showed a yellow card to the Hoffeinham defender.

Switzerland came very close to equalising as Seferovic smashed an effort off the post.

The pressure finally toward late on and in tremendous fashion.

Xherdan Shaqiri scores from a over head kick
Xherdan Shaqiri scores from a over head kick

Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner crossed a ball from the left which wasn’t dealt properly by Pazdan and the ball fell kindly to Shaqiri and he bicycle kicked his effort in off the post to make it 1-1.

The 30 minutes of extra time was slow and patient and thus there wasn’t much goal mouth action as the game went into penalty shoot outs.

The captains for both sides took the first penalties respectively and Lichtsteiner and Lewandowski smashed in their efforts from the spot-kick.

Poland take the lead
Poland take the lead

But new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka missed Switzerland’s next spot kick as he smashed his spot-kick well wide.

After that miss everyone else scored from the spot-kick and it came down to Kychowiak of Poland to win it and he made no mistake by smashing it into the roof of the net.

What next for Poland?

This is Poland’s first time make it to the quarter final of a European Championship and they will now play the winners Croatia and Portugal.

Bockarie Koroma

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