Quaresma Wins It For Portugal

Portugal attacker Ricardo Quaresma struck late in extra time as Portugal beat Croatia 1-0 to set up a quarter final clash between Poland.

Quaresma’s late strike 117 minutes was the first and only shot on target throughout the whole game. All in all it was a poor contest as both teams struggled to create chances.

Vida misses a great opportunity to level the scores
Vida misses a great opportunity to level the scores

Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic were restored to the side but it was Portugal defender Pepe who wasted a glorious opportunity when he headed over the bar from a free kick.

Perisic also had a chance for Croatia in the first half but his shot hit the side netting but both goalkeepers were neither tested at all.

In the second half it was the same pattern. Marcelo Brozovic effort went over the bar and Domagoj Vida headed wide from a free-kick.

Quaresma celebrates after scoring for Portugal
Quaresma celebrates after scoring for Portugal

After Portugal made a change and on came the 19 year old Renato Sanches. His introduction gave Portugal a boost with more energy but unfortunately both teams were still unable to create any chances.

In the first half of extra time the game was very cagey and it seemed like both teams didn’t want to commit bodies forward.

In the second half of extra time it was completely the opposite.

Both teams went for it and in the 113th minute Croatia came close to open the scoring. Vida headed over the bar after Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio felled over as he tried to come for the ball.

Both teams battle for the ball
Both teams battle for the ball

After that Portugal put the dagger through the hearts of Croatia in tremendous fashion.

It all started when Croatia forward Perisic headed against the base of the post and then all of a sudden Portugal counter attacked Croatia. Sanches passed the ball to Nani who looked to have miscued his shot into the path of Ronaldo, who was superbly denied by Croatia goalkeeper Daniel Subasic,but Quaresma, 32, was there to turn in the rebound with three minutes remaining.

Quaresma heads home the winner
Quaresma heads home the winner

There was even more drama as Croatia bombarded Portugal box and they had a late chance to level the scores but Vida’s sweet volley flew inches wide.

Bockarie Koroma

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