Belfast Telegraph

Cristiano Ronaldo security scare as Portugal make semi-finals with Poland win

Poland 1-1 Portugal (Portugal win 5-3 on penalties after extra time)

By Robert Jones

Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in a security scare as he led Portugal into the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

The Portuguese captain produced a stylish body-swerve to evade an on-rushing pitch invader during their battle with Poland, which the Portuguese won on penalties following a 1-1 draw, with Ronaldo scoring the first.

The incident occurred during the second period of extra-time and tournament organisers Uefa will now re-examine their security arrangements for the remaining games in the tournament.

Earlier in the competition a fan got onto the pitch at the end of Portugal’s match with Iceland and had his picture taken with Ronaldo.

Portugal have advanced into the semi-finals of Euro 2016 — despite not having won a game in 90 minutes at the tournament.

Robert Lewandowski gave Poland an early lead with the second-fastest goal in the history of the competition but 18-year-old Renato Sanches levelled with his first senior international strike.

The 1-1 draw was a largely drab affair, but both sides produced in the penalty shoot-out, only for former Poland skipper Jakob Blaszczykowski to see his effort saved with Portugal advancing courtesy of a 5-3 success as substitute Ricardo Quaresma struck the winning penalty.

After drawing all three group games and sneaking through in third place, Fernando Santos’ side beat Croatia late on in extra-time in the round of 16 and, with an off-colour Ronaldo leading the line they needed penalties in Marseille.

Once the game was under way, Poland were almost immediately in front.

Lewandowski had not scored an international goal since October but he belied that form by turning home Kamil Grosicki’s low cross with just 100 seconds on the clock.

Ronaldo had big shouts for a penalty turned down but his side were soon celebrating an equaliser as Nani’s clever backheel picked out Sanches, who flashed a deflected drive past Fabianski.

Ronaldo passed up a good opportunity when he allowed a cross to pass through his legs when well-placed.

Extra-time petered out with very little incident, taking the first Euro 2016 quarter-final to an inevitable penalty shoot-out.

Ronaldo struck first for Portugal before Lewandowski stroked Poland level, with Sanches tucking his away with aplomb.

Milik sent Patricio the wrong way to keep Poland up with Portugal, who then saw Joao Moutinho succeed with the third kick.

Kamil Glik continued the theme of sending the opposing goalkeeper the wrong way with neither side blinking after the opening six penalties.

Nani kept his composure to give Fabianski no chance before Blaszczykowski saw Patricio push his low effort away.

That left it down to Quaresma to send Portugal into the last four and he duly delivered by hitting his effort straight down the middle.

Belfast Telegraph