Poland are the first team to reach the quarter-finals of the Euro 2016 after beating Switzerland by 5-4 on penalties. The Poles will now face the winner of the game between Croatia and Portugal.
It was a game between two evenly matched sides, none of which had ever reached the knockout stages of the Euros before and it was a tough game to call. Poland should have opened the scoring in the first minute when a mistake in the Swiss back line gifted the ball to Arkadiusz Milik who someone missed the gaping net. The opener however came in the 39th minute. Switzerland winger, Kamil Grosicki had ran down the left flank before finding Jakub Blaszczykowski who was left unmarked and drove his shot past goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
Switzerland, with nothing to lose went on the offensive but they did not find the equalizer until eight minutes to go. Xherdan Shaqiri conjured up a moment of pure magic – the ball bounced out from Poland’s box and Shaqiri went for the awesome overhead kick from the edge of the penalty area to beat Lukasz Fabianski. Switzerland were suddenly back in it and the game headed for extra time.
After 30 minutes of stalement, the game had to be decided on penalties. Switzerland began the shoot-out when Stephan Lichtsteiner produced a composed finish down the middle. Robert Lewandowski levelled for Poland before Arsenal new boy Granit Xhaka hit his penalty horribly wide. Arkadiusz Milik, Kamil Glik and Kamil Grosicki also scored for Poland while Shaqiri, Fabian Schar and Ricardo Rodriguez found the net for the Swiss to make it 4-4.
All attention fell on Grzegorz Krychowiak who was left with the deciding spot kick in Saint-Etienne. His finish was all that was needed to send Poland to the quarter-finals of the competition.