26 June 2016
Euro 2016 round of 16 clash between Croatia and Portugal left many disappointed as the match took almost 120 minutes to record its first shot on goal.
The 90-minute regular time ended with no single shot at goal and the 30 minutes extra time was looking like it would end in the same fashion until Croatia’s Ivan Perisic tested Rui Patricio with the first shot of the game in the 116th minutes.
Many were left surprised at the fact that a team with Cristiano Ronaldo could play full regulation time without a shot at the goal.
However, ex-Chelsea man, Ricardo Quaresma’s late winner in the 117th minute wasn’t devoid of Ronaldo’s contribution as it came from a rebound of a saved Ronaldo shot on a long-awaited counterattack to put Portugal through to the quarter-final.
Moments earlier, Ivan Perisic had Croatia and the game’s first shot of the game, but it was expertly saved by Rui Patricio.
The game remained without a shot on goal until the 116th minute, when action picked up furiously. Perisic put a chance to the bottom corner, only to have it kept out by Patricio.
On the ensuing counterattack, Nani found a wide-open Ronaldo on the right channel, and his shot was heroically saved by Danijel Subasic.
The rebound was left on the doorstep for Quaresma, though, and he put Portugal in the lead with his header when it seemed that penalties were a foregone conclusion.
The match between Croatia and Portugal managed to set a record no team would be proud of. The match was the first game in any major international tournament since 1980 that didn’t have a shot on target in 90 minutes.
Portugal will now play Poland in the quarter-finals on Thursday, June 30 in Marseille.
Earlier in the day, the Polish had sent Switzerland packing from the Euro 2016 championship on penalties after the two teams played out a one-all draw.
The match saw Swiss forward, Xherdan Shaqiri pull a superb scissors-kick late in the game to bring the game to level and cancel Blaszczykowski’s 39th minute goal.
Wales awaits its quarter-finals opponent after it went through thanks to a drab 1 – 0 win over Northern Island. A McAuley own-goal was all Gareth Bale and his team mates needed to advance.