Quarter Final Analysis: Poland – Portugal29th Jun 2016 |
It may not be the game which will give us the big headlines, but it could certainly be one of the most exciting games of the championship. It’s also something of an historical moment for Poland, as they have never been in a semi-final in the Euros before. Portugal has been there before, as they reached the finals in 2000.
Portugal will probably be regarded as favourites by most, but I do not think they have impressed enough to earn this. Not managing to defeat a single team in the ordinary time so far in the championship, they have shown that as a team, they have some serious flaws. Meanwhile, Poland conceded their first goal against Switzerland in the round of 16.
The winner will face Belgium or Wales in the semi-finals. This means that both of these teams now have a very realistic chance of reaching the final. Belgium is regarded as more likely to reach the semi-finals, but they are a small step behind the real quality teams of the Euros. Portugal and Poland know this, and they will therefore find extra motivation in the fact that they now have a fighting chance of winning the whole thing.
And there is a game in the game here as well. Ronaldo scored a hat trick against Hungary, but he has not scored in any other games. Lewandowski has not scored at all so far. Both of them will be highly motivated to score in order to take their team to the next round – or at least go out with a bang.