26 Jun 2016

Wales, Poland and Portugal reach Euro2016 quarter-finals

9:45 am on 26 June 2016

Wales, Poland and Portugal are all through to the quarter-finals of a European Championship in France.

Wales reached the quarter-finals for the first time with a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland.

Wales skipper Gareth Bale

Wales skipper Gareth Bale Photo: Photosport

Gareth McAuley scored an own goal following a teasing Gareth Bale cross in the cagey game in Paris.

Wales had hogged possession and spent most of the second half on the front foot but were unable to break down a resilient Irish rearguard until Bale produced the only moment of genuine quality in the match after 75 minutes.

The Welsh talisman, who had been expertly shackled for the entire encounter, was allowed a few metres of space and took the opportunity with relish, whipping a devilish cross into the box that McAuley could only turn into his own net.

It was a cruel blow for the Irish, who had more than held their own in a scruffy encounter but lacked the quality to craft enough chances to trouble a Wales side who will now face Hungary or Belgium in the last eight in Lille.

"They were better than us today really," said Wales coach Chris Coleman. "They played very well. We showed a lot of heart, a lot of courage. We showed another side to our game. We hung on and we came through. It is a fantastic achievement."

Meanwhile Poland reached the quarter-finals when they beat Switzerland 5-4 in a penalty shootout after the sides had drawn 1-1 after extra-time.

Granit Xhaka missed the second penalty for the Swiss when he fired his shot wide of the post.

Jakub Blaszczykowski put Poland in front six minutes before halftime when he slotted the ball between Yann Sommer's legs to finish a devastating counter-attack.

Switzerland took control in the second half with Haris Seferovic smacking the ball against the crossbar.

They equalised in the 82nd minute with an extraordinary strike by Xherdan Shaqiri who scored with a bicycle kick from the edge of the penalty area, the first goal Poland have conceded in the tournament.

Poland will face Portugal in the quarter-finals.

A close-range header from Portugal substitute Ricardo Quaresma secured them a 1-0 win over Croatia after the game burst into life in the last few minutes of extra time.

Quaresma struck three minutes from the end of the extra period after a Cristiano Ronaldo shot was saved by Danijel Subasic to settle the tie just a minute after Croatia's Ivan Perisic hit the post with a header.

Until then Portugal's best chance came from a teasing free-kick from Raphael Guerreiro with Pepe heading over the bar in the first half. Croatia responded with a glancing header from Domagoj Vida on the hour.

Croatia had done well to shut out Nani and Ronaldo but their own forward Mario Mandzukic was left desperately alone up front, getting no deliveries or support.

It was left to Quaresma to come off the bench and settle the match although Vida almost equalised at the death.