Portugal wonder-kid Renato Sanches brushed off criticism of his side as they reached the European Championship semi-finals for the fourth time in five tournaments with a shoot-out victory over Poland in Marseille last night.
Ex-Chelsea winger Ricardo Quaresma had the final word after former Poland skipper Jakub Blaszczykowski had seen his penalty saved.
The evening started at a blistering pace as goal-shy Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski registered his maiden strike of Euro 2016 within the opening minutes, while soon-to-be clubmate Sanches levelled before half time.
Portugal became the first side in European Championship history to progress to the semi-finals without winning a match in 90 minutes, and will now face the winners of tonight’s last-eight tie between Wales and Belgium in the semi-final.
“It’s wonderful moment for the team,” said Sanches, who is set to join Bayern Munich from Benfica this summer in a deal which could rise to £63m.
“We have been working very hard and we have been doing our best. People criticise us but we don’t care because we are in the semis. Critics only make us stronger.”
Poland opened the scoring on two minutes as Lewandowski smashed home, only for Sanches to level after 33 minutes with a deflected shot.