Portugal received a late goal in extra time from Ricardo Quaresma to eliminate Croatia in the Round of 16 at Euro 2016. New Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches drove a counterattack that led to Portugal’s goal.
The match was definitely not one for the feint of heart. The referee let a lot of contact go, and neither team was up for putting on an offensive show. According to the announcers at the end of the match, the first shot of the match for either side came from Cristiano Ronaldo on the counterattack.
Bayern’s newest midfielder came on as a second half substitute for Andres Gomes in the 50th minute yet would play for 70 minutes himself. As he’s done throughout the tournament, Sanches entered the game as a ball of energy, providing some life to a rather lifeless Portuguese midfield. His ability to quickly turn and move the ball upfield was never more evident than in the goal.
While Sanches did well repeatedly in quickly transitioning Portugal from defense to offense, his weakness during the match was continually playing the wrong ball out of the break. However, his decision making should continue to improve, as he’s still only 18 year
Sanches and Portugal will face Robert Lewandowski and Poland in the quarterfinals of Euro 2016.