Croatia 0-1 Portugal, Euro 2016 last 16, live and online
The live online coverage, minute-by-minute updates and all the build-up to Croatia v Portugal in the last 16. Kick-off at 21.00 (CET) in the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens.
Croatia - Portugal - Game review
It was a game that many were looking forward to settling down to on a Saturday evening and watching. Cristiano and Nani showed that they can still entertain with the national team in their performance against Hungary. Modric and Mandzukic were back in the starting XI for the opposition that had found their way to this game by beating then tournament favourites Spain. That anticipation, though, didn't last too long after the whistle blew to kick off the match.
A win's a win
What matters in football, of course, is the result. Portugal are through to the quarter finals where they will play a very modest Poland side who earlier in the day knocked out Switzerland on penalties and they'll fancy their chances. Their win on Saturday will not go down as anywhere close to their finest performance but there are unlikely to be any staff or fans who really care. As the game drifted towards penalties without a shot on target from either side and commentators struggling to say much in terms of positives about the play, Renato Sanches - the big money summer signing for Bayern Munich - broke down the centre of the field with Nani to the left, Ronaldo to the right and Quaresma in the conversation too. The pass went left, which in turn was fed through the defenders and across the penalty box for the Madrid star to become the headline hero in a game where he did little of note. Subašić, in the Croatian goal prevented that but couldn't stop Quaresma from killing the game.
Late but key
Had that, or any, goal come sooner in the encounter we may have seen the more beautiful side to the game that most had come looking for. Certainly the flourish in the final few minutes captured the surely intended mood. In the end there is just elation for one side, huge disappointment for the other, and for those neutrals in the middle a hope that the pressure of tournament play doesn't generate many more of these duels.
Here's how it all happened...
Full-time | That's it. Devastated Croatian players fall to the ground. They may have put in plenty of effort but their undoubted quality was not on show tonight. Portugal make it through to meet Poland in the quarter finals and will be hoping that they will have more than one shot on target, as well as much more fluidity and control, when they face off. Actually, they probably won't care one jot if they win the next three games in the same manner as tonight.
Min 120+2 | As the volume in the stadium holds at a frenzied level, Croatia attack again and as Srna's cross is met by Fonte it goes straight up allowing Vida to try and hook it back over and into the far right open part of the goal. It goes just wide of the post and emotions of relief and pain can be heard throughout the stands.
Min 119 | Brozović evades the attention of three defenders in the box and nearly gets a dangerous ball in but deflected for a corner. Nothing comes.
Sanches breaks through the middle, holds and holds, looks left and plays it to Nani as defenders back track. Nani knocks it through the lot to Cristiano coming in at the back post and his shot is saved by Subašić but just bounces up to Quaresma who was supporting and he nods it home from a yard or so.
Min 117 | Goooooaaaaalll! Portugal take the lead!
Min 115 | Chance. Croatia seem to really be going for it now. Two chances after a Pepe error and Perišić hits the post.
Min 111 | Chance. (Yes, you heard me right!) Portugal attack down the right and when the ball's lifted into the box Nani goes for an extravagant bicycle effort and doesn't make proper contact. Chance. Croatia then win a corner and before it's taken Vida, and his golden ponytail tries to get the crowd to pick up the noise with his arm gestures. He then meets the resulting ball smack bang just below the forehead and it's...over the bar.
Min 109 | Sub: Rakitić off for Pjaca
Min 107 | Sub: Danilo coming on for Silva. Fresh legs.
Min 106 | Quick turnaround and we're off again.
Peep. End of the first period after a non-eventful added minute.
Min 104 | For all that is wrong with this game there have been decent, if only occasional threats from the likes of Srna, neat touches from Modric and clever link-up play from the forward moving Portuguese. Am I trying to hard to find something?
Min 100 | Brozović gets into a good position 20 yards out but his strike drifts well wide of the right post. Portugal think go forward and earn two free-kicks in quick succession. Both are used to get the ball into the danger area but nothing close to danger is created.
Min 99 | The risk now is that both teams start playing more conservative so as not to lose it late.
Min 95 | After Portugal looking to build some play down the left, Kalinic gets a breakaway chance. Running into space on the right side of the area he sets his sights and...sclaffs it wide! Is anyone shocked?
*Just to confirm, we are five minutes into extra-time and still waiting for a shot at goal.
Min 91 | Sanches has looked quite lively since coming on and he's getting involved at any opportunity in the middle of the park. Then he gets a chance to foul Modric and duly takes it. About 35 yards out and captain Srna is going to hit it towards goal. Is this going to be the first shot on target?* No. It hits the one-man wall.
Players stretching on the pitch and trying to gee each other up in their respective huddles. Even the referee looks a bit bored and disappointed to be having to toss a coin to get this game going again. OK, positive thinking.
Min 90+2 | Free kick to Portugal, deep. Played short to Sanches who then lifts it into the area and it's cleared. Croatia then go forward and win a corner with the final seconds ticking away. Can they? No. The whistle blows and, joy of joy, we await a further 30 minutes of this entertainment. I'm sure you'll join me.
Min 90 | 3 minutes added time. Please give us a goal. Anybody.
Min 88 | Sub: Mandžukić makes way for Kalinic.
Min 85 | Some nice play in the final third from Portugal but the ball escapes Sanches when something looked like it could happen. Moments later Sanches skips passed a sliding challenge and feeds it wide for the onrushing Guerreiro but gave him too much to do and the defender clears.
Min 82 | Mandžukić is down and holding his back after an awkward fall. He should be fine to continue but let me point out that officially there have been zero shots on goal. It only takes one though.
Min 77 | William Carvalho goes into the book after a foul not too far inside the Portuguese half and wide. Build up some play and momentum? No, delivered into a busy penalty area by Rakitić and it goes way over the heads and out. Some sloppy play followed to at least ensure consistency. Some games you want extra-time. This one...
Min 74 | Sanches takes a risk by pushing Srna on the edge of the area right on the byline and a free kick is given. Driven in by Rakitić and cleared by Cristiano. See, he is still on the field.
Min 71 | High cross delivered from the right as Srna fires down the wing. Perišić swings a left boot at it under pressure at the back post but doesn't make clean contact and it's sliced wide.
Min 68 | Cédric pushing forward down the right for Portugal finds Nani in space on that side just outside the area but he can't make anything of it. In the next attacking move, Rakitić tries to pull down Nani by the shirt but as it failed he just kicked him instead. Resulting free kick crossed into box but headed away. Good spell for Portugal.
Min 65 | Chance. Nani found over the top as he ran into the box and as he tried - I think - to shoulder it towards goal, the covering defender Strinić kicked across him. Pleading faces in green looking at the ref for a spot kick. Slightly more adventure in the play now and certainly more direct.
Min 61 | Chance. Vida met a wonderful free kick (still may prove the winning route) from Rakitić with his head but from around the edge of the 6-yard box he glances it just too much. Mandžukić was inches behind him and may have done better.
Min 57 | After some exchanges of play, substitute Renato has his most meaningful contribution so far, and it could have been special. Receiving the ball centrally about 40 yards out he stepped to the left of the closing defender, tapped the ball to João Mário who fed him straight back on the edge of the area. Having time to get his feet in order didn't help with the pulled drive to the left of the goal. The games picking up.
Min 52 | Lovely break down the left by Strinić and delivers a lovely whipped cross which just evades Brozović. Good chance but ball cleared for corner which is taken short and then it's Brozović again who hits over.
Min 50 | Sub. Renato Sanches comes on for Andre Gomez. Let's see what the Bayern new-boy can do.
Min 48 | Oh no. Please no. Only two minutes in and it feels the same. Portugal break through the middle and Guerreiro gives it away. Then Croatia break and Modric, in space, plays an outside of the right boot push which goes straight out of play. He makes that pass 99/100 for Madrid!
Min 46 | Right! The second half is started at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis and we're hoping for the potential to be fulfilled. Looks as though the same 22 are back out.
Disappointing. That could be the word of choice if one was all that was allowed. Fortunately I'm permitted more. It was a game that many were looking forward to after what we've seen in the group stage from Croatia and the potential fuse-lighting Portuguese attacking threat. I'm afraid it's not lived up to expectations and, although both managers are probably satisfied at their team still being as in the contest as they were an hour ago, let's hope they give some instruction or kick up the culo verbals for us, the viewing masses. Current prediction: Croatia 1-0 Portugal AET.
Min 44 | João Mário goes flying into a challenge giving another set-piece chance to Rakitić. His ball in to the box is nicely weighted but met first, and convincingly, by Pepe for a corner. Corner delivered and cleared out of the danger area again thanks to a foul being awarded after Dida pushes his way to win the cross. Peep. Half-time here in Lens.
Min 41 | Just as I focus on the reliance of free kicks to start the goal-fest Croatia break through the middle and Strinic finds space and is released on the left. His attempt to feed a teammate in the box is poor and Portugal get clear.
Min 37 | Foul on Srna on the right allows Rakitić to deliver a free-kick but Vida can't get a full header on it and it's wide again. Chances so far coming from wide set pieces.
Min 33 | Fonte comes up like a green shadow behind Rakitić and the Croatian goes over. Foul given for very little it seems. A subsequent Croatian corner is headed wide. Portugal then break and neat feet from Ronaldo, then Guerreiro and João Mário almost open an opportunity.
Min 29 | I wonder if Perišić's new hair style has got me thinking he's everywhere. Anyway, the game feels like something could spark any minute but there's still a lot of composed ball keeping from Croatia while Portugal are happy not to press too high up the pitch. Quite a contrast to the game we had for you earlier.
Pepe's header was certainly the best chance of the game so far.
Min 24 | Cristiano gets hold of the ball on the left flank and looks like he's about to start something clever until Perišić (who seems to be everywhere) brings him down. It's a free-kick wide and about 40 yards out. Swung in, Pepe looks offside, but the Madrid defender wins the header around the 6-yard line firing it over. It would have stood.
Min 21 | A nice ball lifted into the path of Mandžukić by Perišić but too close to Patrício who easily gathers ahead of the frontman. The game feels like it's starting to pick up a bit more pace...which is what we want.
Min 18 | Cristiano has touched it - first I've seen - but he's quickly closed down. Portugal certainly getting back into the game as the camera is swinging in a more balanced fashion to show both sides of the pitch. A couple of late challenges breaking up the play.
Min 14 | Nani finds a little space on the left and feeds it square through a gap of three defenders. Could have caused some problems but it's put out for a corner. Swung in to the area but nothing comes of it.
Min 13 | Pepe picks up a lose ball and almost before the Croatian fans can start booing he gives it away again.
Min 10 | It really has been all Croatia so far (must be around 90% possession) but no chances created yet. A long throw gets a flick on from Perišić in the box and it's away for a corner. Head, actually face-knock to Nani as Perišić landed from his flick jump. Being treated.
Min 6 | It's not Spain playing but shouts of "Olé" were heard there as Rakitić cleverly nutmegs before having his legs taken away from him. Still just a poking match at the moment.
Min 4 | Portugal not seeing much of the ball - well not at their feet anyway - and it's Modric, as expected, who is already looking like the string-puller for Croatia.
Min 2 | Croatia get us going and are looking for as many touches as possible even if just knocking the ball along the back line just inside their half. Expect a bit of that tonight.
And we're off...
Then Croatia's captain Srna can't hold back the tears as their anthem completes.
Teams are out with their proud ball boys and girls and the music begins. Portugal first with a rousing rendition of "A PORTUGUESA".
Interesting changes from both sides although more surprising from Portugal with Carvalho, Moutinho and Quaresma all missing out on a starting place. Many eyes will be focused on the influence of Real Madrid stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric - the latter who is back in after a groin injury kept him out of the win over Spain - although how often they come face to face on the field is likely dependent on which team has more of the ball in key areas.
Croatia: Subašić - Srna, Ćorluka, Vida, Strinić - Badelj, Modrić - Brozović, Rakitić, Perišić - Mandžukić
Portugal: Patrício - Cédric, Fonte, Pepe, Raphaël Guerreiro - William - João Mário, Adrien, André Gomes - Nani, Ronaldo
Welcome to the live online coverage, minute-by-minute updates and all the build-up to Croatia against Portugal, the second-round Euro 2016 match which kicks at 21.00 (CET) at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens,
Croatia vs Portugal Preview
The third match of the last 16 sees Cristiano Ronaldo take on Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric. What a game we have in store here!
Ante Čačić and his Croatia team arrive in the knockout stages without having lost a match. However, there are some doubts over the fitness of star player Luka Modric, who remains a slight doubt ahead of kick-off. That said, Croatia did manage to take the scalp of Spain without the help of the Real Madrid midfielder, and they’ll go into this one full of confidence.
Portugal’s performances haven’t exactly set the world alight, and they only just managed to scrape through to the second round as one of the four best third placed finishers after drawing each of their group matches. While there might be doubts over this Portuguese side, one thing that is for certain is that Cristiano Ronaldo is back on form and it’s likely he could be the deciding factor in an intriguing encounter. He’ll make up one part of a fearful attacking threesome, alongside Nani and Quaresma.
Live match build-up
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