Grzegorz Krychowiak scored the decisive penalty as Poland advanced to the last eight of Euro 2016, knocking out Switzerland in the progress. The result will be one remembered for the astonishing Swiss equaliser scored by Xherdan Shaqiri in the 82nd minute though.
Switzerland 1-1 Poland (3-4 on pens)
Panic filled the Swiss back-line after just 22 seconds, as Johan Djourou sold goalkeeper Yann Sommer short with a sloppy piece of work and Arkadiusz Milik fired over from an acute angle. Coach Vladmir Petkovic wore a concerned look in the early stages as Robert Lewandowski had a ashot blocked.
His side eventually managed to settle down though, as Xherdan Shaqiri fashioned a chance for Blerim Dzemaili, one that was scuffed wide at the near post. Lewandowski then tried his luck again as he blasted a snap shot wide.
The Bayern Munich striker, who scored 42 goals last season in a title-winning campaign, has failed to light up the Championships, often playing a deeper role in this Polish setup.
An uninspiring game thus far starved of any clear goalmouth action breathed to life five minutes before half time, as Shaqiri stood over a corner. The set-piece failed to undo the Polish defence, and instead Kamil Grosicki scampered away with the ball on the counter attack. The wide-man squared it for Blaszczykowski on the rampage. The Borussia Dortmund winger took a touch before slotting home past Sommer to give his side the lead - and a huge chance of qualifying for the quarter finals.
Switzerland came out after the break firing on all cylinders with the words of their manager clearly still ringing in their ears. Ricardo Rodriguez bombed down the left flank only to pick out Seferovic in an offside position, before Shaqiri forced Fabianski into a flying save with a rasping drive on target.
Blaszczykowski spurned a golden chance to double the lead with a drilled shot on his left peg from 20 yards, but Sommer did well to palm it away. With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, Rodriguez had Switzerland's best opportunity so far, with a dipping free kick that looked destined to end up in the back of the net - Fabianski made a wonderful athletic save to keep up his side's impressive 100% clean sheet record this tournament.
Moments later, a deep cross from Shaqiri fell to Seferovic, who rattled the bar with a curling effort as Switzerland upped the ante and Poland retreated.
A special moment struck the contest with only 7 minutes remaining, as Shaqiri went airborne to lash in a venomous scissor kick to tie the match. It truly was a world-class goal to unravel a Polish defence which hadn't conceded a single goal so far in the tournament. Out of nothing, Switzerland were back in the contest and forced the game to extra time.
The skipper for Switzerland, Stephan Lichtsteiner stepped up confidently to open proceedings with a cool penalty. Lewandowski replied with an even better finish in the top right corner. New Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka then had an absolute shocker with his spot-kick, crashing horribly wide from 12 yards and gifting the advantage to Poland.
As the goals flew in, responsibility fell to Grzegorz Krychowiak to send his country through to the last eight. The man who earlier this season won the Europa League with Sevilla after an impressive campaign put his foot through the ball to smash home and knock out Switzerland.
Switzerland will feel hard done by the result. They were far the better side for large parts of the game, and Poland's gamble to play for penalties paid off. They will face either Portugal or Croatia in the quarter finals, but concerns must surely be growing surrounding Robert Lewandowski's performances so far. It seems coach Adam Nawalka is content with his talisman dropping deep to get involved in the interplay, but a player of his quality should be performing much better than we've seen.
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