Poland beats Switzerland on penalties to reach quarterfinals

Poland qualified for the quarterfinals of the European Championship for the first time after it converted all its penalties to beat Switzerland 5-4 in a shootout.
Following a 1-1 draw Saturday that Switzerland had dominated for long periods, Grzegorz Krychowiak stepped up to score the winning penalty into the top left corner. Poland will play either Croatia or Portugal in the quarterfinals on Thursday in Marseille.
Krychowiak\’s winning penalty capped an impressive display by Poland\’s players during the shootout. The only player to miss was Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka, who fired his kick wide of the left post.
Towards the latter stages of the match at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in the southern city of Saint-Etienne, Poland had been pinned back in its own half, seemingly content with the prospect of the penalty shootout.
Jakub Blaszczykowski scored his second goal of the tournament to give Poland the lead in the 39th minute with a low shot that went between the legs of Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
Switzerland equalized with an 82nd-minute bicycle kick from Xherdan Shaqiri to send the match into extra time. Allowed far too much space on the edge of the area, Shaqiri jumped with his back to the net before firing a left-footed shot inside the post. Shaqiri was a constant threat to Poland with his speed of touch and play.
Switzerland substitute Eren Derdiyok had two good chances in the latter period of extra time to win the match but Lukasz Fabianski kept his team in the game.
Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, the top scorer in qualifying with 13 goals, endured another frustrating afternoon in front of goal but did convert his penalty kick during the shootout.

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