Switzerland 1-1 Poland (AET, 4-5 on pens): Flawless spot-kicks send Poles to quarter-finals

Poland beat Switzerland 5-4 on penalties after an end-to-end 1-1 draw in their last-16 Euro 2016 meeting in Saint-Etienne.

Switzerland 1-1 Poland (AET, 4-5 on pens): Flawless spot-kicks send Poles to quarter-finals
Picture source: Getty Images

Poland outlasted Switzerland by scoring all five of their penalties, while Granit Xhaka's miss sent them through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016

Xhaka cracks under pressure

All 10 regulation penalties were taken in Saint-Etienne and nine of them were pretty much perfect, but Arsenal's new £30million pound signing Xhaka was the one man unlucky enough to miss as he blazed his left-footed strike penalty well wide of the left post, with Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski going the wrong way.

Two great goals send us the distance

For a long time it looked as if Poland would walk away from this one with the victory inside 90 minutes after Borussia Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszczykowski grabbed his second goal of the tournament to give them the lead on the stroke of the half-time interval. It was a great counter-attacking goal from Poland, with Blaszczykowski slotting through Yann Sommer's legs to cap off an excellent attacking move.

With that being said, the standout moment in this game would go to a player on the losing side, as Stoke's Xherdan Shaqiri produced a moment of true brilliance to send the game into extra-time. A low cross was whipped toward the edge of the area from the left-hand side and the ball deflected toward the path of Shaqiri, who produced a sumptuous bicycle kick which bounced in off the post, leaving Fabianski with no chance.

Poland nearly rue first-half misses

Adam Nawalka's Poland side would end up on the back foot from half-time onwards in this game, but they could have been out of sight with the amount of chances they had in the first 45. The first of these opportunities came just seconds in as Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer was sold short on a backpass and had to slide the ball away, but only as far as Arkadiusz Milik who with the open goal gaping, somehow fluffed his lines and struck over.

More good chances would come for Poland in a flurry around the half-hour mark, with Grzegorz Krychowiak putting a free header from a corner over the bar. Milik fired wide with a volley, whilst Kamil Grosicki also missed a chance from range. 

Switzerland do end up regretting their squandered chances

After a pretty flat first-half, Switzerland came out a different team in the second 45 and alomst created chances at will. The first of those would come five minutes in as things opened up nicely for Shaqiri - and he struck goalwards from the right, only for Fabianski to parry away. The Swansea City goalkeeper would then be called into more action as he denied Ricardo Rodriguez' free-kick effort, 25 yards out.

Then just before the Shaqiri goal, Poland would get a bit of luck to temporarlily hang onto their clean sheet as Switzerland had two close misses in one move. A free-kick on the left found its way to Stephan Lichsteiner on the right byline - who pulled the ball back for Johan Djourou. He had an effort cleared off the line and then, the ball sat up for Haris Seferovic who cannoned one off the crossbar with his left foot.

Perhaps the biggest miss of all though for Vladimir Petkovic's team came seven minutes from the end of extra time. Shaqiri was at the heart of things again as he floated one through brilliantly for substsitiute Eren Derdiyok who just eight yards out headed one back across goal, but the ball was too close to Fabianski and he pulled off a fine save one-handed to his left.