‘Lucky’ Portugal don’t mind criticism – Sanches


Marseille (AFP) – Teenage goal hero Renato Sanches insists Portugal do not care if they are labelled “lucky” after reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2016 with a 5-3 penalty shootout win over Poland.

Fernando Santos’s men have yet to win any of their five Euro matches in 90 minutes, but are now just one game away from the July 10 final. They will play Wales or Belgium in the last four next week.

Sanches, 18, became the youngest ever scorer in the knockout stages of the European championship to cancel out Robert Lewandowski’s opener after just 100 seconds. The two sides finished extra-time at 1-1.

“It is a wonderful moment for the team and for me for scoring, we have been working very hard and we have been doing our best.

“People criticise us but we don’t care, because we are in the semis.

“It is a lot of hard work to be this lucky. Sometimes we are bound to be lucky because we have worked very hard.”

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sanches also scored from the spot as Portugal converted all five of their spot-kicks to reach the semis for the fourth time in the last five Euros.

“The coach asked who wanted to shoot. Cristiano was first and I said I would be second, the coach had faith in me, and I was confident enough to ask to shoot,” added Sanches, who joined Bayern Munich from Benfica for 35 million euros ($38 million) last month.

“I was just thinking about scoring, I was very cool, very collected, did what I always do and picked a side and put it in there.”

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