Spain 3-1 Portugal: Lozano's men taste victory in local derby
"We suffered in that match, we really did. That was a very difficult match for us - we played 20 minutes on five fouls - ten in the first half and ten in the second. I was concerned about how we would react after the Portuguese goal, but I was very pleased with how we handled that and all the game," said a jubilant Javier Lozano.
A match like this one with so much at stake needs an early goal to ease the tension and provoke attacking play. This one had that - Spanish skipper Julio driving past the Portuguese captain Andre to set up Marcelo.
Orlando Duarte's men hit back immediately. From a free-kick, Goncalo found Joel Queiros unmarked almost standing on the post. He couldn't miss.
We were then treated to possibly the best save of the tournament so far - Joao Benedito flying to his left - almost parallel with the crossbar - to stop Marcelo scoring his second.
Spain got their noses back in front with a breakaway goal. Keeper Luis Amado threw long to Andreu and Fran Serrejon slid the ball home. This after Joel Queiros had missed a one-on-one with Luis Amado.
The Portuguese captain Andre then hit the post before Orol broke through, Joao Benedito brought him down and was sent-off.
Portugal pressed when they returned to five players after the break, Sandro forcing Luis Amado into a fine stop early on. Ivan's free-kick then found Goncalo who agonisingly hit the post. Javier Lozano's team doubled their advantage with a clever free-kick routine, Fran Serrejon turned Julio's pass onto Marcelo who slotted home.
Now 3-1 down the Portuguese had to throw caution to the wind, taking off their keeper and laying siege to the Spanish goal. The clock ticked down and Lozano's men celebrated a derby win which takes them into the semi-final. One massive game down, now just Brazil await…
"I think we've improved our way of playing since we last played Spain, our squad is more skilful and more talented. I couldn't have asked any more from my players, I thought our supremacy was evident in the second half, but in this game you make your own luck," Portugal coach Orlando Duarte said after the game.