Portugal were fortunate to find that late goal against Croatia and with it lock their place in the Euro 2016 quarterfinal match against Poland, who had a slice of luck themselves as well in their last 16 match. Both teams will hope they find a way into the semifinals with skill rather than fortune when they meet in the first last-eight fixture of the European Championships.
This match in Marseille has that Croatia vs Portugal feel again, when both teams failed to sparkle in the final third, leading to 116 minutes of extremely dull football. Portugal got out of that match thanks to a late Ricardo Quaresma goal, with Cristiano Ronaldo playing a big role in the winner as well, and as important as staying compact at the back might be, time really is ripe for Ronaldo and co. to show their quality in front of goal.
Fernando Santos, though, cut a cautious figure when asked about what he expects from the quarterfinal, suggesting this could be yet another cagey encounter. "I think Poland are a bit more like Croatia," Santos told UEFA's official website. "There will be a strong strategic component to this game, because if you concede four goals nobody can ensure you can score five.
"We want to strike a balance, of course. We want Ronaldo to shoot on target 15 times and score 10 goals, but our opponents won't let us and that's part of the game."
That, of course, will not stop Ronaldo from trying, and what the neutrals will want is for the Portuguese to strike that balance between going for goal and choosing the better option of passing to an opponent.
Poland will bank on their forwardline to fire, with Robert Lewandowski the focus. Poland's strength has been their defence – they have conceded a solitary goal all tournament – but having entertained with their counter-attacking prowess in the qualifiers, Lewandowski and co. need to find that form, yet again.
There will be times when Portugal find themselves a little light at the back, and that transition between defence and attack, something Poland are quite good at, but haven't shown often enough in Euro 2016, needs to come to the forefront in this quarterfinal.
"It's going to be a balanced game, although I don't think Poland resemble any team we've played so far," Santos added. "They're a very strategic team. They go from defence to attack very quickly and you can tell a lot of work has been done behind the scenes.
"When we have the ball ourselves, we'll try and take advantage of their weak points."
So far, there has been no signs of any weak points in their defence, with the only goal of the tournament they have conceded coming via a wonder strike from Xherdan Shaqiri. The likes of Ronaldo, Nani and Renato Sanches are certainly capable of the spectacular, but Portugal need to rely more on their pace of attacking play and movement off the ball, if they are to trip up this so-far-near-faultless Poland defence.
"I think we have proved what we're capable of but let's wait until the match," Portugal manager Adam Nawalka told reporters. "We know our strengths and that we are capable of going through. It's no surprise that we've got results at this tournament.
"We've been making good progress and we expect to deliver a high level of football."
Where to Watch Live
The Euro 2016 quarterfinal -- Portugal vs Poland -- is scheduled for a 9 p.m. local time (12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET) start. The TV and live streaming information is below.
Portugal: TV: RTP1 and Sport TV1.
Poland: TV: Polsat.
France: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
USA: TV: ESPN and ESPN 3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: TSN and RDS. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Australia: TV: Bein Sports and SBS One. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Max 2 and Bein Max 3. Live Streaming: Bein SportsConnect.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 3. Live Streaming: SuperSport
Singapore: TV: Eleven Singapore, ABS-CBN and Singtel. Live Streaming: Singtel Go.
Malaysia: TV: Astro.
China and Hong Kong: TV: CCTV and LeTV.
Thailand: TV: Channel 3 and CTH.
Latin America: TV: DirecTV.