Portugal 2 - 2 England (aet, 6-5 on pens) | Euro 2004, Quarter Final | 24.06.04

On a thrilling night in Lisbon, hosts Portugal advanced to the semi-finals after beating England 2-2 (6-5 on pens). Both teams showed their powers of recovery to take the tie to the dreaded penalty shootout where Portugal keeper, Ricardo, was the match-winner.

Portugal 2 - 2 England (aet, 6-5 on pens) | Euro 2004, Quarter Final | 24.06.04

On a thrilling night in Lisbon, hosts Portugal advanced to the semi-finals after beating England 2-2 (6-5 on pens). Both teams showed their powers of recovery to take the tie to the dreaded penalty shootout where Portugal keeper, Ricardo, was the match-winner. After saving Darius Vassell's effort, the keeper stepped up to fire his strike past his opposite number and claim victory in front of more than 60,000 adoring fans at Estadio da Luz. Goals from Michael Owen, Helder Postiga, Rui Costa, and Frank Lampard left the teams deadlocked after extra time before the game produced its spectacular conclusion.

England continued their habit of fast starts in the tournament by taking an early lead. Neither team could control possession in the first couple of minutes, and from David James' long ball forward, Portuguese defensive midfielder Costinha stretched to head the falling ball. Unfortunately for the hosts, his contact provided the perfect pass for the poacher supreme, Michael Owen. The England striker did superbly to swivel and finish, with the outside of his foot, past Ricardo advancing from his goal line. The bouncing ball, waist-high when Owen dispatched it, might have proved too difficult to control for most, but not for the Liverpool marksman.

The home crowd demanded a reaction, and the team responded to apply their first bit of pressure on the England goal. Figo occupied Neville on the left flank before putting a dangerous cross into a crowded box. The pass found United youngster, Cristiano Ronaldo but Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell bravely blocked his initial strike and then the rebound. The passage of play was an early tell of how England's defenders would perform in the first period. Terry, Campbell, Cole and Neville were a wall. The centre backs were robust in every challenge and blocked almost every long-range drive that came their way. If their clearances had found an England man more often, the visitors might have fashioned more attacks.

The early stages were played at a very high tempo - real end to end stuff with both teams continuing to threaten. Before the twenty-minute mark, England created a good opportunity after Portugal had cleared a Beckham corner. The Madrid man played a pass back into Gerrard, who found Scholes on the edge of the area. Scholes, frustratingly anonymous for most of the game and deployed on the left, played a first time pass in behind to Owen. Always lurking, the striker was unable to contort his body to get a clean strike on goal on this occasion.

Another well-worked corner, a couple of minutes later, could have seen England double their lead. This time Beckham played a short pass into Neville, who advanced from deep. The right-back stood up his cross to the penalty spot where Sol Campbell rose, effortlessly out muscling Jorge Andrade, and powered his header high over Ricardo's goal.

England were dealt their first blow just before the half-hour when Rooney, who had lit up the tournament with four goals in his first three games, was forced off with a foot injury. Aston Villa striker Darius Vassel replaced him. The Villaman deputised well but ultimately played a disappointingly decisive part in the game's end.

The battle between Ronaldo and Cole on Portugals' right flank was fascinating throughout the match. Cole marshalled the young winger well, but Ronaldo's flair and spontaneity kept him a threat throughout. Five minutes after Rooney's departure, Vassell chimed in with a brilliant contribution. England's attacks came, predominantly, through long passes to the attackers. On this occasion, Vassell did brilliantly to win a header in front of Costinha. Again attempting to make the most of an awkwardly bouncing ball, Owen adjusted to unleash a strike, bound for the top corner. If not for Ricardo's quick reactions and an excellent save, the England faithful behind the goal would have been in raptures again.

In truth, England grew more threatening as the half went on as Portugal looked frustrated and devoid of any ideas. Even in the blistering Lisbon heat, both teams played at an alarming pace and exploited areas of space in the centre of the pitch to spring counters. As the first half closed, the hosts were behind and in serious need of inspiration to keep their hopes alive.

Luis Felipe Scolari, World Cup winner two years ago, resisted the urge to make any changes at the half and his confidence was rewarded as his side greatly improved in the second period. The hosts turned up the pressure from the first whistle, controlling the ball with the lion share of possession and applying more venom to every attack. For their part, England appeared to oblige, dropping deep and starting counter-attacks only three men strong - the first half excursion seemed to have taken it out of Sven's team.

The Swede made his second change just before the hour, replacing Paul Scholes with his United teammate, Phil Neville. The change saw Gerrard move to the left of midfield, strange considering how effective he had been in shutting down Deco in the centre of the park. Portugal's first move was to bring on dangerous winger Simao for Costinha. However, it's fair to say Scolari's substitution proved to have the more significant effect.

The substitute was lively and flashed a strike from outside the area, just wide of James' goal. With Simao on the left and Ronaldo on the right, the hosts stretched the pitch, allowing Figo, Maniche and Deco to impact proceedings more. Their clever, intricate play virtually left England without the ball, but they could not question James. England's first attack - if you can call it that - of the half came just after the 70th minute. A tame John Terry header from a Beckham corner was all they had to show from their attacking play. After that point, the quarter-final opened up; Gerrard failed to control a pass from Beckham as he ran in behind before Figo struck from range and forced David James into a scrambling save at his near post. It was the captain's final contribution as Spurs striker Helder Postiga immediately replaced him with Portugal desperate for an equaliser. Further attacking changes came from Scolari with a little over ten minutes to play. Rui Costa, this time, replaced right-back Miguel.

Costa picked up where Figo had left off, dictating the play through the middle in search of that elusive goal. Scolari's tinkering proved influential as all three of his substitutes were involved in Portugal's leveller. Nuno Gomes, Maniche and Rui Costa exchanged quick passes high in England's final third before Postiga played a pass out wide to Simao on the left. In lots of space as the visitors had narrowed in the closing stages, the winger saw his initial cross blocked by Beckham. After retrieving the ball, he whipped in an excellent cross which, for once, illuded Terry and found Postiga, who rose on the edge of the six-yard area and glanced a beautiful header past James. Relief for all of Portugal, the goal was fully deserved.

With extra time on the horizon, the Portuguese were keen to finish off the tie. They besieged the England box with cross after cross, but the winner never came. Indeed, it was England who thought they had stolen it at the end. Owen saw his header cannon off the crossbar from an inswinging Beckham free-kick with only a minute to play. Sol Campbell climbed highest to nod in the rebound, but before the players or fans could celebrate, Urs Meier blew his whistle for a foul. Ricardo did a good job convincing Meier he had been obstructed by Terry, who was close, but England could feel hard done by the referee's hasty decision. So 1-1 it finished after the 90.

The topsy turvy affair continued to deliver in the extended period. Ronaldo and Cole resumed their duel while Rui Costa and Maniche probed to find Nuno Gomes in behind. Portugal were undoubtedly the team that forced the issue, denying England the ability to exert prolonged control since the first period. The first half of extra time passed without much incident, but the hosts were nearly rewarded for their efforts in the second. From a Rui Costa corner, Ronaldo's initial header was followed in at the far post by Helder Postiga. The forward stooped to make contact and headed the ball past James, but Ashley Cole was England's saviour. The Arsenal man, outstanding on the night, cleared the effort before all of the ball had crossed the line.

Just when it looked as if England had got away scot-free, Rui Costa reminded all spectators of his class. From Cole's clearance beforehand, England started a counter-attack but were rebuffed by the Portuguese players who had quickly recovered. Deco picked up the ball on the edge of his penalty area in the same passage of play. His pass found Ronaldo, who came deep to evade Cole. A first-time pass, a neat ball inside Neville and Rui Costa was free to run at the retreating England defence. Neville attempted to halt his menacing incursion, but the Milan man was too strong, brushing the 'other' Neville aside and to the ground. Now just outside the area, with Terry and Gary Neville nearby, Costa ripped a cracking strike off the underside of the crossbar and into the net. The Portuguese bench erupted; it was a goal worthy of winning any game. With only ten mins to play and having controlled proceedings for well over an hour, a semi-final spot looked guaranteed.

But England, so blunt for most of the contest, produced four mins later. Their equaliser came from a Beckham corner, headed down by Terry, to his Chelsea teammate, Frank Lampard. With his back to goal, the midfielder controlled the ball with his left before spinning to sweep the ball past Ricardo with his right. The Portuguese defending was appalling, but it was a goal that showcased England's quality and left you wondering why they had been so passive after the first period. With neither side able to find a winner, Meier blew the final whistle to bring this electrifying matchup to a close. 2-2 it finished after time, and onto penalties.

The hosts won the toss and chose to go second, which gave Beckham the opportunity to put England in the lead with the first spot-kick. Instead, in what has been a nightmare tournament from the spot for the England captain, he blazed his effort into the stratosphere, well high over Ricardo's goal. Deco was first up for Portugal, and he made no mistake to put them ahead after two. Owen kept his nerve to level before Simao confidently struck home into the top corner. Lampard, whose late strike took the game to penalties, scored before Rui Costa, a fellow goalscorer in regular time, blasted his penalty high over the goal frame like Beckham before him. Then, despite the trouble the wrecked penalty spot caused for takers on both sides, John Terry and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in consecutive spot-kicks before Owen Hargreaves put England on the precipice by calmly slotting past Ricardo. That goal meant Maniche had to score - which he did. Maniche sent James the wrong way and sent the shootout into sudden death.

Unfortunately for England, they blinked first. Vassell stepped up after Cole and Postiga had scored before him - Postiga's effort was an outrageous panenka. The England man's tame effort was palmed away by a barehanded Ricardo. The eccentric keeper had taken off his gloves as he sensationally took the final kick. He strode forward and lashed his strike to James' right; he sealed Portugals' spot in the semi-finals with it. A bonkers conclusion to a brilliant game.

England will look back on this tie as another missed opportunity in a major tournament. Of course, another shootout defeat will make the headlines, but Sven's men were fortunate to make it that far after surrendering their dominant position in the first half. Eriksson will have plenty of questions to answer from the bloodthirsty tabloids. As for the hosts, the pursuit of their first major trophy goes on, and they will take a lot of confidence from their ability to come back from both setbacks inflicted by England. The Netherlands or Sweden await in the next round, and I wouldn't want to bet against this well-balanced team with the perfect blend of grit and skill.