Portugal (FIFA Rank 8) v Wales (26)
Okay, Wales might still qualify as a plucky upstart but since we here at Sounder at Heart are Seattle Reign fans and the Reign feature Welsh dynamo Jessica Fishlock, we are going to stretch the narrative and say that Wales are OUR plucky upstarts.
Wales won their group on six points with wins over Slovakia and Russia sandwiched around a loss to England. They beat Northern Ireland in the round of 16 and Belgium in the quarterfinals to make it this far. Wales feature Real Madrid's Gareth Bale at the heart of their attack and he will be called upon to do even more with Aaron Ramsey and Ben Davies out due to yellow card accumulation.
Portugal's answer to Gareth Bale is Christiano Ronaldo (a sentence that surely is not very often written in that order) who also stars at Real Madrid. Portugal has found themselves in the semi-finals without having won a game in 90 minutes. Portugal finished their group on three points from three draws with Iceland, Austria and Hungary. They advanced to the knockout stage as one of the four best third place place teams because of a stellar zero goal differential. A round of 16 match against Croatia ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and Portugal won 1-0 after extra time. Their quarterfinal against Poland ended 1-1 after 120 minutes and Portugal won in penalty kicks.
How to Watch:
- If tied after extra time, there will be 30 minutes of extra time followed by penalties if needed.
- The winner of this match will play the winner of Germany vs. France from Stade Velodrome tomorrow at Noon.
- Because the European Championship has already added an extra round of games when they went to a 24 team tournament, they have decided against having a third place match.
This is your Sounder at Heart 2016 European Championship Gamethread. Watch with us.