Portugal overcame England on penalties to advance to the UEFA EURO 2004 semi-finals after an enthralling tie at the Estádio da Luz, with misses from David Beckham and Darius Vassell proving decisive in the shoot-out. Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo nervelessly converted the winning spot kick.
Michael Owen's improvised finish put England ahead just three minutes in, but from then on they endured relentless pressure, Portugal finally levelling with the end in sight when Hélder Postiga headed in Simão's cross. Then it was the turn of a third Portugal substitute, Rui Costa, who beat David James with a sumptuous strike and while Frank Lampard sent the match to penalties, it merely prolonged the agony for England.
More shoot-out woe for the Three Lions, more disappointment; how different the mood had been almost three hours earlier when England got off to a perfect start with a wonderful piece of invention. Jorge Andrade failed to cut out Costinha's misjudged back header and Owen pounced on to the loose ball to pivot and flick beyond Ricardo.
The hosts could have swiftly been level, and it took committed blocks from Ashley Cole and a combination of Cole and Sol Campbell to deny teenage sensation Cristiano Ronaldo. That sparked a wave of Portugal attacks, with Maniche's fierce strike tipped over by David James and Miguel firing over as England surrendered possession cheaply.
The tournament top scorers looked dangerous when they did get the chance to advance, Owen and Campbell going close, but the loss of Wayne Rooney on 27 minutes with a broken foot blunted their attacking teeth. On came Vassell.
Portugal picked up where they had left off upon the restart, and in an effort to relieve the pressure Sven-Göran Eriksson introduced Phil Neville for Paul Scholes. Still Portugal came, as Deco's left-wing cross was headed back across goal by Costinha and Ronaldo outjumped Campbell to head over.
England, often with as many as eight players behind the ball, were defending valiantly. Luiz Felipe Scolari threw more and more caution to the wind. Winger Simão came on for Costinha, Postiga replaced Figo and, with 13 minutes remaining, full-back Miguel made way for Rui Costa. Time was running out.
With seven minutes left Simão seized on Lampard's wayward pass and crossed superbly for Postiga, who headed in unmarked. England almost claimed a sensational late winner but Campbell's header was ruled out after a foul on Ricardo by John Terry and a pulsating period of extra time beckoned.
The prevailing pattern continued as Portugal pressed but England stood firm before Rui Costa's tracer bullet found a way through. Lampard levelled on 115 minutes to force penalties, where David Beckham and Rui Costa blazed wild efforts over. Ricardo stood tall for Portugal, however, denying Vassell and then stepping up himself to convert the winner.