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Portugal’s Patrício shines brightest in defeat

Despite being on the losing side, Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patrício put in an excellent display between the posts to protect a clean sheet and force Spain to a penalty shoot-out. 

Ultimately unable to prevent his side from being eliminated by La Roja in the semi-final at the Donbass Arena, the Sporting Clube de Portugal keeper was the star of the night, repelling all five of Spain’s shots on target during the 120 minutes and topping the Castrol EDGE Index with a score of 9.4.

Although Patrício was little more than a spectator for the first 90 minutes, his composure under crosses and general command of his area were faultless, and he made two particularly sharp saves when it mattered in extra time to keep his side level. The first came just moments before the break in extra time. Andrés Iniesta met Jordi Alba’s cut-back with a first-time effort from point-blank range, but Patrício’s reflexes were superb, and he got down brilliantly to his left to palm the ball away.

The second save was a mirror image of his first, as Jesús Navas broke into the area on the right-hand side and drilled a low, angled effort that required a top-notch reaction parry from Patrício down to his right. While it does not count toward his Castrol score, Patrício also made a terrific penalty block from Xabi Alonso on a night when he could consider himself unfortunate to be on the losing side.

For their role in Spain’s clean sheet as well as their potent attacking threat down the flanks, La Roja full-backs Álvaro Arbeloa and Jordi Alba took places two and three respectively.

Castrol EDGE Index: Portugal v Spain
1. Rui Patrício 9.4 
2. Álvaro Arbeloa 9.39
3. Jordi Alba 9.33
4. Gerard Piqué 9.28
5. Sergio Ramos 9.27

Key facts
4 – Spain will now contest their fourth EURO final, following the 1964, 1984, and 2008 showpieces. They have lost just one, to France in 1984.

1 – Iker Casillas’s save from João Moutinho was the first time a Portugal player has had a shoot-out penalty stopped by a goalkeeper.

0 – Portugal became only the second side not to manage a single shot on target in a UEFA EURO 2012 match. The other was the Czech Republic, against Paolo Bento’s men in the quarter-finals.

2 – It is only Portugal’s second goalless draw after 90 minutes at the UEFA European Championship, following their 0-0 against West Germany in 1984.

488 – The number of passes completed by Spain in normal time, much lower than their tournament average of 677.2, and their highest of 779.

Source Article from http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/statistics/castroledge/analysis/newsid=1832803.html?rss=1832803+Portugal’s+Patrício+shines+brightest+in+defeat

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