Poland beat Switzerland on penalties in the first knockout game at Euro 2016 ©Getty Images

Poland booked their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Championships for the first time as they overcame Switzerland on penalties, despite Xherdan Shaqiri scoring the goal of the tournament so far at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne.

After an entertaining contest had finished 1-1, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, who signed for English Premier League club Arsenal before the competition began, missed the crucial penalty as Poland found the target with all five of their spot-kicks, Grzegorz Krychowiak scoring the winner.

They will face Portugal in the last eight as Ricardo Quaresma's fortunate 117th minute goal gave them a 1-0 win against Croatia at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.

Wales won the second last 16 clash to take place today as Gareth McAuley’s own goal 15 minutes from time handed them a narrow 1-0 win over Home Nations rivals Northern Ireland at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

The result saw Wales’ history-making run at Euro 2016 continue as the Northern Irish side’s campaign ended in heartbreak.

Poland started the brighter of the two teams in their encounter with Switzerland but were unable to find a breakthrough until six minutes before half-time.

The Polish side soaked up Swiss pressure and launched a counter-attack, which was smartly rounded off by Jakub Blaszczykowski’s cool finish.

That was the way it stayed until the 81st minute as Shaqiri, who plays for Stoke City in the English Premier League, attempted an outrageous overhead kick from outside the area.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored the goal of the tournament but Switzerland went out on penalties to Poland after the game had finished 1-1
Xherdan Shaqiri scored the goal of the tournament but Switzerland went out on penalties to Poland after the game had finished 1-1 ©Getty Images

Much to the delight of Shaqiri and his Swiss team-mates, his stunning acrobatic strike found the net via the inside of the post - a goal which will be remembered for years to come.

Neither side were able to find a winner as the first knockout match at Euro 2016 went to penalties and Xhaka’s wild shot sailed wide of the post before Krychowiak netted the winning spot-kick, sparking scenes of Polish jubilation.

Wales’ eagerly-anticipated clash with Northern Ireland did not live up to its pre-match billing as both sides appeared nervous throughout.

Aaron Ramsey had a goal disallowed for the Welsh side 19 minutes in, while Northern Ireland’s best chance came when Stuart Dallas’ strike was well saved by Wayne Hennessey.

The pivotal moment in the match came after 75 minutes as Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale’s teasing delivery into the box was inadvertently turned home by McAuley.

After a drab 90 minutes, Portugal's last 16 match against Croatia sparked into life and Ivan Perišić was unfortunate to see his header strike the post in extra-time.

Portugal then went straight up the other end as Nani's mis-hit effort fell kindly for Cristiano Ronaldo, whose shot was saved, leaving Quaresma the simplest of tap-ins to send his team through.