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Ronaldo heads Portugal into last four

Published: Thursday 21 June 2012, 22.48CET
Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal
A 79th-minute header from Cristiano Ronaldo finally ended the Czechs' stubborn resistance and set up a semi-final meeting with Spain or France.
by Ian Holyman
from National Stadium Warsaw

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Match statistics

Czech RepublicPortugal

Goals scored0
1
Possession (%)44
 
56
Total attempts2
 
20
Attempts on target0
5
Attempts off target2
 
15
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
2
Corners6
 
11
Offsides1
 
3
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed13
 
7
Fouls suffered6
 
12

Standings

Matches

21 June 2012

22 June 2012

23 June 2012

24 June 2012

 
Published: Thursday 21 June 2012, 22.48CET

Ronaldo heads Portugal into last four

Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal
A 79th-minute header from Cristiano Ronaldo finally ended the Czechs' stubborn resistance and set up a semi-final meeting with Spain or France.

Cristiano Ronaldo finally ended the Czech Republic's stubborn resistance as he headed the only goal of the first UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final to take Portugal into the last four.

It had promised to be a trying night for Portugal, who found the Czechs in resolute mood at the National Stadium Warsaw. Profoundly but not quite soundly defensive throughout, Michal Bílek's men rarely threatened, but looked as if they might prolong the encounter into at least extra time before Ronaldo headed in João Moutinho's fine cross with 11 minutes left, a third goal in two games for the captain and his second match-winning contribution in succession.

Bílek had sounded his intentions to rein in his side's attacking ambitions, all the while hoping to counter smartly. The plan very nearly came to fruition just after the quarter-hour when Vladimír Darida was sent scampering down the right. The delicious arcing cross the 21-year-old produced belied the fact this was his competitive debut; the lunging Milan Baroš came within a whisker of turning it goalwards.

The Czechs' preoccupation, however, was not to be caught out themselves. The main focus of their attention fell, unsurprisingly, on Ronaldo, who – when he burst forward for the first time – was chaperoned by five Czech players. The Portugal forward did escape his escorts in the closing minute of the first half, but after turning away from Michal Kadlec with a slickness matched only by his sleek new hairstyle, his shot came back off Petr Čech's left-hand post. Up in the stands, Eusébio and Luís Figo, wearing the Portugal No7 shirt Ronaldo inherited from him, must have glowed with approval.

Right Here, Right Now had boomed around the stadium before the teams re-emerged after the interval, and Portugal took their cue from Fatboy Slim. Raul Meireles immediately skipped down the left, providing a pinpoint cross which Hugo Almeida, on for the injured Hélder Postiga, should have used to at least test Čech, but he headed wastefully over. The Czech goalkeeper was equally unemployed soon after, although purely because a Ronaldo free-kick zipped beyond him and glanced off the outside of a post.

Fortune might have kept the scoreline level, but Čech had still not had to make a save of note. Nani changed that when he drove goalwards but found the goalkeeper more than equal to the task, as did Moutinho soon after when he powered a shot on target. Their intricate attempts to undo the Czechs thwarted, Paulo Bento's men had clearly decided more direct action was required.

A ball flighted to Ronaldo was exactly that, but Meireles's subsequent wild finish left everyone in a white shirt holding their heads. Nani, too, threw up his arms in despair when Kadlec's outstretched leg deflected a shot over. It was a gripping contest, now defined by the question of when – if – would the Czechs fold. They were eventually undone when Nani found Moutinho on the right, and his cross was met sweetly by Ronaldo. For the first time in the evening, joy broke across those familiar features. It was a winning smile, as Portugal saw out the last few minutes to set up a semi-final against Spain or France in Donetsk next Wednesday.

Last updated: 26/10/12 15.27CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15173/match=2003343/postmatch/report/index.html#ronaldo+seals+semi+final+spot

Quotes

  • Michal Bílek

    Read more"We managed to hold out in the first half, but we were losing energy in the second. They scored once and that was it"

  • Paulo Bento

    Read more"We weren't very efficient in possession in the first 20 to 25 minutes. Then we took control of the game"

Lineups

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Portugal

Portugal

1
ČechPetr Čech (GK) (C)
12
Rui PatrícioRui Patrício (GK)
2
Gebre SelassieTheodor Gebre Selassie
2
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
3
KadlecMichal Kadlec
3
PepePepe
6
SivokTomáš Sivok
4
Miguel VelosoMiguel Veloso
Yellow Card27
8
LimberskýDavid Limberský
Yellow Card90
5
Fábio CoentrãoFábio Coentrão
13
PlašilJaroslav Plašil
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo (C)
Goal79
14
PilařVáclav Pilař
8
João MoutinhoJoão Moutinho
15
BarošMilan Baroš
16
Raul MeirelesRaul Meireles
Substitution88
17
HübschmanTomáš Hübschman
Substitution86
17
NaniNani
Yellow Card26
Substitution84
19
JiráčekPetr Jiráček
21
João PereiraJoão Pereira
22
DaridaVladimír Darida
Substitution61
23
Hélder PostigaHélder Postiga
Substitution40

Substitutes

16
LaštůvkaJan Laštůvka (GK)
1
EduardoEduardo (GK)
23
DrobnýJaroslav Drobný (GK)
22
BetoBeto (GK)
4
SuchýMarek Suchý
6
CustódioCustódio
Substitution84
5
HubníkRoman Hubník
9
Hugo AlmeidaHugo Almeida
Substitution40
7
NecidTomáš Necid
10
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
9
RezekJan Rezek
Substitution61
11
Nélson OliveiraNélson Oliveira
10
RosickýTomáš Rosický
13
Ricardo CostaRicardo Costa
11
PetrželaMilan Petržela
14
RolandoRolando
Substitution88
12
RajtoralFrantišek Rajtoral
15
Rúben MicaelRúben Micael
18
KolářDaniel Kolář
18
VarelaSilvestre Varela
20
PekhartTomáš Pekhart
Substitution86
19
Miguel LopesMiguel Lopes
21
LafataDavid Lafata
20
Hugo VianaHugo Viana

Coach

Michal Bílek (CZE) Paulo Bento (POR)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Michael Mullarkey (ENG), Sander van Roekel (NED)

Fourth official

Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

Additional assistant referees

Martin Atkinson (ENG), Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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