RONALDO HEADS PORTUGAL INTO SEMIS
A Cristiano Ronaldo goal 11 minutes from time secured a 1-0 victory for Portugal over Czech Republic and a place in the Euro 2012 semi-finals.
Portugal were rewarded for almost an hour of dominance when Joao Moutinho took a Nani pass in his stride and whipped in a cross from the right side of the box and Ronaldo arrived in front of Theodor Gebre Selassie to send his downward header into the roof of the net past Petr Cech.
The Czechs had the best of the opening half-hour without really troubling the Portuguese, who then created the best chance when Pepe lofted the ball into the centre of the box and Ronaldo sent an overhead kick just wide.
Nani went down unsuccessfully claiming a penalty just before the break before Ronaldo swivelled past Michal Kadlec and then shot against the base of the post with Cech beaten.
Seconds after the interval Hugo Almeida sent a free header from six yards wide after Raul Meireles delivered from the left side of the penalty area.
And Ronaldo hit the post again, this time with a dipping free-kick, while Nani and Moutinho both forced Cech into decent saves.
Joao Pereira was later denied as the partially unsighted Cech got across to push away his thunderbolt from 25 yards shortly after Ronaldo's goal, which was enough to set up a clash with Spain or France.
Ronaldo said on BBC1: "We created many chances and hit the post, but it is brilliant for us to have passed into the semi-finals.
"We know it is going to be difficult, but we are ready, we are confident. We are very mature, so we are ready for the fight."
Portugal coach Paulo Bento said: "We did not start the match well in attack for the first 25 minutes, then we showed a great response in the second half, a great capacity to respond to the Czechs and that is why we really deserved this victory.
"We had prepared ourselves in the best possible way for their strategy.
"We knew they would try to defend very deeply and would press against us on the counter-attack, because they have very quick players who are good technically.
"As the game went on we controlled the match, we played better and had more chances to create our own game."
Czech coach Michal Bilek said: "We were disappointed as we were really looking forward to fighting in the semis and then the final, but we have played well at the tournament.
"They were more dangerous and had more chances, but we fought very hard."
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