Cristiano Ronaldo’s late header has earned team Portugal a semifinal spot in the Euro 2012, putting an emphatic end to the Czech fairytale in Poland.
The Czechs, with key creative midfielder Tomas Rosicky sidelined due to an Achilles injury, started the game well, but lacked a decisive pass in the final third. But as Portugal took more and more control of the ball, any doubts of who would steal the show in Warsaw disappeared.
The Real Madrid star dominated at the cutting edge of Portugal’s attack. Having missed a string of chances and hitting the woodwork twice, he scored his third goal of the tournament 10 minutes from time, latching onto Joao Moutinho’s cross with a diving header that bounced from the ground above goalkeeper Petr Cech and into the net.
The late Czech assault led to nothing, as they struggled to create any chance for an equalizer in vain. Portugal kept control of the ball, denying the Czechs possession and choking off any possibility of attack in the dying minutes.
Portugal will face either Spain or France in the semifinal, with the game taking place on Saturday in Donetsk.
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