Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Russian aid convoy drives into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Portugal closer to quarter finals

Latest update : 2008-06-11

Three goals scored by Deco (picture), Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma led to a Portuguese victory 3-1 against Czech Republic in the Euro 2008 Group A match. Portugal has won both of its encounters so far.

Click here to see all results and comments from our Observers.

 
Portugal's play-maker Cristiano Ronaldo hit a second-half goal to all but book his side's place in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals in a 3-1 win over the Czech Republic here on Wednesday.

As Manchester United struggle to keep him at Old Trafford and Real Madrid attempt to lure him to Spain, the 23-year-old playmaker showed why the European giants are battling for his services with an impressive performance.

After Barcelona's Deco had given Portugal an eighth-minute lead, the Czechs hit back with a brilliant header from midfielder Libor Sionko on 17 minutes, before Ronaldo sealed the game with a superb shot in the 63rd minute.

And he then turned provider for Portuguese substitute Ricardo Quaresmo to score a third goal in extra-time.

After both sides had got off to winning starts last Saturday in their Euro 2008 Group A campaigns, the result leaves the Portuguese on six points and all but sure to reach the last eight.

Last Saturday, Portugal beat Turkey 2-0 and the Czechs - who had broken Switzerland's defence with a 1-0 win - will now need to beat Turkey here on Saturday in their last group game to be sure to reach the last eight.

Before kick-off, Czech coach Karel Bruckner had found no place in his starting line-up for towering forward Jan Koller, prefering to go with former Liverpool marksman Milan Baros as the lone striker.

And Hamburg midfielder David Jarolim, who had started against Switzerland, also found himself on the bench.

In contrast, Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari kept the same side who tormented Turkey.

The game had an electric start at the Stade de Geneve when Ronaldo darted into the area and played a cute one-two with Benfica striker Nuno Gomes in the games opening moments.

The Real Madrid target drew Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech before centre-forward Deco flicked the ball into the empty net on eight minutes.

But despite their early set back, the Czechs hit back as defender Jaroslav Plasil swung in a cross and Sionko powered his header past Portugal 'keeper Ricardo on 16 minutes.

The first booking of the game came shortly after when Anderlecht midfielder Jan Polak tackled Pepe from behind, but Chelsea-bound Jose Bosingwa followed into the referee's book with a heavy foul on 31 minutes.

Ronaldo tested Cech when he unleashed a powerful shot just before half-time which forced the Chelsea goalkeeper into a diving save.

After a slow start to the second half from both sides, Portugal started to exert some authority.

The threatened break through came in the 63rd minute when Deco laid the ball across the penalty area for Ronaldo to drill his shot under Cech.

With time running out, Bruckner sent Koller into the action at the expense of his Nuremberg team-mate Tomas Galasek, while Jarolim also entered the fray, but it was too late for the Czechs chances.

And it was all over in the 91st minute as Ronaldo saw off the Czech threat as he drew Cech and slipped a pass for Quaresma to hammer the ball into an empty net.

Portugal will face co-hosts Switzerland in Basel on Sunday in their final group stage game.

Date created : 2008-06-11

COMMENT(S)