Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Sports

Ronaldo heads Portugal into semis with 1-0 win

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-21

Portugal advanced to the semi-finals of the Euro 2012 on Thursday with a 1-0 win over Czech Republic. Cristiano Ronaldo broke a tense stalemate with a header in the 79th minute.

AFP - Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero as Portugal beat an ultra-defensive Czech Republic 1-0 at the National Stadium here on Thursday in their quarter-final to qualify for the Euro 2012 semi-finals.

Ronaldo headed home a cross from Joao Moutinho 11 minutes from the end to set up a possible semi-final against either world champions Spain or France.

It was just reward after another starring performance from the Real Madrid man against opponents who failed to register a single shot on target and were hindered by the absence of injured playmaker Tomas Rosicky.

As is so often the case in knock-out matches in big tournaments, the first half was a cagey affair.

Portugal struggled to string two passes together while centre-backs Pepe and Bruno Alves resorted to lumping long aimless balls up the field.

Czech Republic had some joy down their right with one particularly dangerous cross from Theodor Gebre Selassie only just being cut out by Pepe.

Moutinho hit a weak shot from 20 yards that Petr Cech gathered easily.

But then the Ronaldo show really took off.

The Real Madrid star sprung into life in the 25th minute as he darted across field, played a one-two with former Manchester United team-mate Nani, shrugged off Michal Kadlec and fired straight at Cech.

It was a rare burst of activity in an up-until-then tame affair but even that wouldn't have counted as referee Howard Webb penalised Ronaldo for pushing.

The 27-year-old was only just getting started, though.

On 33 minutes Pepe lobbed a ball into the box and Ronaldo sent an overhead bicycle kick wide of the upright.

Next up he sent a free-kick from almost 30 yards swerving wide but in stoppage time at the end of the half he demonstrated his full talent.

Raul Meireles knock a long ball into the box which Ronaldo controlled on his chest before turning Kadlec and prodding the ball past Cech, only to see it come back off the post.

It took Portugal only 20 seconds after the restart to show their intent as Meireles crossed for Hugo Almeida, a first half substitute for Helder Postiga, who seemed to have pulled a hamstring, but the Besiktas forwad headed over when it looked easier to hit the target.

Ronaldo then clipped the outside of the post with a free-kick from fully 30 yards.

Moutinho and Meireles combined to play Ronaldo in behind the defence as he came in off his left wing but his finish was skewed high and wide.

Porto's Moutinho had a crack from 20 yards on 64 minutes but Cech tipped it over the bar while Almeida sent another header woefully over.

Meireles cleverly played in Nani on 74 minutes but the winger's shot was deflected over the bar.

The goal Portugal's domination richly deserved finally came on 79 minutes as Moutinho made a determined run down the right and produced a peach of cross that Ronaldo headed home on the dive.

Full-back Joao Pereira had a chance to seal the match but he shot wide when well placed.

Date created : 2012-06-21

  • EURO 2012

    France advance to quarter-finals despite 2-0 loss

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    France's Blanc wary of wounded Sweden

    Read more

  • EURO 2012

    Spain, Italy advance to Euro 2012 quarter-finals

    Read more

COMMENT(S)