Euro 2012 Quarter-Final: Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal | inside World Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo's header handed Portugal a deserved 1-0 win over the Czech Republic and a place in the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo heads the ball to score the winner against Czech Republic
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo heads the ball to score the winner against Czech Republic

Photo: Getty Images

A cagey contest at the National Stadium, Warsaw, produced few real chances, with Portugal dominating possession but struggling to break down a stubborn Czech side.

Ronaldo was within inches of a spectacular opening goal at the end of the first-half when he collected a high ball into the box on his chest, turned and with two touches set up a right-foot shot that had Petr Čech beaten before it crashed against the near post.

On 50 minutes, Ronaldo was denied by the woodwork again as this time his 30-yard free-kick clipped the outside of the far post.

Paulo Bento's team continued to press and only an offside flag prevented Portugal taking a deserved lead on 57 minutes when Hugo Almeida glanced in Nani's cross.

Just when it looked like there would be no way through for Portugal, Ronaldo finally broke the deadlock on 79 minutes.

João Moutinho's curling cross found the head of Ronaldo, whose downward header bounced in past Čech.

Portugal will now play either Spain or France in the semifinals in Donetsk, Ukraine, next Wednesday.

Lineups:

Czech Republic: Petr Čech; Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomáš Sivok, Michal Kadlec, David Limberský; Tomáš Hübschman (Tomáš Pekhart, 86), Jaroslav Plašil; Petr Jiráček, Vladimír Darida (Jan Rezek, 61), Václav Pilař; Milan Baroš

Portugal: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fábio Coentrão; Raul Meireles (Rolando, 88), Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho; Nani (Custódio, 84), Hélder Postiga (Hugo Almeida, 40), Cristiano Ronaldo



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