Euro 2012: Ronaldo puts Portugal into semifinals with late goal

Ronaldo getty

So much for Cristiano Ronaldo disappearing in big tournaments.

The Real Madrid superstar scored his third goal of the tournament as Portugal booked the first place in the semifinals with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic. Ronaldo found space inside the box with just over 10 minutes left in the game and sent Joao Moutinho's cross rocketing off the turf and into the roof of the net. The Czech Republic had defended well up to that point, denying Portugal many chances. However, when the time came for the Czechs to surge forward they were unable to respond and rarely threatened Rui Patricio's goal.

The first half was largely devoid of chances but Ronaldo almost put Portugal ahead in stoppage time. A brilliant move took him past a defender and and his rifled shot beat Petr Cech but couldn't beat the post. Portugal wasted another chance just after the restart but Hugo Almeida put Raul Merieles' cross over the bar from eight yards. Three minutes later Ronaldo skimmed the bar with a free kick from 30 yards out.

The Czech Republic almost scored on the counter attack but Bruno Alves was able to clear a pass destined for Milan Baros. Nani was the next Portugal player to threaten but his shot was deflected just over the bar in the 74th minute. Five minutes later Ronaldo provided the opener.

Despite being down a goal, the Czech Republic didn't get another chance. Portugal moves on to take on the victor of Saturday's France vs. Spain quarterfinal.

Share your thoughts on the first quarterfinal of EURO 2012 below.

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19 Responses to Euro 2012: Ronaldo puts Portugal into semifinals with late goal

  1. Old School says:

    Well, he’s starting to show up and play big for his country. That was always the biggest criticism against Ronaldo’s game.

    Good for him.

  2. Mike says:

    I don’t know if it had much to do with Rosicky being out, but the Czech Republic did not appear to belong in the competition to be honest.

  3. Eric says:

    Highly frustrating game from a Portuguese fan perspective. First half was a toss up between the two teams much more of a feeling out period then anything. The second half was much better bordering on dominant. Petr Cech was amazing but the Czechs gave the Portuguese and Ronaldo one to many chances. The Portuguese deserved the win but the Czechs defended bravely but just couldnt threaten the offensively. On to the Semi’s for the Portuguese. Whether the Spanish or the French make it through it will be a extremely tough test.

  4. Dimidri says:

    Good to see countries going through terrible economic times doing well (Greece, Portugal, Spain, heck making it was a big deal for Ireland even).

  5. dgoshilla says:

    This tournament has been AWFUL. For one they drag it on needlessly. 5 days between matches? I’ve seen 3 teams that have been impressive and maybe 4 fames that were really worth tuning into. Is Europe losing it?

  6. Mig22 says:

    Interesting thought! Italy too for that matter.

    Of course, so many Euro nations are struggling that you would expect some of them to do well. ;)

  7. mistadobolina says:

    +1 especially greece, got to be uplifting for them.

  8. mistadobolina says:

    i think its just very equal, all teams are really good so everybody plays conservatively. compare that to concacaf games where there is serious parity and extreme differences in playing style.

    overall its been good, but just heating up. if your not enjoying it, no one is making you watch!

  9. dgoshilla says:

    What else am I to do while invoicing my clients???

  10. mistadobolina says:

    portugal vs. spain will be great! unless anyone thinks france will knock off spain???

  11. Puffer says:

    I think France will not knock off Spain. I don’t want a Battle for Iberia.

  12. Puffer says:

    sorry meant will knock off Spain

  13. Philly union Rule says:

    You may be right, but the Czechs put up a great fight after losing to Russia. They took Portugal to the 80th minute, and then the dam broke. the Czechs deserve a lot of credit for the “no names” we expected them to be.

  14. Philly Union Rule says:

    +1. As a Czech, the Portuguese were dominant and better. Czechs gave all they had. Good luck in the next game. Win it all!!!

  15. Herb says:

    Where are all the Ronaldo haters today?

  16. Eric says:

    Watching videos of Messi with there tissues and hand lotion.

  17. Josh says:

    I can’t stand Ronaldo’s personality, but even Ronaldo haters have to admit that the guy’s freakishly good. He was dominant yesterday, and the Czechs were lucky that he only scored one goal. (I suppose it helped that Petr Cech had a great match as well; otherwise the score would’ve gotten out of hand.)