- European Championship Finals
- 21 June 2012, 7:45pm
- National Stadium
FULL TIME: Ronaldo leads Portugal into the semi-finals! He hit the post twice before finally bulging the onion bag with a downward header which left Cech with no chance. The Czechs looked like they were playing for penalties from half time, and were second best by a long way in the second half.
90+3 mins: Cech lumps the ball up and wins a corner. The keeper trots up into the box as the ball comes in, Cech stays forward, Portugal break but the pass to Ronaldo is cut out! The goal was gaping!
90 mins: Four minutes added on as Pereira is hacked down by Limbersky who picks up a yellow card. He'll miss the semis if the Czechs go through. Which they won't.
88 mins: Meireles makes way for Ronaldo, as the last of my three bets tonight goes down the gurgler.
87 mins: Ronaldo tumbles in the box, Webb gives him the indignant look he must have given him once or twice in the Premier League and waves play on.
86 mins: Custodio looks to waste time down by the flag before Czech Republic make another change, Hubschman being replaced by centre forward Pekhart.
84 mins: Sub for Portugal, Nani making way for defensive midfielder Custodio as they look to shut the game down.
81 mins: Pereira stings Cech's palms for a corner on the near side. Moutinho sends it deep looking for Alves but his header's way off target.
79 mins: RONALDO BREAKS THE DEADLOCK! Great run and cross by Moutinho down the right flank, he whips in a fine cross, Ronaldo heads it down past Cech from six yards and it ruffles the back of the net! He's finally coming of age on the international stage in this tournament.
78 mins: Promising run by Jiracek down the left, he crosses but Patricio's on hand to claim under no pressure.
77 mins: Ronaldo nearly gets on the end of a looooong ball into the box but Kadlec shadows him well and heads clear.
74 mins: Nani... over the bar! Meireles picks out his run into the box with a neat little ball, Nani shoots from 12 yards but Kadlec slides in to get a nick on it and send it looping onto the roof of the net! Corner comes to nothing.
Colin, Dulverton: "Ronaldo will start sulking soon, then it will be all over"
72 mins: Another chance blazed over by Portugal! This time it's Meireles from the edge of the box. They look like they couldn't even finish their dinner at the mo.
70 mins: Meireles digs his heels into the ground awkwardly in a nothing challenge. Hope he'll be fine to carry on as I've got a quid on him as last goalscorer.
Mark , Hull: "Told you! Penalties!!"
68 mins: I've never noticed Ronaldo's MASSIVE Adam's Apple before. It's disturbing me now. Like something's about to burst out of him, 'Alien' style.
67 mins: Kadlec needs treatment after getting a knee from his own keeper Cech in the ribs going for a high ball. Gets more painful to watch with each replay.
65 mins: Intricate stuff by Portugal around the Czech box, before Cech palms a Moutinho drive over the bar for the first of two quick corners. Almeida has a decent chance from the second but again puts a woeful header over the bar from eight yards!
David, Scotland: "I really hope someone hands these Czechs a right hiding! They cheated their way to the Euros!"
63 mins: An optimistic shy by Baros is hopelessly off target from down the right.
62 mins: Darida makes way for Rezek for Czech Republic.
60 mins: The Czechs get forward in numbers for the first time this half, Pilar does well to lose his marker down the left of the box and cut back but Pepe's well placed to take it on his chest and clear.
59 mins: Almeida has the ball in the net but it's ruled out for offside! Nani delayed the cross a touch and Sivok stepped up to leave Almeida stranded before he bulleted the header home from six yards.
58 mins: Cech beats away a fierce drive by Nani from 22 yards! Looks like Nani tugged his marker back in the build-up but ref Webb didn't see anything in it.
56 mins: Portugal win a corner on the near side, Limbersky clears but only as far as Meireles who rattles an effort over the bar from 18 yards.
53 mins: Ronaldo takes ball on the run, breaks into the box but it's sitting up a little and he shins it off target! He's going through the mill, and letting the world know about it with every scowl and gesticulation.
Lorgar Aurelian: "Could go to pens but if so i want a score draw, no 0-0's in this tourney it's been far too good for that!"
49 mins: Ronaldo hits the post! Again! This time he beats the wall and sees his free-kick glance off the right-hand post for a goal-kick!
48 mins: Blatant block by Hubschman on Ronaldo to gift Portugal a free-kick 35 yards out. Surely Ronaldo can't be... he is... oh. Straight into the wall. Handball in the wall though, and another stab from 30 yards (though it should be 25 if the wall was correctly placed the first time!)
47 mins: Great chance blown by Almeida! Meireles crosses from the left, it's seemingly on a plate but he balloons his header miles over from eight yards!
46 mins: Portugal get the second half started playing left to right with no changes to report. Please don't go to extra time, I'm back in work at 7am.
HALF TIME: The Czech Republic started the brighter, but Portugal finished the first half on top and could have taken the lead just before the break as Ronaldo clobbered the post. Keep your thoughts on the game coming via the box on the right, and join me for the second half at 2050.
45+1 mins: Magnificent by Ronaldo. He takes a long ball on the chest with his back to goal in the box, flicks and turns in one movement to set himself up for the volley which he smacks against the near post and away!
45 mins: There's two minutes added on as Ronaldo links up with Nani on the edge of the box but the latter's touch lets him down and the Czechs can clear. Portugal are finishing the half well on top.
44 mins: Urgh. Nani's at it again, taking a dive in the box and pleading long and loud to ref Webb for a penalty. Nothing doing, rightly so.
42 mins: Sivok cushions a neat header back to Cech from a right-wing cross. The first half had been cantering along but has hit the buffers in the last ten minutes, if you'll excuse the mixed horse/train metaphors.
40 mins: He has indeed. Postiga's stretchered off holding the back of his thigh, being replaced by Almeida.
38 mins: Has Postiga done a hammy? Ronaldo backheels the ball out after he sees his team-mate prostrate in the centre circle.
35 mins: Ronaldo's getting closer each time. This time, after a good 30 seconds of posing, he fizzes a 25-yard free-kick from out on the right just past the left-hand post.
33 mins: A poor clearance by Gebre Selassie sets up Ronaldo for an overhead kick but he flashes it wide at the back stick!
Jonny Curran, Cardiff: "czech are my sweep stake team at work so come on boys!!"
31 mins: Portugal bide their time around the box as the Czechs sit back, eventually winning a corner from a deflected cross. It's sent in looking for Pepe at the near post but Hubschman heads clear.
Shailendra Banerjee, India: "Czech will win 3-0"
28 mins: Gebre Selassie sends in a teasing cross after a fine run but Pepe gets across to intercept.
27 mins: Veloso swiftly follows Nani into the book for a crude hack on Darida.
26 mins: Nani's first in the book for a foul on Limbersky. Nice little feud building between those two.
25 mins: Great stop by Cech from Ronaldo! He shrugs off Kadlec to latch on to a through ball and rockets a shot on target from eight yards but Cech beats it away! The whistle had actually gone as ref Webb thought Ronaldo fouled Kadlec.
23 mins: Ronaldo ushers Coentrao forward with a one-two before the latter's ball in takes a deflection and it sits up nicely for Cech to claim.
20 mins: Ronaldo drifts over to the right and crosses, which takes a nick for a corner on the far side. Webb pulls Jiracek to one side for grappling with Ronaldo in the box, before the dead ball is eventually delivered - it's poor though, honked way over everyone and out for a goal-kick.
18 mins: Great, teasing ball in from the right by Darida and Pepe does just enough to put off Baros sliding in four yards out!
16 mins: It's another corner for the Czechs who are bossing that left flank. Patricio comes to punch but Ronaldo rises highest in front of him to glance it behind for another corner. This one's eventually cleared all the way through to Cech.
14 mins: Quite a few of you are tipping this to go to penalties. You can get 10-1 on that most places, which goes for all the other QFs too. Maybe I should take your advice!
TP, London: "2-2 Decided by first penalty shoot out of Euro 2012"
12 mins: First effort on target - Moutinho chances his arm from 18 yards but it's curled straight at Cech.
11 mins: Meireles chases a ball over the top into the box but Sivok punts out for the corner. Meireles delivers deep but Limbersky heads clear.
Ghetly, Bombay: "1-2 win for Portugal!!!"
9 mins: Veloso over-hits a ball to Coentrao down the left flank - a promising break up in smoke.
Lemon, south Wales: "ronaldo 1st scorer and 3 1 portugal"
7 mins: Another Czech corner on the far side is played short but the training-ground routine unravels on the edge of the box.
5 mins: All midfield hurly-burly thus far, with the keepers twiddling their thumbs. Pereira then looks for Postiga down the right but it's over-hit.
PHhil, Hull: "mark in hull, not a chance ronaldo to get a hatrick and do a klinsmann!!!!"
2 mins: Czech Republic win the first corner on the far side. It's played short and eventually lumped over towards Sivok but he can't get his head to it and it's out for a goal kick.
0 mins: I won't miss this bloomin' countdown when this tournament comes to a close. The Czechs get us under way playing left to right, all in red, Portugal all white.
Mark, Hull: "Penalties written all over it"
1940: Damn it, most of the pics I've used across our web and wap site tonight are of Ronaldo celebrating in a red kit. Come full time I get the feeling I'm going to have to crop a load of him celebrating in white. Anthems time!
Khsuffolk: "Hope the portuguese r not on song and lose by 3goals"
Geoff: "5-3 Portugal end to end all attack no defence tonight"
1839: Evening all, and welcome to Orange's live commentary on the first of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals as the increasingly-fancied Portuguese take on the Czech Republic at the National Stadium in Warsaw, which has the roof closed with heavy rain forecast. The Czechs make one change to the side which beat Poland 1-0, Valdimir Darida coming in for Daniel Kolar to play the 'Tomas Rosicky role' with the skipper still out with an Achilles injury, while Portugal are unchanged from the side which saw off Holland 2-1. I'll bring you live commentary from 1945, but in the mean time feel free to use the box on the right to send in your predictions. It's Czech Rep HT Portugal FT for me, and a few quid on a Ronaldo hat-trick and Meireles last goalscorer.
Czech Republic: Cech, Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky, Hubschman, Plasil, Jiracek, Darida, Pilar, Baros. Subs: Lastuvka, Suchy, Hubnik, Necid, Rezek, Rosicky, Petrzela, Rajtoral, Kolar, Pekhart, Lafata, Drobny.
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao, Meireles, Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo. Subs: Eduardo, Custodio, Almeida, Quaresma, Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Ruben Micael, Varela, Miguel Lopes, Hugo Viana, Beto.
- European Championship Finals
- 21 June 2012, 7:45pm
- National Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo headed the only goal 11 minutes from time as Portugal beat Czech Republic 1-0 to make the European Championships semi-finals.
The Real Madrid forward had twice hit the woodwork and seen his side have a goal chalked out for offside before he arrived on cue in the six-yard box to nod in Joao Moutinho's cross on 79 minutes in Warsaw.
The Czechs - with captain Tomas Rosicky, the Arsenal midfielder, only on the bench because of an Achilles injury - had started brightly, but lacked a decisive move in the final third.
It had been a decent opening from Michal Bilek's side as Petr Jiracek drilled the ball in from 20 yards, but his effort was blocked by Real Madrid defender Pepe.
Portugal coach Paulo Bento named an unchanged side having beaten Holland to qualify behind Germany out of the 'Group of Death' for the last eight.
Manchester United winger Nani and Madrid star Ronaldo, who would miss the semi-final if he picked up another caution, were the most lively for the Portuguese.
On 17 minutes, the Czech Republic, who overcame a 4-1 defeat in their opening game against Russia to win Group A, broke quickly down the right and Vladimir Darida whipped over a low cross through the six-yard box, which Galatasaray striker Milan Baros just failed to connect with.
Ronaldo was played into the Czech box, holding off Michal Kadlec, and drilled the ball goalwards with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech making a smart save. However, English referee Howard Webb had blown for a foul by the Portugal forward, who could not believe the decision against him.
On 26 minutes, Nani went into the Yorkshireman's notebook after tripping David Limbersky.
The game was starting to open up as Czech full-back Theodor Gebre Selassie cut in from the right and crossed, with Pepe again alert to clear the danger.
At the other end, Ronaldo - who netted a brace against the Dutch - went close with an overhead kick at the far post.
The former Manchester United forward was then just off target again with an ambitious long-range free-kick.
Portugal were forced into a change six minutes before half-time when striker Helder Postiga pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring problem, and was replaced by 6ft 3in Besiktas frontman Hugo Almeida.
Nani claimed for a penalty after going down in the box under close attention from Limbersky, but the referee was unconvinced, with TV replays showing the United forward slipped rather than was pushed.
Portugal continued to press and Ronaldo was within inches of a spectacular opening goal when he collected a high ball into the box on his chest, swivelled around marker Kadlec and crashed the ball past Cech - only for it to strike the base of the near post.
There was another great chance for Portugal at the start of the second half, when Almeida headed over from 12 yards after being picked out by Raul Meireles' cross.
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 with Cech beaten.
The Chelsea keeper then had to parry away a 25-yard strike from Nani, and only an offside flag prevented Portugal taking a deserved lead on 57 minutes when Almeida glanced in the United winger's cross.
The Czechs produced a counter-attack when Vaclav Pilar charged down the left and into the penalty area, only to produce a poor final pass, which was hacked clear.
Portugal were soon back on the offensive as Moutinho's dipping 25-yard effort was tipped over.
Kadlec was then left in a heap after being clattered by goalkeeper Cech, who punched clear at the edge of the penalty area.
The Chelsea man's goal was leading a charmed life, as Nani's floated ball was deflected behind.
Ronaldo finally broke the deadlock on 79 minutes, when he sent a diving header past Cech from Moutinho's right-wing cross.
Portugal continued to pour forwards, with Cech beating away an angled 25-yard effort from full-back Joao Pereira.
Ronaldo went down under a challenge from Gebre Selassie and, although he appeared to be caught by the Czech defender, referee Webb again waved play on.
Portugal saw out four minutes of stoppage time to secure their place in the semi-finals, where they will face either Spain or France.