Euro 2012: Ronaldo puts Portugal into semifinals with late goal

Euro 2012: Ronaldo puts Portugal into semifinals with late goal

Euro 2012

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.

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