Friday 22 June 2012
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late winner as Portugal dominated the Czech Republic in the opening quarter-final tie at UEFA Euro 2012.
The Real Madrid winger produced an outstanding individual performance as Portugal enjoyed the best of the chances, but he had to wait until the 79th minute to score the decisive goal.
"We know it will be difficult next game but we are confident and ready for the fight"
- Cristiano Ronaldo
The ex-Manchester United star was a constant threat and was twice denied by the woodwork, while Portugal were also frustrated by Chelsea's Petr Cech, who excelled in goal for the Czechs.
But Ronaldo broke free to powerfully head home a Joao Moutinho cross from inside the area.
He had earlier seen a first-half effort come back off the post after he had turned brilliantly in the box and then glanced the outside of the upright with a free-kick shortly after the break.
Manchester United's Nani also threatened in the second half, having a shot saved by Cech and blasting narrowly off target for Portugal, but Ronaldo's effort proved the difference between the sides.