Czech Republic 0 -1 Portugal

Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo. A tremendous display, once more. The powerhouse was in the mood, yet the curse of the woodwork threatened to haunt him. A glorious piece of individual skill was not rewarded with a goal in the first half, while a typically long-range free-kick clipped the post too. Yet he got his goal the performance deserved; a marvellous diving header that won the game.

Czech Republic verdict: Out with a whimper, sadly. In the first half they battled for possession in the centre of the park and did their utmost to double, or even treble, up on Ronaldo. But their legs went in the second, with their better players – Pilar and Jiracek – barely getting a kick.

Portugal verdict: A deserved triumph. They took the game to the Czechs and were unfortunate to win it by only a goal. Their goalkeeper, Rui Patricio, barely had a thing to do. Sans Ronaldo, they would unlikely be in the final four, but that is something of a moot point. That said, they will need their star man to shine brightly against France or Spain if they are to reach the final like in 2004.

Could do better: Theodor Gebre Selassie. It was always going to be a stringent test for the 25-year-old, faced with the task of marking the aforementioned Ronaldo. So impressive up until this match, the right-back struggled, perhaps in light of the occasion. His brain froze twice in the first half, and in the second period he went to sleep on the goal, allowing Ronaldo to soar onto the cross unchallenged.

Stat attack: Cristiano Ronaldo has netted Euro 2012’s 18th headed goal, more than any previous tournament.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: