Portugal have registered a place in the final four of the 2012 European Championships, after registering a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in Warsaw, Poland. The lone goal of the game came from Real Madrid star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who hit the woodwork twice before netting the winner - a brilliant header after 79 minutes.
The Czechs start Portugal Advance to the Final Four of the 2012 Euros Following 1-0 Over Czech Republiced well, even if they were without the services of captain and midfielder Tomas Rosicky. However, for all their play, Michal Bilek's side failed to really trouble the Portuguese defence. The 20 yard shot from midfielder Petr Jiracek summed up their performance early in the game. They did better after 17 minutes though, when a quick break found midfielder Vladimir Darida, who sent in a low cross into the Portuguese six yard box. Unfortunately striker Milan Baros could not make contact.
Portuguese wingers Nani (Manchester United) and Ronaldo were full of running at the other end, even if they were both a yellow card away from missing the semifinal. Ronaldo muscled past defender Michal Kadlec early in the game to force Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into a good save. However, the goal would not have counted because the referee had already given a foul against the Real Madrid star.
After 26 minutes, Ronaldo again came close to scoring with an excellent overhead kick directed at the far post. The 27 year old forward also took a long range free kick, which flew inches wide of the post. Just before half time, the Portuguese were forced into a substitution after striker Helder Postiga pulled his hamstring. He was replaced by Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida. Portugal, who continued to press on, again came close to scoring, when Ronaldo, after controlling a high ball with his chest, breezed past Kadlec and smashed the ball past Cech, only to see his effort crash against the woodwork.
In the second half, on 50 minutes, Ronaldo again hit the post with a well directed 30 yard free kick that had Cech easily beaten. Portugal's continuous attacks finally bore fruit, when Ronaldo sent a powerful diving header past Cech off a cross by Porto midfielder João Moutinho.
Portugal held on to their lead for the remaining minutes and have moved on to the semifinals, where they will meet either France or Spain.