The Czech Republic take on the Portuguese on June 21 at the Warsaw National Stadium.
Czech Republic Preview
It was a bad start for the Czech Republic at the beginning of the tournament. They were thrashed by the Ruskies 4-1 during their opening game. The second was better, beating Greece 2-1 setting up a make or break against co-hosts Poland when they managed to beat the Poles 1-0 and winning the two points clear of Greece thus setting them up for the upcoming Quarterfinals. It was Peter Jiracek who scored the winning singular score against Poland halfway through the second half of the game.
Coach Michal Bilek needs to lead an offensive against the favorites Portugal. Ronaldo and the boys are becoming a tighter outfit as the tournament progresses.
Portugal went through the same predicament that the Czechs did at the onset of the tournament losing to Germany 1-0 but later redeemed themselves against Denmark during a suspenseful five goal match with a 3-2 score. Then came the crucial game against the Netherlands. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo redeemed himself after a previous underperformance against Denmark and Germany. He had a poor performance at first and received a lot of criticism. The Portuguese team came in second in Group B trailing three points behind Germany. Ronaldo playing alongside Nani, Raul Meireles, Pepe, and Portos creates a force to be reckoned with as long and as they put their heads together and Ronaldo steps up, they will maintain their consistency.
Czech Republic vs Portugal Predictions: Portugal wins 2-1
The Portuguese are adds-on favorites in this match. After a 3-2 victory over the Danes, it goes to show the attacking power they possess. Although defense may seem weak at times, a line-up like the Portuguese’ may put the Czechs on constant defensive mode.
World class striker Cristiano Ronald came up big once again scoring on a powerful header in the 79th minute, sending Portugal to the European Championship semifinals with a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Ronaldo hit the post twice, then finally delivered. He headed a cross by Joao Moutinho straight at the ground and up past the flailing hands of Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech.
This was Ronaldo's third goal in two games and it rewarded the Portuguese for the relentless pressure they applied all match.
"We had a lot of chances," said Ronaldo. "We had a great unity on the pitch and that is why we have reached our goal."
Portugal will play Spain or France in the semifinals in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday. It is one victory from its second European Championship final in eight years.
Ronaldo already provided some leadership and two goals to get past the Netherlands in group play, and his encore Thursday was huge.
His goal finally punished the tactics of the Czechs, who had parked most of their players in front of Cech for much of the game.
"The Czechs didn't have a single chance," Ronaldo said.
The strategy worked for a while. In first-half injury time, Ronaldo deadened a cross from Raul Meireles on his chest, turned and with two touches set up a right-foot shot that had Cech beaten before it crashed against the near post.
In the 49th, Ronaldo again clipped the post on a free kick from 25 yards out.
By then, Ronaldo had hit the post four times in two games. When he finally scored and was mobbed by teammates, he went over to the TV camera with a beaming smile and offered a victory kiss.
"We have suffered," Portugal forward Nani said. "But we always wanted to win and that's what we showed. We were superior, then we scored and we really deserved this result."
EURO 2012: Czech Republic vs Portugal Timeline
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