Eurozone: Ronaldo Ruins Czech Dream
Well after a surprise trip to the quarters that not many expected, the Czech Republic’s Euro 2012 dream is over. Portugal outclassed the Czechs throughout the game and Cristiano Ronaldo showed exactly why he is one of the best players in the world. Portugal will face either France or Spain in what will be a cracking semi-final. Can they go all the way? Well with Ronaldo on full form anything is possible.
They say that the stats never lie and seeing that the Czech Republic had one shot on target pretty much sums up their night. In fact, they were very lucky that Portugal did not win by more as they had a handful of chances throughout the game. The Czech Republic never looked like getting a win and were quite disappointing, never really offering a threat to the Portuguese.
The game started off very slowly with neither team setting the stage alight in the first quarter-final of the tournament. The best moment of the first half occurred just before the half-time whistle when Ronaldo exquisitely took the ball onto his chest, danced around Kadlec, spun and shot – but hit the bottom of the woodwork. Only Ronaldo could make a miss look this beautiful. The Czechs were glad to hear the whistle blow, as Portugal were really beginning to get a foot in the game.
Portugal started off the second half the better and brighter team and had plenty of chances. Ronaldo saw an overhead kick go wide and a free-kick hit the woodwork again. Ronaldo seemed to ask for divine intervention, shouting up at the heavens. The Czechs could only hope Ronaldo’s prayers would not be answered.
This seemed to give the Czechs a sudden urge to press forward and after the hour mark really started getting back into the game with Pilar’s speed causing Portugal a few problems alongside Milan Baros. With just over ten minutes left, you did have a feeling that the Czechs just might pull something out of the hat to surprise the Portuguese, but then that man Ronaldo struck. His prayers had been answered.
Ronaldo drifted across Gebre Selassie after a Moutinho cross and headed the ball into the ground, past Petr Cech and into the Czech net. There were a few more chances for Portugal and a frantic ending which saw Cech head upfield in search of that elusive equaliser. Alas, it was not to be and with Cech running back to his goal, Joao Pereira sensed the chance to double the advantage only to be sent clattering to the floor by Limberski.
The final whistle went and the Portuguese went wild. Semi-final bound they can sit and relax for the next few days while the next three quarter-finals unfold. As Fresh Air Football’s Czech supporter, my tournament is over, but I have to say it has been a lot better than I originally thought after the opening loss to Russia.
To keep your regular dose of Fresh Air Eurozone, well, fresh, I shall now be following Portugal and their plight to reach the final on July 1.