WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 21: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates scoring the opening goal with a header during the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter final match between Czech Republic and Portugal at The National Stadium on June 21, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Czech Republic Vs. Portugal: Ronaldo Sends Portugal To Semis

In a match that was often times ugly, Cristiano Ronaldo was incredible and led the Portuguese to a 1-0 win.

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Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals: Cristiano Ronaldo Wins It, 1-0

The Czech Republic are not as good as Portugal, but for a period of time in the first half of their Euro 2012 quarterfinal, they didn't appear to have any idea that they weren't. Then, Portugal took over the latter part of the second half, and the Czech Republic decided they were, in fact, the inferior side and began to play an extremely conservative game. They almost held out for a 0-0 draw, but Cristiano Ronaldo came up with a heroic goal.

Ronaldo struggled in Portugal's first two matches, but followed up his two-goal performance against the Netherlands with a dominating match and a game-winning goal against the Czechs, firing Portugal into the semifinals of the competition with a 1-0 victory.

The first half ended with a bit of foreshadowing. The first 35 minutes were largely uneventful, but Ronaldo began to take over the match at the end of the half, creating three shots and hitting the post with the last of them. He carried that play into the second half, where he was easily the best player on the pitch.

Ronaldo smacked the post again with an extremely impressive 35-yard free kick that beat Petr Cech, but just missed the goal by a couple of inches. Portugal continued to assault the net throughout the half and got progressively more accurate with their attempts, forcing Cech into multiple quality saves. Eventually, their domination would pay off.

João Moutinho, who had one of the best matches of his career in a Portugal shirt, set up the 79th-minute winner with an excellent cross. He drifted out to the right flank from his central midfield position and put a great ball into the center of the box, which eluded Hugo Almeida. Ronaldo came darting in out of nowhere, cutting into the center of the box from the left flank to get onto the ball and then power an excellent header past Cech to give his team the lead that their play deserved.

Cech ventured forward for a 93rd-minute Czech Republic corner kick, but they were never able to turn their set play into a shooting attempt, and Portugal easily held on for the win. They await the winner of the quarterfinal between Spain and France, which takes place on Saturday.

You can find our previous coverage of the game in our Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Ronaldo Scores, Makes It 1-0

Well finally. After two hit posts and several clear chances, Cristiano Ronaldo has broken the deadlock in Euro 2012's first quarterfinal. No, it wasn't from a free kick or a tricky piece of individual skill - instead the Real Madrid superstar came up with a wonderful striker's finish, moving inside off Theodor Gabre Selassie to nod Joao Moutinho's cross off the ground and then past a helpless Petr Cech for the game's opening goal, 79 minutes in.

I was honestly expecting that to hit the post with the way Ronaldo's luck's been going. He and Cech have been fighting a fascinating duel which saw the Chelsea goalkeeper make several phenomenal saves before Ronaldo finally managed to beat him, but now he's done it in style and Portugal should manage to see out the rest of the game without too many problems. 1-0, and about time, too.

We have live coverage of the game in our Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals: 0-0 Draw At Halftime

Things have happened during the first half of the Euro 2012 quarterfinal between Portugal and the Czech Republic, but as expected, those things were not terribly entertaining and never looked like they were going to lead to goals. Portugal are the better side with the more talented players, but they also don't have any good strikers. Their almost-good striker Helder Postiga went off with an injury, and was replaced by not-good striker Hugo Almeda. That was the biggest event of a 0-0 first half.

Cristiano Ronaldo has looked a bit dangerous, but he hasn't tested Petr Cech. In fact, no one has really tested Petr Cech. He's recorded one save, and Portugal have attempted just five shots. The three other shots were decent efforts by Ronaldo late in the half, with the best one coming in stoppage time. He set himself up with a great turn inside of the box with his back to goal and hit a low drive with his right foot, but struck the bottom of the near post.

The Czech Republic, meanwhile, have one goal attempt. They somehow have 45 percent of the possession, even though anyone would struggle to come up with three things they did with the ball. There was one moment in the 19th minute when Milan Baros almost got onto the end of a cross, but was too slow and just missed with a swing of his right boot.

That cross was played in by Tomas Rosicky's replacement, Vladimir Darida, and that was about the only thing he managed to do in the half. He's looked a bit overcome by the occasion, and the Czech Republic should consider sending Rosicky into the match if he believes that he's currently bipedal.

We have live coverage of the game in our Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012: Helder Postiga Injury Forces Substitution

Well, looks like something's finally happened in this match. It's been pretty dull, with the Czech Republic having more of the ball than expected but Portugal looking, overall, like the more threatening side, and there have been precious few genuine scoring chances - about what you'd expect from a knockout game at a major tournament.

So, naturally, the first big moment of the match isn't a scoring chance or a crossbar hit or anything of the sort. Instead, it comes when Helder Postiga does something quite bad to his hamstring while off the ball, leaving it abundantly clear that he needs replacing. A bunch of serious looking men arrive and whisk the stricken striker away on a stretcher, forcing Portugal into their first substitution. On comes Hugo Almeida to replace him. That injury, incidentally, looked severe enough that Postiga's tournament is now in serious jeopardy should his side manage to advance.

We have live coverage of the game in our Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

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Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals: Lineups

Portugal's lineup is exactly as expected for their Euro 2012 quarterfinal, but the team news is a bit surprising for the Czech Republic. Not only is Tomas Rosicky not fit enough to start, but his primary backup Daniel Kolar hasn't been selected. Instead, 21-year-old Victoria Plzen midfielder Vladimir Darida will start, playing in just his third match for the Czech Republic. Otherwise, the team is exactly as expected.

Czech Republic Lineup (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; David Limberský, Michal Kadlec, Tomáš Sivok, Theodor Gebre Selassie; Tomáš Hübschman, Jaroslav Plašil; Václav Pilař, Vladimir Darida, Petr Jiráček; Milan Baroš

Portugal Lineup (4-3-3): Rui Patrício; Fábio Coentrão, Bruno Alves, Pepe, João Pereira; Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Raul Meireles; Cristiano Ronaldo, Hélder Postiga, Nani

Kickoff is at 2:45 p.m. ET from the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland. You can catch the game on ESPN in the United States.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Czech Republic Vs. Portugal, Euro 2012 Quarterfinals StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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