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Posted at 05:52 PM ET, 06/21/2012

Euro 2012: Cristiano Ronaldo sends Portugal to the semifinals with 1-0 win over Czech Republic

The Euro 2012 quarterfinal between Portugal and the Czech Republic, as told in excerpted match-diary form by the anonymous live commenter on The Post’s Stats Inc. scoreboard.

— 3’ “The Czechs win the first corner of the match. They take it short and basically make a right pig’s ear of it.”

— 6’ “Ronaldo, by the way, has gone for the Scott Parker look. Hair slicked back, quite a bit of gel, and a side parting. He’s a crowd pleaser is young Cristiano.”

— 10’ “Ronaldo is in no mood to tolerate ineptitude. He's already had a right go at Postiga for holding the ball too long and then giving it away.”

— 19’ “The Czechs go close to taking the lead. Vladimir Darida escapes his man down the right and delivers a teasing cross which is just out of range of the outstretched right foot of Baros in the middle.”

— 25’ “Fabio Coentrao sees his cross from the left deflect off the boot of Theodor Gebre Selassie. For a moment it looks like Petr Cech might end up looking like a fool, but the Chelsea goalkeeper gets back safely enough.”

— 38’ “For me, Czech Republic winger Vaclav Pilar has been one of the players of the tournament. . . . He’s been quiet tonight, mind.”

— 45’ “Ronaldo brings down a long diagonal ball from Meireles, cushioning it on his chest and letting it fall to the ground before turning and firing a right-foot shot against the foot of the post. It was brilliant from the Real Madrid man and deserved a goal.”

— 45’ “It’s goalless at the interval and before that piece of brilliance just before half-time from Ronaldo there had been precious few clear-cut chances in what has been a disappointing first quarter-final so far. . . . Neither team has set out to be negative, it's just their build-up play has been well below par so far.”

— 47’ “Portugal should be in front inside the opening minute of the second half. Raul Meireles delivers from the left, but Hugo Almeida heads over disappointingly from eight yards. That was a very bad miss.”

— 48’ “Michel Platini, sat in the stands, looks bored to tears.”

— 56’ “There is only one team trying to win this match at the moment and they are not wearing red. If you offered the Czechs penalties now they would likely take it.”

— 59’ “A cross from Nani is headed into the net by Hugo Almeida, but the effort is rightly ruled out for offside.”

— 77’ “Nani plays a one-two with Moutinho, but crosses straight into the arms of Petr Cech. He did not even look up before delivering that ball.”

— 79’ “Cristiano Ronaldo heads Portugal in front. . . . It’s a thumping header from the former Manchester United man. Joao Moutinho crossed from the right and Ronaldo got in front of Theodor Gebre Selassie to head past Petr Cech from eight yards. Justice is done.”

— 87’ “Rolando is getting ready to come on for Portugal. Ronaldo tumbles in the box, but Mr Webb simply smiles at him.”

— 90’ FT: Portugal 1, Czech Republic 0

“Cristiano Ronaldo’s header gives Portugal a deserved place in next Wednesday’s semi-final in Donetsk where they will play the winners of Saturday’s clash between Spain and France. The Real Madrid forward underlined once more that he is the class act at this tournament, arriving with 11 minutes remaining to meet a cross from the right by Joao Moutinho to bullet a header past Petr Cech. It was no more than Paulo Bento’s side deserved, because they were the team playing to win the match rather than not to lose it. Portugal were slow out of the blocks, but they took control from around the 35-minute mark, played the bulk of the good football and created by far the better chances. Ronaldo hit the post after a brilliant turn and shot just before half-time and struck the woodwork again soon after the restart with one of his trademark dipping free-kicks. Nani and Joao Moutinho forced fine saves from Petr Cech, but Ronaldo was not to be denied and netted his third goal of the tournament. The former Manchester United man plays as if he is possessed, driven by a desire that no-one else in his side can come close to. The way he is going Ronaldo could win the Euros on his own.”

By  |  05:52 PM ET, 06/21/2012

 
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