There was something exaggerated in Ronaldo‘s demeanour when he flapped his arms looking to the heavens for help. Striking the post twice could leave anyone shaking their head in disbelief, or hitting the post in frustration (without injuring anyone…insert David Nalbandian joke here), but Ronaldo tries too hard to put on a show for his fans.
On an evening when Portugal’s most capped player, Louis Figo and 1966 World Cup top scorer, Eusebio were in attendance, Ronaldo fired Portugal into the Semi-finals.
The only goal of the match came from a diving header of Ronaldo after Mountinho raced to the right corner and crossed it into the box.
The battle between Gebre Selaisse and Ronaldo did not weigh up to its expectations. Selaisse rarely burst forward and Ronaldo did not put him through what Van der Viel had under gone a few days back.
Ronaldo is now on six goals at Euro finals along with the retired Portugal international, Nuno Gomes. Had he not been denied by the post five times in Euro 2012, he would have become the all-time highest goal scorer crossing Michael Platini’s nine goals.
There were a few times when you could not help but think whether Ronaldo had his sights set on the Ballon d’Or or the Henri Delaunay cup. His hunger for goals is not something that you can take away from him.
Portugal has lacked a striker, who can force the opposition into making mistakes since the time of Nuno Gomes. Gomes scored in three consecutive Euro finals for Portugal, and his last goal came against Germany in the quarterfinals of Euro 2008.
Portugal lacks the punch in this area. Their first choice striker Helder Postiga started four games for Portugal so far, and yet had just three shots (one goal). However, he scored in Portugal’s last two quarter-finals – an equaliser against England in 2004 and a late goal in a 3-2 deafeat to Germany in 2008 – and he was taken off shortly before half-time in his third quarter-final match, after suffering from an suspected hamstring strain.
Hugo Almeida was sent on for Postiga and he sent the ball over the goal seconds after the second-half had begun. Another chance was wasted by Almeida after a cross coming in from the right was poorly dealt with.
Czech Republic’s veteran goal-scorer Milan Baros should have given his country the lead after Darida sent a low cross from the right in the opening 20 minutes. He was more or less like a lamp post in the final third and had no influence on the game whatsoever. Baros had a poor tournament with just two shots to show.
Paulo Bento named an unchanged squad for the fourth consecutive match in the Euro finals. It will be six if you count the two friendlies before the finals. Portugal’s bench have only been put to the test once before in a group game against Denmark, when Bento had to dig deep into his pockets to force a result. Silvestre Varela scored against Denmark after coming off the bench, and 20 year old Benfica striker, Oliveira was substituted on for all the three group games but was left as an unused substitute yesterday. Rolando is being brought on late in almost every match to add another option to the defence, but from the 10 minutes he has played so far he can never provide cover for Pepe or Bruno Alves in case of an injury.