Euro Cup 2012: Portugal – Road to semis

Updated: Jun 21, 2012, 17:14 PM IST

Nishad Vellur

Portugal 1-0 Czech Republic (Quarterfinals)

Cristiano Ronaldo yet again found the back of the net courtesy a 79th-minute header against the Czechs to take the team through to the last four. A sound defense from the Czechs threatened to prolong the game till extra time before Ronaldo headed in Joao Moutinho's cross with 11 minutes left. This was the third goal for the Real Madrid winger in the tournament.

Portugal 2-1 Netherlands

After being largely invisible for the first two games, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two to seal a quarterfinal berth for Portugal defeating Netherlands.

Portgual’s chances of making a quarterfinal appearance were largely depended on Ronaldo’s form and against Holland he did deliver to help the team advance. Ronaldo scored two goals in either halves after the Dutch went ahead in the 11th minute through Rafael van der Vaart. Joao Pereira capitalized on Willems error in the defence and passed it on to Ronaldo who beat Maarten Stekelenburg to equalize in the 28th minute. He added another in the 78th to send the Dutch home as they picked their third defeat in as many games.

Portugal 3-2 Denmark

Portugal managed to scrape through with a 3-2 scoreline against the Danes but their captain Ronaldo was largely criticized for his waywardness upfront. Ronaldo often lost his cool for the ‘Messi’ chants from the Danish fans whenever he touched the ball. After enjoying a two-goal lead with goals from Pepe (24) and Postiga (36), they let Denmark come back to the game with goals from Bendtner (41, 80). However, Varela, who came in on 83rd minute, found the winner three minutes later only to save the team’s face from an embarrassment.

Portugal 0-1 Germany

After drawing in a difficult group which also included Netherlands, Germany and Denmark dubbed as Group of Death, they started off with a defeat against tournament favourites Germany. Ronaldo’s contribution was nil in the first match as far as the goals are concerned as he was starved of balls. Rarely, he threatened the German goalie which meant they left without any point.