Portugal 'ready for the fight' after reaching Euro 2012 semi-finals says Cristiano Ronaldo

 

Cristiano Ronaldo warned Portugal will be "ready for the fight" when they line up for next week's European Championship semi-final after his header beat the Czech Republic in Warsaw.

The Real Madrid forward had twice hit the woodwork and seen his team have a goal chalked off for offside before he arrived on cue in the six-yard box to nod in Joao Moutinho's cross on 79 minutes at the National Stadium.

The Czechs - with captain Tomas Rosicky, the Arsenal midfielder, only on the bench because of an Achilles injury - had started brightly, but lacked a cutting edge in the final third.

By contrast Portugal, who came through the 'Group of Death' behind Germany, looked a fluid outfit and but for some wayward finishing and the width of a post could have won by a more comfortable margin.

Either France or world champions Spain will await in Donetsk on June 27, and former Manchester United frontman Ronaldo maintained: "We know it is going to be difficult, but we are ready, we are confident.

"We are very mature, so we are ready for the fight."

Portugal coach Paulo Bento felt his side grew into the game and deserved their place in the last four.

"We did not start the match well in attack for the first 25 minutes, then we showed a great response in the second half, a great capacity to respond to the Czechs and that is why we really deserved this victory," Bento said.

"We had prepared ourselves in the best possible way for their strategy.

"We knew they would try to defend very deeply and would press against us on the counter-attack, because they have very quick players who are good technically.

"As the game went on we controlled the match, we played better and had more chances to create our own game."

Despite Ronaldo grabbing the headlines, Bento was reluctant to single out any individual performances.

"All the players have tasks on the pitch, and Ronaldo played to our tactical system," the Portugal coach said.

"He has the capacity to play in the penalty area, but also a little deeper."

Czech Republic coach Michal Bilek felt his squad could be proud of their achievements in reaching the last eight - especially after being thumped 4-1 by Russia in their opening group game.

"We have managed to show our character and strength," he said.

"We never gave up in difficult situations, and that is why I can be very proud of my team."

The Czechs may have sat back for long spells, but Bilek felt their gameplan was sound.

"If you open up, they will punish you," he said.

"We knew they were going to attack and they created lots of dangerous situations.

"We managed in the first half, but were losing strength in the second half and it became easier for them.

"Ronaldo is a very good player, and he settled the match."

 

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links