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?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition