- Cristiano Ronaldo scores winner as Portugal knock Czech Republic out of Euro 2012
- Ronaldo heads decisive goal after 79 minutes of quarterfinal in Warsaw
- Portugal spurned numerous chances before eventually taking the lead
- Paulo Bento's side will face either France or Spain in next week's semifinal
Cristiano Ronaldo's late header sealed a deserved win for Portugal in the Euro 2012 quarterfinal clash against Czech Republic.
The Real Madrid forward, who found form so emphatically with two goals in the previous match against Holland, proved the difference once again as he powered home a Joao Moutinho cross with 11 minutes remaining.
It was no less than Portugal's display merited after they dominated the second half against an unfancied Czech side that started the match brightly but faded drastically.
Portugal's win set up a semifinal meeting next Wednesday against either France or Spain.
"We played very well, created a lot of chances and I hit the post twice," Ronaldo told TV reporters after the victory.
"We know it'll be difficult in the next game, but we're very a mature team and we're ready for the fight."
This match was a repeat of the Euro '96 quarterfinal in England, where Karel Poborsky scored a famous scooped lob to give the Czech underdogs a 1-0 win.
It was that losing Portugal side, elegantly marshaled by the likes of Rui Costa and Luis Figo, which prompted Ruud Gullit to coin the phrase "sexy football."
And there was plenty to seduce viewers in Portugal's second-half display in Warsaw, as the Czechs were blown away by their opponents' pace and guile going forward.
Not that Paulo Bento side's superiority was evident in a cagey first half where the Portuguese were labored and sloppy, in contrast to the lively, well-drilled Czechs.
Still, it was Ronaldo who almost broke the deadlock with a moment of brilliance seconds before halftime.
The winger deftly chested down a Raul Meireles pass inside the Czech box, spun cleverly away from Michael Kadlec and unleashed a low shot that bounced back off the post.
The Portugal captain looked to the heavens in exasperation, but it was a warning sign the Czechs would have heeded.
Yet Michal Bilek's side were powerless to stem the tide of Portuguese attacks that followed after the break.
Minutes after the restart, Ronaldo hit the post again -- this time with a fearsome 35-yard free-kick.