Our first quater-final is
CZECH REPUBLIC vs. PORTUGAL!!!
Portugal were finalists in 2004. But lost to Greece.
Czech Republic were finalists in 1996. But lost to Germany.
Both of those teams will want to make up for those losses. Although it will be much fresher in the Portuguese minds.
Portugal were playing the attacking side, the Czechs were playing the ‘let’s park the bus and hope for penalties side’. To be fair to them it did work for the first half, which ended 0-0 despite numerous attempts from Ronaldo, Nani, Postiga etcetera. I don’t remember any particularly useful attempts from the Czechs, they did however make a lot of important tackles and saves. Football is a game of two halves and two sides remember.
The second half started much the same but Portugal didn’t score until the 78th minute. It was, in my opinion, a beautiful piece of football. A touch from Nani, to who dabbled past a defender easily, crossed to ball far to Ronaldo who headed down into the goal. It bounced up into the net, just past Cech’s hands. And that really was the end. The Czechs had few chances during the game, and so when they got a corner kick at 90+3 minutes, e-v-e-r-y single player went up, including Cech, to somehow salvage this mistake of a game. It almost ended very badly, when the Portuguese got away, but defenders dealt with it.
Czech Republic 0-1 PORTUGAL
I enjoyed the Czechs, definitely. Were they ever up to this game? Who knows. A more attacking style of football would have created more chances, but put them at a defensive disadvantage.
Portugal had many chances they didn’t put away and when they come up against harder opposition, they are going to have to ensure they make those chances worth it. Their next opponents will be France or Spain so this will be essential.
Ronaldo is constantly and consistently being hailed as an ultimate player who just wants to make his mark internationally. He played well, yes. He also played for the team, unlike a number of his team-mates, but can he really do it for Portugal this year?
What do you think?