Portugal bullish after dumping Czechs
Miguel, Ronaldo celebrate Portugal qualifying for the semi-finals
Portugal prompted by classy skipper Cristiano Ronaldo deserved their 1-0 win Thursday night inside the National Stadium in Warsaw.
They created the best chances against a Czech Republic team who started brightly only to sit back in their defence after the interval in a bid to frustrate Ronaldo and company.
On Wednesday, they will be up against the winners of the testy quarterfinal between Spain and France, which will be played on Saturday.
Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho, whose right cross set up Ronaldo for the 79th minute match winner against the Czechs, said he now expects his country to go all the way in this competition.
“The ambition now, having gone through to the semi-finals, is to win [the tournament],” said Moutinho after Thursday’s victory.
“Portugal go into every match with the will to win; that's all we think about.
“Now we're going to rest, we've got several days to restore our strength. We'll have all our energy for the semi-finals so that we can reach another final, which would be very important both for Portugal and for us personally.”
"Our goal is to get to the final," added match winner Ronaldo ahead of a last-four meeting with either Spain or France in Donetsk on Wednesday.
"We know that we will face an amazing team in the semi-finals, but anything is possible."
Portugal coach Paulo Bento said they would be up for it against France or Spain on Wednesday for the right to play in the final of the Euro.
“In the semi-finals of a great tournament like this, there is always a great team with different characteristics, players of great quality, and well-drilled organisation. We don't mind who we play,” said the former Sporting Lisbon coach.
“It was a lot of work to get to the semi-finals, so we'll try to recover the best we can to get out on the pitch in the best condition. We have already played in Ukraine, now we'll go to Donetsk.
“We have our aim: it's to win against Spain or France. There can't be any other goal for us, and we'll try to do it.”
This will be the fourth semi-final appearance for Portugal, who had to come through a playoff to reach Euro 2012.
They reached the last four in 1984 and 2000, while their best performance in this tournament was achieved on home soil when they reached the final eight years ago only to be outdone by shock troopers Greece.