Ronaldo puts Portugal into Euro 2012 semifinals

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June 21, 2012, 11:43 p.m. | Sports — by Associated Press

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, center, scores on a header during the Euro 2012 soccer championship quarterfinal match between Czech Republic and Portugal in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, June 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Associated Press

Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a powerful header late in the match Thursday to send Portugal into the European Championship semifinals with a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic.

 After Ronaldo hit the post twice, he finally moved behind his marker in the 79th minute with all the instincts of an all out striker and headed the cross from Joao Moutinho straight at the ground and up past the flailing hands of Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech.

It rewarded his country for the relentless pressure throughout the match and Ronaldo with a third goal in two matches.

Portugal, which will play either Spain or France in the semifinals in Donetsk, Ukraine, next Wednesday, is one game away from reaching its second European Championship final in eight years.

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