Portugal won. Scolari still hasn’t told his guys how to play with Ronaldo – he still had to start coming deep and floating to the middle to get the ball. Deco had a better game with a goal and a brilliantly threaded assist (Moutinho regressed) and Ronaldo did finally score. It was a brilliant strike – there were five players in and around him when he struck in through the legs of the defender. This was not going to be a walkover and it wasn’t. Pepe and Carvalho played average and Bosingwa and Ferreira had subpar games. The Czechs did play better – Baros up front instead of Koller gave Portugal fits in the first half. Sionko did eat Ferreira’s lunch a few times, including on the move that lead to the corner from which he scored and on another move early in the second half when his cut back pass flashed across the goal. Too bad they didn’t go to him on the right wing more often.
Portugal’s player of the match was easily Ronaldo with the goal and assist on Ricardo Quaresma’s injury time open net goal. He also had a few blistering shots that Cech blocked. Final rant to Big Phil – stop playing Simao. He hasn’t done much in the last two games and you have Nani or Quaresma as a direct, quicker and better wing replacement. On top of that, the man takes the short free kicks away from Ronaldo. Enough already. This isn’t Benfica or Atletico Madrid. Also, Phil, (not a rant so it’s okay) you might want to start Almeida as Nuno Gomes is not doing enough up front.
Ronaldo – isn’t it much easier when you have Rooney, Tevez, Scholes and Giggs playing up front with you with their pace, movement, skill and the defensive attention they take off of you? Not as easy now is it – and it will get harder against the Germans? Lucky for you it’s going to be in the semi. Portgual looking good so far to win the tournament as predicted.
Sionko was the player of the game for the Czechs. Pity he couldn’t get his second header to stay down and couldn’t get his head on Ujfalusi’s header across the goal from the late corner.
Pre-game prediction: Portugal 2 Czech 1
Result: Portugal 3 Czech 1
Scorers: Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal) Libor Sionko (Czech)
CH12 is off to a good start for the day with the CR7 scores call and the Sionko uber Ferreira call (sorry, I don’t have the Czech equivalent of uber – so you will probably see it tomorrow as well)