Portugal 0-2 2
Wales 0-0 0
Portugal are in the finals of Euro for the first time since 2004, after defeating Wales 2-0 in the first semifinal.
It was a convincing performance from Portugal, who have been anything but in the matches leading up to this one. It’s their first regulation win of the tournament, and now they await the winner of France-Germany for Sunday’s final.
After a scoreless first half, Portugal returned inspired for the second half. Ronaldo scored the opener, banging home a short-corner cross from Rafael. The doubled their lead minutes later, when Ronaldo’s incisive pass was dummied by Sanches and buried by Nani.
For Ronaldo, it’s a return to the final since Portugal hosted the event and he was just 19. Portugal have played more games (34) than any European team without winning the tournament, but it will be a tall order against either Germany or France.
They’ll take their shot Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Portugal’s Quick Double Have Wales Stunned
Portugal strike twice early in the second half, and it starts with Portugal’s main man. Rafael delivered on the corner, and Ronaldo was in the perfect spot to blast a header past Wayne Hennessy. The goal gives him nine in his Euro career, tying Michael Platini for most all-time.
Portugal wasted no time scoring again, with Ronaldo this time on the passing end of the goal. He sends a laser on the ground into the area, and Sanches let it slide through to Nani for the second goal. Wales have lots of work to do in this one.
First Half Recap
No score after 45 minutes, although Ronaldo and Bale both had brief flashes of success.
Ronaldo caused Portugal’s best chance of the half, but it wasn’t with a shot on goal. Ronaldo was taken down by James Collins in the box, but wasn’t given the penalty many expected. Other than the contact Collins has been excellent, keeping up with the Portugal attack despite limited time in the lineup at Euro 2016.
Bale made a big run midway through the first half, launching a counter from his own half. Rather than pass he elected to take the shot himself, and barely contested Portugal’s Rui Patricio.