Ronaldo delivers as Portugal end dream Wales run

Wed Jul 6, 2016 6:03pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Karolos Grohmann

LYON, France (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal and inadvertently set up the other as Portugal ground out a 2-0 win over Wales on Wednesday to march into the Euro 2016 final.

The Portuguese superstar, who has had to soak up a lot of criticism for a lackluster tournament by his high standards, majestically powered in a 50th-minute header to put his side in front.

The goal, his third in the tournament, equaled Michel Platini's record of nine in European Championship finals.

Ronaldo also saw his shot turned in by Nani for a second goal in the 53rd minute, ending Wales' remarkable run at their first major finals since 1958.

Portugal, who had not won a single game in the tournament over 90 minutes, next meet hosts France or Germany who play their semi-final on Thursday.

"I hope that after the final we will be smiling and that it will be tears of joy in the end," said Ronaldo who wept after his team lost to surprise packages Greece in the 2004 final.

"I have always said my dream was to win a trophy with Portugal. We are closer to doing it and I believe we will win," he told reporters after coming out on top in his battle with Real Madrid team mate Gareth Bale.

Wales kept their opponents quiet in the first half but could not recover the two-goal deficit, ending a scintillating run that has captivated millions back home and turned their players into heroes.   Continued...

Football Soccer - Portugal v Wales - EURO 2016 - Semi Final - Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France - 6/7/16
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates at the end of the game
REUTERS/John Sibley