Cristiano Ronaldo came out tops in the battle of two of the world’s best players as Gareth Bale and his Wales team could barely do enough to stop Portugal from progressing to the final of the European championship.
And to consider that the Portuguese had only qualified from their group as one of the best placed third teams makes it all the more remarkable.
Former Manchester United stars Ronaldo and Nani scored as they dumped Wales out of the Euros in what had been touted as a battle between two Real Madrid superstars – Ronaldo and Bale.
The game had looked like it would go down to the wire when both sides went into the break level at 0-0, but five minutes after the restart, it was Ronaldo who gave Portugal the lead and put them in the driving seat.
Following a short corner, a Portugal cross was swung towards the far post where he leapt in front of James Chester to bullet home a header, making it his ninth goal at the Euros, equaling Michel Platini’s record.
Barely three minutes later, Roanldo’s scuffed shot from the edge of the box was latched on to by Nani, who with a striker’s instinct poked the ball past Wayne Hennessey with a first time effort.
Tried as they did, it wasn’t to be Wales’s night but it is pertinent to note that this was only their first appearance at a major competition in 58 years, and have been impressive as they progressed to the semifinals.
Portugal will not wait for tomorrow’s fixture between hosts France and Germany to know who they will face in the final on Sunday.