Portugal advanced to the final of the 2016 Euro 2016 championships with a well worked 2 – 0 win over giant killers Walers in the first semi final played on Wednesday 6 July, ending the Welsh dreams of getting to their first ever final at the first attempt.
The approach in the game for Wales was always that of an underdog and Joe Allen’s rash challenge on Raphael Guerrero on the third minute said it all despite the match starting at a slow pace.
Ashley Williams also had a heavy tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo two minutes later as he stopped the marauding Real Madrid man who was left fuming after the referee would not hear his shouts of a foul. Joe Allen was once again at fault there, giving away the ball.
Allen ran out of luck on the eighth minute, picking a yellow card for a foul on Valencia’s new signing Luis Nani and on the 11th minute Ronaldo had a more genuine penalty shout that was once again ignored as James Collins gripped him around the neck to prevent him from going for a high ball.
The early pressure and dominance from Portugal failed to yield fruiteven as Joao Mario managed the first shot on target on the 18th minute and Wales managed to creat two god chances of their own through Bale and Hal Robson Kanu but nothing beyond Rui Patricio’s ability to deal with.
Ronaldo had the final chance of the first half after getting his head to the end of Adrien Silva’s cross but he headed wide to end it barren in the first half.
The dominant Portugal continued in the same breath in the second half and won a free kick on the 50th minute, taken by Mario and blocked by King for a corner.
The corner was taken short and then immediately swung in left footed from the left by Guerrero. Ronaldo leaps high above everyone and absolutely powers his header past the keeper for the opener.
There was no time for Wales to digest what hit them there, and Ronaldo picked a cross from the left though he didn’t get hold of the ball with his shot and Nani read the path of the shot and slid in to poke past Hennessey, who has dived to his right to stop the Ronaldo shot.
The second goal effectively ended Wales’ fairytale and took Portugal to their first final since losing at home to Greece in 2004 and will face the winner between Germany and France.