Two quickfire goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani led Portugal to a 2-0 win over Wales to clinch a spot in the EURO 2016 final.
Wales’ first appearance at a European Championship ended in Lyon on Wednesday night, but the tournament will be remembered as a great success for Welsh football. Portugal will face the winner of Germany vs. France in the final.
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Both sides were missing key players, with Portugal’s starting center-back Pepe out through injury, while Wales’ midfield playmaker Aaron Ramsey was suspended through yellow card accumulation.
The first half was a rather cautious 45 minutes with neither side wanting to make a mistake. Wales surprisingly held more possession than Portugal, as Gareth Bale fired the only shot on goal for either side.
After a slow start to the match, Portugal turned things up in the second half, scoring twice in three minutes to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the blink of an eye.
Off a short corner in the 50th minute, Raphael Guerreiro whipped in a cross from the left wing that found Cristiano Ronaldo at the back post, who rose high over his defender to power a perfect header into the back of the net. It was Ronaldo’s ninth-career goal at the European Championships, tying France’s Michel Platini for the most of all-time.
Just three minutes later Ronaldo was involved in the action again, his scuffed shot turning into an assist. Ronaldo’s mishit from twenty yards out was going wide of goal, but Nani got in behind his defender to deflect the shot past Hennessey as Portugal went up 2-0.
Wales would quickly use all three of their substitutions to try and get back in the match, but the Welsh failed to truly test Rui Patricio in goal.
Portugal reach their second-ever European Championship final, having lost to Greece in the 2004 final. Their opponent will be determined on Thursday as Germany and France play in Marseille.