Euro 2012: Day 14 as it happened

Live text commentary as Portugal defeat Czech Republic in Warsaw in the first quarter-final of Euro 2012.

21 June 2012 Last updated at 22:31

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As it happened

  1. 2231:  

    That is it for our coverage of tonight's first Euro 2012 quarter-final. You can read reports and reaction on this site as well as watch highlights of the action. You can join me tomorrow for the second quarter-final as Germany take on Greece in Gdansk's PGE Arena. All that remains is for me to wish you a very good night. I'll see thee.

  2. 2230:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat

    "Roy Hodgson has gone through the system properly and it's great to see an Englishman with experience being given the manager's job. I think people like Steve McClaren and Glenn Hoddle were too young when they took the job. The FA knew what they were getting with Roy, and Roy knew he could do a good job because he is so experienced. It's going well so far for him."

  3. 2228:  

    Daily Mail football writer Matt Lawton on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think there is an English obsession with stories about Mario Balotelli. He is in my top three of footballers I would love to sit down and interview. I think he will start the game on Sunday and the player's who have encountered him in the Premier League might be thinking they can wind him up. I expect he will be a big figure in the game."

  4.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tim G on Twitter: "People are only talking about Ronaldo and not about Portugal as a team. That is why they have no chance of winning the Euros!"

    MuhammadJQ on Twitter: "People judging Messi and Ronaldo should know better and enjoy. It's not often that two greats combine in the same era. Let history decide."

  5. 2225:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat:

    "Joe Hart is intelligent and has good technical ability. He ticks all the boxes, has got to the top of his profession after a good apprenticeship at Shrewsbury and I think he will be the England goalkeeper for years to come."

  6. 2223:  

    England goalkeeper Joe Hart, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Ian Dennis: "I spoke with Mario [Balotelli] the other day, we had some banter because we spend a lot of time doing extra practice after training at City - penalties and stuff like that. It will be interesting if I have to face him in a penalty shootout. It's hard to know which way he will go because he waits for the keeper to move, that's his technique. It will be serious stuff - England versus Italy at the Euros. It's not the first to 10 on the training ground."

  7. 2222:  

    Coming up in the next few days, we have the other three quarter-finals from Euro 2012, starting with Germany v Greece tomorrow, then France v Spain on Saturday, and concluding with England v Italy on Sunday. So that is around three days for you to whip yourself up to an utter frenzy while also enjoying a regular diet of top-class tournament football. Euro 2012 - it's fantastic.

  8.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Vítor Fernandes "The Czechs missed Rosicky. Darida deconstructed their game."

  9. 2219:  

    Of course, one man does not make a team, and Portugal had other players out there who made a telling contribution to their victory. Joao Moutinho was excellent in midfield, with a 90% pass success rate - higher than anyone else on the pitch - from a game high of 70 passes, and having more touches of the ball than all others (91). Oh, and he also provided the assist for the goal, which is nice.

  10. 2214:  

    Tonight's win will be particularly satisfying for Portugal, who were knocked out of Euro 1996 at the quarter-final stage by the Czech Republic, courtesy of Karel Poborsky's chip. I believe tonight settles the account.

  11.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Craig Cooper on Twitter: "Why do they have to compare Ronaldo and Messi all the time? Just enjoy them both."

    Alex Bibby on Twitter: "Messi just isn't as good as Ronaldo - Ronaldo, in the air, is too good. Not denying Messi is unreal but, as all-round player, CR wins."

  12. 2211:  

    If you placed the stats for that quarter-final on a see-saw, the Czech Republic would be stranded sky-high. Portugal had 20 efforts, with five on target, to the Czech's meagre two efforts, neither of which were on goal. The Portuguese played 598 passes to the Czech's 352 and overall held 62% of the possession.

    With eight shots in total, Cristiano Ronaldo had four times as many as the entire Czech team.

  13. 2206:   
    Former German international Jurgen Klinsmann on BBC MOTD:

    "It is a result for football. Czech Republic did not do enough. You can't play knock-out games like that. It was nice to see Ronaldo being a constant threat in the second half. It was great to see Portugal going through.

    "Ronaldo is world class, he is exceptional. He is in the top 3 with Lionel Messi and maybe Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Can his team-mates step it up and pull themselves to Ronaldo's level? If they do, then there is a team that can win the Euros. Ronaldo has the class and leadership and is the difference maker."

  14.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Steve from Ireland, via text: "Has anyone noticed just how often Ronaldo hits the woodwork? Phenomenal."

  15. 2204:  

    Portugal goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo: "We played well and create lot of chances, hitting the post but the priority was to go into the semi-final and we did that. The team is mature and we are ready for the next game. The last game I hit the post twice, again today but it was important that I scored and the team played very good and everyone is happy. Big smiles all round."

  16. 2200:   
    Football analyst Lee Dixon on BBC MOTD:

    "The Czech Republic will be disappointed. They worked hard but didn't really try to win the game. Portugal were full of quality and they are a dangerous team. They deserved to win it, but to go and win the tournament, they have to be better centrally."

  17. 2200:  

    There has been enough lyrical waxed about Cristiano Ronaldo this season to fill a skip. I'll stick to the facts... he's now scored 66 goals for club and country this season. There, that should do.

  18.  
    BBC Sport's Olly Foster

    On Twitter: "Join me at 2230 on BBC News for Euro 2012 Sportsday live from Krakow. First semi-finalist decided. Ronaldo is the Portuguese man of Warsaw."

  19. 2158:   
    BBC football analyst Alan Hansen on BBC MOTD:

    "Portugal were the better side. The result was never in doubt. The big two Joao Moutinho and Ronaldo combined for the goal. Petr Cech kept the Czech's in the game. Moutinho was the better player. He was fantastic against the Dutch. He ran the game in the last 20 minutes. If you have Ronaldo on your side you always have a chance."

  20.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Sam in Burnley, via text: "Portugal rely so heavily on Ronaldo. Makes me wonder if he was injured/suspended would they have got as far as they have?"

    Oli, via text: "Eusebio, Figo, Ronaldo - Portugal have had some great players. It's just a pity they don't come along at the same time as each other."

  21.   
    BBC Sport's Dan Walker

    On Twitter: "For those pointing out that Baros has a Champions League medal, you are correct and it's a fair point - but so does Djimi Traore."

  22. 2154:   
    BBC MOTD's Alan Shearer in Warsaw:

    "Ronaldo was exceptional. The desire, the hunger to get in the right place. He got on the end of the cross and deservedly got his team into the semi-finals. He was the stand-out player. Czech Republic never looked like winning, they never troubled the goalkeeper and didn't deserve to go through."

  23. 2154:  

    Portugal advance to the semi-finals where they will face the winner of the game between Spain and France, who meet on Saturday in Donetsk.

  24. 2150:  

    Portugal winger Nani: "It was a difficult game. Everyone was fantastic on the pitch and it was a great performance by the players. All the team is confident about the next game. Ronaldo scored the goal, we won the game and that is the most important thing."

  25.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Callum Mackenzie "Decent performance from Portugal, Ronaldo was excellent. Wouldn't be surprised to see them in the final with Germany."

    Mick Sandhu on Twitter: "Fabio Coentrao can outrun a treadmill. He is the Portuguese Roberto Carlos without the quads!"

  26. 2146:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Portugal need to get the ball wide and in the final third to have a chance against Spain (if they beat France). The hard part, however, will be getting the ball off them to do that."

  27. 2145:  

    I tell you what, nobody in the stands enjoyed Ronaldo's goal as much as Luis Figo and Eusebio. The former leapt out of his seat like a salmon when the ball hit the net. He then turned his attention to poor old Eusebio, who got a good shaking for his trouble. Joy unconfined.

  28.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom, via text: "I'd rather watch Portugal's flair play than Spain's increasingly over-the-top possession football any day."

    Mich, via text: "For Portugal to have any chance against Spain/France, they'll have to be much more clinical than they've been in the tournament so far."

    Ben in Chiswick, via text: "Ronaldo is class - the Premiership misses him. No one quite on that level since."

  29. 2142:   
    BBC Radio 5 live's David Pleat

    "Ronaldo was the difference, and I genuinely think Portugal would not be in the semi-finals without him."

  30. 2142:  

    It wasn't a great game - certainly not in the context of these championships - but the right team have prevailed. The Czech Republic are a limited team and played according to that. You sense they would have been happy to see this through to the end and gamble on penalties. The onus was on Portugal and, after a slow start, they grew into the challenge. Cristiano Ronaldo's class ulitimately saw them through. He now three goals in the last two games.

  31. 2139:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "The Czechs worked hard but the problem is their system. They don't trust themselves to dominate games and they leave one player up front. Baros works hard, but he can't hold the ball up anymore."

  32.   
    Match of the Day's Gary Lineker

    On Twitter: "Wonderfully aggressive forward play from Ronaldo. Still no nil-nils."

  33. 2139:  
    FULL-TIME Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal
  34. 2139:  
    YELLOW CARD Czech Republic - David Limbersky

    David Limbersky has just flown through Joao Moutinho. He could be in trouble here, right at the end of the game. Howard Webb plays it very sensibly, though, and just books the Czech player. It was a foul born of frustration, nothing truly malicious.

  35. 2136:  

    Just one minute of added time to go. The Czechs have a corner. And Petr Cech is going up for it. This is the last throw of the dice. It is a truly awful corner that goes over everybody. Portugal can break and have a clear goal to aim for, but David Limbersky does superbly to tackle and prevent a shot on goal. Will the Czech Republic get another chance now?

  36.   
    BBC Sport's Dan Walker

    On Twitter: "By the way, can anyone name a more ineffectual international frontman than Milan Baros? Think he last touched the ball in 2009!"

  37. 2134:  

    We have four minutes of injury time. It looks like Portugal will be the first side into the semi-finals. The only thing can prevent that is a Czech goal. But they have not had a shot on target all game.

  38.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jack Mosley on Twitter: "Czech Republic are a dreadful side and terrible to watch. Good riddance."

    Garry Woodward on Twitter: "The Czech Republic have looked no better than a sunday league team at times in this second half."

    Nick Whitbread on Twitter: "Is Cech allowed to come forward for corners? Surely that head gear gives an advantage!"

  39. 2132:  

    In the 10 minutes since Portugal scored, the Czechs have failed to muster anything in response. They have battled well, but they are a side set up to contain and they have been able to break from such shackles when required.

  40. 2131:  
    SUBSTITUTION Portugal - Rolando on for Raul Meireles
  41. 2131:  

    Magic feet from Cristiano Ronaldo sees him skip past Theodor Gebre Selassie and into the box before the Portuguese winger tumbles under a challenge of the Czech full-back. Howard Webb is nearby and waves away appeals for a penalty. It eats up more time, though.

  42. 2128:  
    SUBSTITUTION Czech Republic - Tomas Pekhart on for Tomas Hubschman
  43.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Nashwan from London, via text: "Us Portugal backers will be smoking a big cigar and drinking a glass in honour of the one and only Ronaldo tonight."

    Dawsy in Leicester, via text: "I am getting a poster of Ronaldo celebrating that goal for my bedroom wall. The best player ever."

  44. 2128:  

    The Czechs need a goal, but they need the ball to achieve that. Portugal are playing this very sensibly now by denying their opponents possession. The Czech desperation is clear.

  45.   
    BBC Sport's Dan Walker

    On Twitter: "Whatever you think of Ronaldo, the Czechs have been dull and Portugal deserve to win this (1 nil)."

  46. 2126:   
    MOTD's Martin Keown in Warsaw:

    "Right on cue. It's a great cross from Moutinho and Ronaldo is so good in the air. Once he heads it down Petr Cech had no chance. Ronaldo is on fire, could this be his tournament?"

  47. 2126:  
    SUBSTITUTION Portugal - Custodio on for Nani
  48. 2126:  

    Portugal come forward again looking to end this for good. Joao Pereira fires a shot on goal from just inside the area, but Petr Cech palms it away. The Czechs need the ball down the other end and fast.

  49. 2124:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "It's been coming. On one of the few times Portugal got behind the full-back they scored. Ronaldo was second favourite to get to that, but he wanted it more than the defender. It was a classic header, into the ground and that took Cech out of it. Ronaldo has scored when Portugal needed it, that is what greatness is about."

  50. 2121:  
    GOAL Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo, 79 mins)

    It would be a moot point to say it was coming. It has been coming since midway through the first half. It is no surprise to see who has scored it. Joao Moutinho swings over a great cross from the right. It is too high for Hugo Almeida but not for Cristiano Ronaldo, who muscles his way on to a header that he plants into the gound and up into the net past Petr Cech. Portugal now look nailed on for the semis. If Graham Taylor were Czech boss now he'd be saying, now this is a test. This is a real, real test.

  51.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jason Dodd from Rochdale, via text: "I don't know if you are all watching a different game to me, but it's quite obvious the Czechs look an infinitely better side."

    Robert Morgan, via text: "The Czechs could really do with a certain Pavel Nedved right now."

    Jake in Oxted, via text: "Ronaldo's performance reminds me of Messi at SA 2010. Toiling away in an inferior team, hitting the post, but not scoring much. Difference being Messi was criticised, and Ronaldo is being praised."

  52. 2119:  

    More wastefulness from Portugal and Nani in particular. He plays a one-two to get in behind the Czech defence on the right but plants his low cross straight into the arms of Petr Cech with Portuguese strikers lurking. He can be great Nani, but that only makes his failings so, so frustrating.

  53. 2118:  

    Portugal continue to push and again go close. Raul Meireles strides towards the Czech box and pokes a ball through for Nani, whose shot is looped up and over the bar by the well-placed boot of Michal Kadlec. He has been in the wars Kadlec, but on the basis of tonight he is a good man to have in the trenches with you.

  54. 2116:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Every now and again Raul Meireles scores a 30-yard screamer, but most of the time it ends up in Row Z. That last effort ended up in Row Double Z."

  55. 2115:  

    Ronaldo turns provider for Portugal by controlling a ball from Pepe in the box before poking the ball back for Raul Meireles. He has a chance to test Petr Cech but is nowhere near as he blazes his shot over. He looks to the sky in frustration.

  56.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Olamide Abiola on Twitter: "When will Portugal ever produce a good striker? Even the wingers are better strikers than what they've got."

    Jesal Suchak on Twitter: "Gebre Selassie is a good full-back; solid and good going forward. Very impressed with him so far throughout the tournament."‪‪

  57. 2113:  

    20 minutes to go. Still no goals. Considering the nature of the game, a goal for either side would really put them in the box seat. Portugal look the more likely to get it, but they have been wasteful. You can only imagine the Czechs retreating further into their shell as time ticks away.

  58. 2111:  

    Cristiano Ronaldo with another effort on goal. He skips in front of the recently returned Kadlec at the near post and tries to flick a shot at goal, which goes wide. The Portuguese man thinks he has a corner and is very upset to see he doesn't. It was the right call by the officials, though.

  59. 2110:   
    MOTD's Martin Keown in Warsaw:

    "Czech Republic cannot afford to keep giving away these type of opportunities - but that's a poor header from Almeida. He must do better."

  60. 2110:  

    Michal Kadlec has just taken one for his team, from his own keeper as well. Petr Cech piles out to punch and lands a knee right into his defender's side. You don't get up from those in a hurry. Kadlec limps to the touchline for some treatment before returning with a mighty grimace.

  61. 2108:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "That's three opportunities Hugo Almeida has had now. You feel if Mario Gomez had those chances, he would have put most of them away."

  62. 2107:  

    Portugal retain the momentum as Joao Moutinho rifles a shot from 20 yards and is only denied finding the net by a tip-over from Petr Cech. Nani took one hell of an evasive manouvre to get out of the way of the shot. He practically limboed under it. From the corner Hugo Almeida heads over.

  63.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jon in Manchester, via text: "Re Ray's earlier text: Quaresma is not class - he's the classic YouTube player. He has a lovely compilation of clips. Couldn't make it at Barca or Inter, now plys his trade in a poor Turkish league. In addition, Nani and Ronaldo are playing, need I go on?"

    Revelz in Liverpool, via text: "Glad I haven't got a TV, it's much more exciting watching on here!"

  64. 2105:  

    Suddenly, the Czechs are having a decent little spell. Milan Baros hasn't had many openings but he has one now. He lines up a shot from 25 yards but hammers it over the bar.

  65. 2104:  
    SUBSTITUTION Czech Republic - Jan Rezek on for Vladimir Darida
  66.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Blackbox2342 on Twitter: "Surely this can't go to penalties? How many chances does Ronaldo want? They could pay later if Baros gets a goal on the counter."

    Gregor Muir on Twitter: "Portugal's full-backs have really impressed me this tournament. Excellent going forward."

    Lucas Green on Twitter: "Ronaldo like Beckham vs Greece - miss, miss, miss, miss, score, take all the credit."

  67. 2104:  

    They have been under the cosh for all of this half so far, but the Czechs almost hit decisively with their first attack. It is a superb run from Vaclav Pilar, who beats three men en route to the edge of the Portugal box on the left. However, his final ball - a cross towards Milan Baros - is poorly delivered and Portugal head away.

  68. 2102:  
    DISALLOWED GOAL

    Portugal have the ball in the net as Hugo Almeida dives low to head into the net from a Nani cross. But the flag is up and the goal is rightly ruled out.

  69.   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "You feel Petr Cech is going to have to make some more saves in this game, as the Czechs drop further back. Players like Nani, Ronaldo and Meireles will start trying their luck with more shots."

  70. 2101:  

    But then, lots of Portugal players are seeing the ball now. Nani appears to pull David Limbersky back, but Howard Webb doesn't think so and the winger can shoot from 25 yards. Petr Cech does superbly to get down and palm away. If Ronaldo is Portugal's key player, keeper Cech is the Czech Republic's at the moment.

  71. 2059:  

    Cristiano Ronaldo has another effort for Portugal, this time from distance, but it deflects wide for a corner. The delivery is cleared and fired back in by Raul Meireles, but over the bar. It will not be going unnoticed on the Czech bench that Ronaldo is seeing more and more of the ball.

  72. 2058:  

    England women have completed a 4-0 victory over Slovenia, which means a win against Croatia in their last qualifying game in September will book a place at Euro 2013 in Sweden. Lovely stuff.

  73. 2056:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "You wonder how much Portugal's lack of performance is down to expectation. Everyone thought they would win this game easily but that hasn't been the case so far. Look at Nani, he has not had his best game today. Not so far, anyway."

  74. 2056:  

    The Czechs are out in body but not in mind it would seem this half. They haven't really had a constructive kick yet. Raul Meireles launches another Portugal attack with a lofted pass to Cristiano Ronaldo, who scampers into the box and opts to shoot early. He slices his effort, though, and it flies wide of goal.

  75.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Eboue in Cheltenham, via text: "Ronaldo really is the difference between the two sides here. He will rightfully be seething if they don't progress tonight."

    Ned, via text: "Backing Ronaldo to get Ballon D'Or. Messi doesn't have a major tournament this year."

  76. 2052:  
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    Czech hearts are in mouths now as Cristiano Ronaldo has another long-range free-kick. He goes through the familiar routine and strikes the wall, but a handball from a Czech defender buys him an extra 10 yards. His second effort beats the wall and Petr Cech, only for the post to again deny him. Portugal have come out meaning business. It is making for a much more entertaining game.

  77. 2050:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "It was so effortless how Portugal put that attack together. They caught the Czechs napping after the break."

  78. 2050:  

    We have a whole first half that is as tight as you're going to see and within 30 seconds of the second half, Portugal have a clear sight of goal. Raul Meireles' cross finds Hugo Almeida totally unmarked 12 yards out, but he plants his header over the bar and behind. Sorry Hugo son, but you should have scored. You're not going to get a better chance than that.

  79. 2047:  
    KICK-OFF Czech Republic 0-0 Portugal
  80. 2047:  

    Right, here we go. The players are back out and Howard Webb has his whistle to his mouth...

  81. 2046:  

    "The Czechs can win this but they have to release their wide players and break out of their system. It is a risk but that is how they can beat Portugal."

  82. 2046:   
    Former German international Jurgen Klinsmann on BBC MOTD:

    "There is a different spirit around this England team. They seem to be getting along, there is no controversy around like we are used to, and they can only get better. Wayne Rooney is coming back, he was not the usual Rooney against Ukraine but he will get there. There is a growing belief that they can go all the way."

  83. 2045:  

    So are either Portugal or the Czech Republic going to chance their arm tonight or are we destined to still be debating that very point in another 45 minutes time? Both sides only really made tentative ventures into each other's half in that first period.

    England's women are showing how it is done. They are 4-0 up now against Slovenia, thanks to Rachel Williams' goal.

    Oh for an early second second-half goal in Warsaw. That would put the cat amongst these defensive pigeons.

  84. 2042:   
    Former German international Jurgen Klinsmann on BBC MOTD:

    "Czech Republic are man-marking which works to a certain extent if you have one or two exceptional players, like Ronaldo. But try this against Spain and they murder you, they will score four goals in 45 minutes as they have so many good players."

  85.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ray, via text: "Why don't Portugal ever let Ricardo Quaresma play? He is class."

    Sophie in Leeds, via text: "Looks like this could go to penalty kicks."

  86. 2038:  

    The stats show that Portugal have come back into this with some force after not really making a mark on the game in the first half of the, er, first half. Czech Republic were on top for the first half hour in terms of possession, but Portugal have transformed that to 64% in their favour in the final 15 minutes of the half. They also have the five most frequent passers on the pitch, top of those being Pepe.

  87. 2037:   
    BBC football analyst Alan Hansen on BBC MOTD:

    "For the first 35 minutes the Czechs looked good, they kept the ball better than Portugal but then it was if someone flicked a switch and Portugal came to life. They had a real spell which culminated in a wonderful piece of skill from Ronaldo."

  88.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom Lane on Twitter: "Nani has been poor this tournament, it seems as if he is forever in Ronaldo's shadow - for club and country."

    Sahil Oberoi on Twitter: "Ronaldo is a beast. The pace, power, control, poise, it's there for the world to see. He should have had eight goals already."

  89. 2037:  

    We've got ourselves a real cagey encounter for this first quarter-final. These two teams are not giving much away. It could well take something special to break the deadlock. Cristiano Ronaldo almost produced it right at the end after hardly having a kick until then. The Portuguese forward has been running down blind alleys and getting mugged of possession by gangs of Czech players.

  90. 2033:  
    HALF-TIME Czech Republic 0-0 Portugal
  91. 2033:   
    MOTD's Martin Keown in Warsaw:

    "Ronaldo is in a league of his own. What a touch, he beat the defender so easily, he made it look like he was playing in his own back garden. So unlucky."

  92. 2033:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "That's the third time Ronaldo has got inside on the right and gone close. It was wonderful skill, his balance is superb and he had Cech beaten."

  93. 2030:  
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    Utterly magnificent work from Cristiano Ronaldo. He pulls down Raul Meireles' long ball in the box with his chest and flicks the ball past Michal Kadlec before it hits the turf to give himself a sight of goal. His shot from 10 yards beats Petr Cech but smashes into the post. It is the half's one real moment of class in the very final minute and it is so close to giving Portugal a priceless lead.

  94. 2030:  

    The Portugal players are screaming for a penalty. It is Nani dropping to the turf with David Limbersky nearby, as the ball is fired into the box. Howard Webb is having none of it, though, and he is right. It would have been a very soft penalty. Not that Nani can be appeased.

  95. 2028:  

    Chances are at a premium. Unfortunately, so are periods of prolonged possession from either side. Lots of errors, misplaced passes and the like. It's not very pretty at the moment. It smacks of two teams sacrificing gong for the win for fear of losing.

  96. 2026:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Maybe Hugo Almeida will help Portugal hold the ball up better up front. Often with wingers, it starts with the striker who then spreads it wide and makes a run."

  97. 2025:   
    MOTD's Martin Keown in Warsaw:

    "That's a professional's nightmare there for Helder Postiga. It feels like you've been shot in the back of the leg when a hamstring goes. You can see he just started to set off on a sprint, and bang! Game over."

  98.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Andreas Skiadopoulos "The result of today's game seems irrelevant as the winner will face Spain. Heading towards a GER-SPA final unless Greece..."

    Neil Taylor on Twitter: "Let's hope England's male team can produce the kind of performance the women's team is producing tonight on Sunday."

    Angela Bullen on Twitter: "Sometimes I think the 'get involved' on @bbcsport is aimed directly at me cos it always comes up when I check the updates."

  99. 2025:  

    Besiktas striker Hugo Almeida has 15 in 42 international games. Not quite as good a record as Postiga, nor is he quite as mobile.

  100. 2024:  
    SUBSTITUTION Portugal - Hugo Almeida on for Helder Postiga
  101. 2024:  

    This doesn't look good for Helder Postiga. He hit the turf clucthing his thigh after starting a sprint and pulling up quickly. That screams hamstring. Portugal are forced into a change as their striker is stretchered off...

  102. 2020:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "It's the end of a generation for the Czechs. Their older players were widely respected throughout Europe and the world, but if the younger lads are of the same standard of Theodor Gebre Selassie and Vladimir Darida, the future is bright."

  103. 2020:  

    You know it is danger when Cristiano Ronaldo has a free-kick from 30 yards. He paces out his run-up, considers his options and then blazes a trademark dipping, swerving shot that flies low past the far post. Petr Cech was on the move but ultimately unworried.

  104. 2019:   
    MOTD's Martin Keown in Warsaw:

    "When you run at these Portuguese players, they look very poor defensively. Tactically it's fascinating at the moment."

  105.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Usman in Birmingham, via text: "I am shaking with rage about the lack of service to Ronaldo. If Portugal want to win this game they must give him as much of the ball as possible."

    James in Cardiff, via text: "Got Czech Republic in the house sweepstake. Hoping we get to see the famous Ronaldo waterworks again tonight."

  106. 2018:  

    30 minutes gone and it remains a very conservative game. However, Fabio Coentrao's cross deflects up and on to the top of the Czech goal for a corner, which Joao Moutinho delivers but Tomas Hubschman heads away. Portugal come again, though, and Cristiano Ronaldo produces an acrobatic overhead effort from a Pepe poked ball. It flies wide of goal.

  107. 2016:  

    England women are now 3-0 up against Slovenia. Karen Carney has put Hope Powell's side firmly en route to victory in their Euro 2013 qualifier.

  108. 2015:  

    That has to go down as a good chance for the Czechs. Theodor Gebre Selassie cuts in down the right and crosses low, but Pepe averts danger by cutting the ball out before it can reach a Czech player.

  109.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Caiphus Nkwagatse on Twitter: "Ronaldo versus Messi is like cricket's Sachin versus Lara debate - no clear-cut winner."

    Kelvin Yip on Twitter: "Coentrao's link-up play with Ronaldo is incredible. He should be playing centre midfield like he does on occasion for Real."‪

  110. 2011:  
    YELLOW CARD Portugal - Miguel Veloso

    Veloso is late lunging in on Vladimir Darida and is the second Portugal player into the book in quick succession.

  111. 2011:  
    YELLOW CARD Portugal - Nani

    A foul on David Limbersky earns Nani a booking.

  112. 2011:  

    We get the first sight of Cristiano Ronaldo in full flight. He sprints into the box to receive a pass from Joao Moutinho and muscles Michal Kadlec off the ball. His shot is goalbound but palmed away by Petr Cech. However, Howard Webb deems his challenge on Kadlec to be a foul, so it wouldn't have counted anyway.

  113. 2009:  

    Fabio Coentrao almost catches Petr Cech out with a deflected cross from the left that loops towards goal. The Czech keeper backtracks to claim, though.

  114. 2008:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Milan Baros has not had a great effect on this tournament. It's not through lack of effort, he is working hard, but he is not as fit and strong as he once was. He doesn't have the pace anymore."

  115. 2007:  

    Very cagey stuff at the moment. As expected, it is an evenly matched contest. Cristiano Ronaldo has been kept very quiet thus far.

  116. 2006:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Having watched Fabio Coentrao over the years, I was not surprised Real Madrid spent £25m on him last summer. He bombs on down the left, and is as good as anyone in the game at that."

  117. 2006:  

    Portugal respond to being under the cosh by forcing a corner down the other end. Howard Webb is forced to have a word for some pushing on Ronaldo by Petr Jiracek before Miguel Veloso delivers a shocker of a corner that beats everyone and goes out for a goal-kick. Only one thing worse than not beating the first man: that.

  118.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Akude Emeka "Nice strategy, Czech's allowing Ronaldo little or no time on the ball. Frustration."

    Matt Andrews on Twitter: "I hope that none of the other quarter-finals are this scrappy. Not pretty viewing."

  119. 2004:  

    The Czechs are enjoying a really good spell. Vladimir Darida is free on the left and swings over a superb low cross but it is just too far ahead of Milan Baros, who had snuck in front of Portugal defender Pepe. The centre-back gets a word or two from Cristiano Ronaldo - who as we all know is an expert on the art of defending.

  120. 2002:  

    England's women now lead 2-0 against Slovenia. Jill Scott has her second of the game.

  121. 2002:  

    A Czech corner causes a moment of panic in the Portugal box. It is swung towards the six-yard box and Cristiano Ronaldo gets ahead of his own keeper's punch to head behind. The second corner is nowhere near as well taken and Portugal have a much easier job to clear.

  122. 2000:  

    The Czechs with a promising break and it sees Michal Kadlec tee up Vaclav Pilar on the left, but his cross fails to find Milan Baros in the box and Portugal clear. Slowly, this game is starting to warm up and the crowd has reacted by raising the volume.

  123. 1958:  

    Luis Figo and Eusebio sat side by side in the stands. Both look nervous. One has flecks of grey in his hair. I'll let you figure out which.

  124. 1957:  

    Portugal again looking to deliver from wide as Nani and Fabio Coentrao combine for the former to cross. It is cut out for a corner, though. This is taken short and ultimately allows Nani to set up Joao Moutinho for a long-range shot that Petr Cech saves comfortably. It is the first thing either keeper has had to do so far from what has been a low-key start.

  125. 1956:   
    MOTD's Martin Keown in Warsaw:

    "Nani has become a lot better since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United - Ronaldo was almost like an older brother to him. Nani is working very hard in this tournament."

  126. 1955:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Portugal have not got going yet. They are trying to play it down the left, and I am sure the chances will come eventually. However, I like the Czech's mentality so far - they want the ball and they want to take the game to Portugal."

  127. 1955:  

    We haven't seen much of Portugal on the attack yet but they have their first chance to produce something threatening. However, a cross from the right - aimed towards Cristiano Ronaldo in the box - is cut out easily by the first Czech defender. Soon after Nani drags down a Czech player as he looks to get on a long ball forward for a free-kick.

  128. 1952:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "Eight players are on yellow cards tonight and I would hate to see anybody miss the semi-final. I am pleased Howard Webb is the referee because he does not give out soft yellows. Let's hope they all get through the game without picking up a caution. We want to see the best players in the semi-final."

  129. 1952:  

    The Czechs again positive. Petr Jiracek forces the second corner of the game - again for the Czechs - by coming in off the left and firing a shot that deflects off a Portuguese defender. They take the corner short, but it comes to nothing. Bit wasteful.

  130. 1949:  

    In case you're wondering why some of Czech players are sporting different qualities of beard - including the usually clean shaven Milan Baros - it is because they are not shaving for the duration of their stay in the tournament. Some of them, though, remain as smooth as an eel.

  131. 1947:   
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Pat Nevin

    "I am looking forward to watching Vladimir Darida tonight. He is the third choice in that position, and as a youngster he will be desperate to make an impression. His first few touches have been impressive."

  132. 1947:  

    The Czech Republic, in red, force the game's first corner. They take it short and David Limbersky swings over a cross but it is too high for anyone in the box and goes out to give Portugal possession.

  133. 1946:  

    There has been a goal in the England women's game against Slovenia. Jill Scott has given England a 1-0 lead.

  134. 1945:  
    KICK-OFF Czech Republic v Portugal (19:45 BST)
  135.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Craig in Bristol, via text: "Having spent the last five years in Prague and watching every Czech international in that time, I can say that Portugal could be in for a nasty shock."

  136. 1943:  

    Anthems done. Handshakes done. All that remains now is to get this show on the road.

  137. 1939:   
    BBC Radio 5 live pundit David Pleat

    "Neither side has drawn yet in the competition and I think the resistance of the Czechs will hold out Portugal for 90 minutes. However, I think Portugal will win eventually."

  138. 1939:  

    The teams are in the tunnel, ready to come out into the National Stadium in Warsaw. The first quarter-final of Euro 2012 is just minutes away.

  139. 1938:   
    Former German international Jurgen Klinsmann on BBC MOTD:

    "Ronaldo is the player to watch for sure. He comes in off the left and he is deadly if you give him space. If you look at the first two games the Czech Republic have allowed a lot of space in behind and they cannot afford that tonight."

  140. 1938:   
    BBC MOTD's Alan Shearer in Warsaw:

    "I'm expecting more of the same from Cristiano Ronaldo. He was sensational against the Dutch, had lots of efforts on goal and scored twice, and we could have more."

  141. 1937:   
    Football analyst Lee Dixon on BBC MOTD:

    "The Czechs have got pace and skill out wide in Vaclav Pilar and Petr Jiracek and they can cause problems. There are goals in this team for sure."

  142. 1936:   
    Football analyst Alan Hansen on BBC MOTD:

    "This could be Ronaldo's time. He has got everything, he has got so much speed and power and he is unstoppable in the air."

  143. 1936:   
    Former German international Jurgen Klinsmann on BBC MOTD:

    "It's a wide open tournament so far and anything can happen. The usual big names have come through but there have been surprises as well. Anybody can beat anybody. England could even beat Spain on a God-given day. Ronaldo is a special player but he needs an international trophy to become a really special player."

  144. 1935:  

    It wouldn't be a major international tournament without regular predictions. And predictions wouldn't be the same without Mark Lawrenson. As a result, we've asked Lawro to give us his unique views on how these quarter-finals will pan out.

    But that is not all. We've also got some predictions from former Arsenal defender Martin Keown. Do he and Lawro agree? There's only one way to find out.

  145.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Iain Stockdale on Twitter: "The Czechs seem to have defied all odds so far. They weren't highly favoured to even qualify in Scotland's group."

    Joe Spraggins on Twitter: "Just booked a one-way ticket to Kiev - got hold of some tickets for the game. Complete faith in Roy's boys."

    Tokunbo on Twitter: "If Ronaldo does not track back tonight I fear for Portugal. Gebre Selassie is so good going forward."

  146. 1931:  

    We all know who will be running the show for the Portuguese, but who will step up for the Czechs tonight, especially with Tomas Rosicky sidelined? Petr Jiracek is a likely candidate. He has already scored twice this tournament and has the chance to enhance his reputation tonight.

    Jiracek has been compared to Czech legend Pavel Nedved - partly because of the hair, but mainly because of his ability. Nedved played a big role in the Czechs getting to the final of Euro 96. People are quick to state that this Czech team is not the equivalent of 1996, but Jiracek is defiant.

    "Our team is not formed by individuals. Our strength is the team ethic, something which we all adhere to. I think one can see it in every match we play and it's our biggest asset," said Jiracek.

  147. 1925:  

    BBC Radio 5 live's Ian Dennis interviewed England goalkeeper Joe Hart today, and he is full of praise for the Manchester City player who has become key to the national side's success. "Joe Hart is full of confidence, thoughtful and calm," said Dennis. "But don't be fooled by his demeanour because he is focused. He is a person who has real presence and he has something that burns deep within that makes him a winner."

  148. 1925:  

    Stats are a dangerous thing on which to predict a game, but they can be illuminating. For example, the stats on the tournament so far show that Portugal have had the least amount of average possession of all the teams who have made the quarter-finals (yes, even less than England) with 41.9%.

    However, they are arguably the most efficient attacking team in the tournament, with a minutes in possession per goal ratio of 15.44 minutes. Portugal lead when it comes to crosses and percentage of passes forward, while only Spain have scored more, had more shots inside box and more penalty area entries per game.

    In contrast, the Czech Republic's minutes in possession per goal is 22.20.

  149.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Mulletball on Twitter: "Darida in is great news. Small but mobile, good on the ball. But why wait for the QF for his Euro debut? Strange. But exciting."

    George Updale on Twitter: "Up at 4am to watch the football - Australia need to work on getting nearer the UK's timezone."

    Geoff Dutch on Twitter: "The 18.37 update about Webb's supporting role on stage had me spitting my expensive airport coffee out. Damn you."‪

  150. 1918:  

    All fans are committed, but some are more committed than others. Portugal supporter Jorge Franco has (quite literally) gone the extra mile to see his side tonight. A cycling nut, Jorge has pedalled all the way from his home town of Palmela to Warsaw. The distance: 3,400km. "I had some trouble crossing the Pyrenees due to the weather conditions but being here just makes me forget about all that," he said. Not only is he passionate, but he has clearly mastered the art of understatement. That man deserves a big doff of the cap.

  151. 1913:  

    The game between Portugal and Czech Republic in Euro 1996 was the one that moved former Dutch international Ruud Gullit to coin the term "sexy football". He was specifically talking about the Portuguese that day and if we are to see a similar level of quality tonight, many are predicting Paolo Bento's side to produce it (or more specifically, Ronaldo to produce it). Knowing our luck, it'll be "nice personality football".

  152. 1911:  
    Czech Republic v Portugal (19:45 BST)

    Czech Republic captain Tomas Rosicky is again ruled out with an Achilles injury, so Vladimir Darida is handed a start in behind lone striker Milan Baros. Viktoria Plzen man Darida replaces Daniel Kolar in the only change from the side which beat Poland 1-0.

    Portugal coach Paulo Bento names an unchanged side from the XI which beat Netherlands 2-1 to secure their progress. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of eight players across the two starting line-ups who are on a booking - one more tonight and they would miss the semi-final.

  153. 1911:  
    LINE-UPS Czech Republic v Portugal (19:45 BST)

    Czech Republic: Cech, Gebre Selassie, Sivok, Kadlec, Limbersky, Hubschman, Plasil, Jiracek, Darida, Pilar, Baros. Subs: Lastuvka, Suchy, Hubnik, Necid, Rezek, Rosicky, Petrzela, Rajtoral, Kolar, Pekhart, Lafata, Drobny.

    Portugal: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Fabio Coentrao, Meireles, Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo. Subs: Eduardo, Custodio, Almeida, Quaresma, Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Ruben Micael, Varela, Miguel Lopes, Hugo Viana, Beto.

    Referee: Howard Webb (England)

  154. 1909:  

    Away from Euro 2012, England's women are playing Slovenia in their penultimate qualifying game from Euro 2013 tonight. If they win this and their next game against Croatia they will qualify.

  155. 1904:  

    The second meeting between these two was at Euro 2008, when Portugal gained their revenge with a 3-1 group-stage win, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring one of the Portuguese goals.

  156.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris in Southampton, via text: "Ronaldo will be thanking the Danish fans for their Messi chants - if ever he needed more motivation to prove himself as one of the best, that was it. Hat-trick tonight, you heard it here first."

    Ryan in Northampton, via text: "My Mrs forced me into watching an hour-long session of Eastenders last night. In return, however, I get the remote for tonight's game."

  157. 1859:  

    Since the "velvet divorce" with Slovakia, the Czech Republic have met Portugal only twice, both of which have come in major tournaments.

    The first was in Euro 1996, when Karel Poborsky's memorable chipped goal sealed a 1-0 win for the Czechs, who went all the way to the final before losing to Germany. You can watch that goal on our site. Marvel at the technique. And the amount of hair everyone had. Fernando Couto has the kind of mop to make Wayne Rooney weep with envy. It looks like he's got a badger clinging to his scalp.

  158. 1852:  

    Like Al Capone in the Untouchables, Portugal coach Paolo Bento was more concerned with praising the team... team... despite Ronaldo's display against the Dutch. "I am proud of what we did as a team," said Bento. "We did that brilliantly with a great united organisation that we have had in the three games we have played." Hopefully, Bento wasn't carrying a baseball bat at the time.

  159. 1847:  

    There was something of a queue formed by the BBC pundits to praise Cristiano Ronaldo after his display against the Netherlands.

    Lee Dixon started proceedings with, "Ronaldo was absolutely unbelievable. "He's superb in the air and dominates possession. He's got a good shot too in his locker. Players are afraid of his pace and skill."

    Graham Taylor picked up the mantle and went with: "When Ronaldo got the ball and laid it off to someone else I was a bit disappointed." I would have loved to see what Taylor would have said on the touchline had he been England boss with Ronaldo in the opposition. Whatever it would be, you can be sure Phil Neal would have added: "yes boss".

  160. 1841:  

    The Czech's are missing their main man tonight, but Portugal have no such concerns. Cristiano Ronaldo is fit and raring to go after bursting into the tournament in emphatic style against the Dutch.

    It is an almighty understatement to say he bossed his side's final group game. There are Dutch players who are still desperately twisting and turning in their sleep after the quick-footed torching they were given by the flying winger.

    Ronaldo alone has had more shots on goal in this tournament than the entire Greece team so far.

  161. 1837:  

    We're getting our first shots of the National Stadium in Warsaw, which has the roof closed in anticipation of heavy rain tonight. Sods law that the sun is currently shining. Better safe than sorry, though.

    The officials tonight are our good old English boys, so Howard Webb et al are out on the pitch doing an inspection. The besuited Webb is wearing a headset making him look a bit like a bouncer. Or an incredibly butch Britney backing dancer.

  162.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Andy in Durham, via text: "Surely we'll see the real Ronaldo tonight? 3-0 to the Portuguese. One day off and I'm missing it. What am I going to do in July?"

    An 'excited' Hash, via text: "A colleague at work, just back from Krakow, has a picture on his phone with him and Roy Hodgson having fun in a city centre pub - the key to England's success perhaps?"

  163. 1833:  
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS

    The Czech Republic make one change from the team that beat Poland 1-0, with Valdimir Darida in for Daniel Kolar to play the Tomas Rosicky role.

    Portugal are unchanged from the side that beat the Netherlands 2-1.

  164. 1832:  

    No such worries for Portugal coach Paolo Bento, who hopes to have a fully-fit squad to choose from, with Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles both appearing to have overcome the knocks they picked up against the Dutch.

  165. 1830:  

    The big early team news from tonight's game in Warsaw is that influential Czech captain Tomas Rosicky will not start the game as he is still nursing the Achilles injury he picked up against Greece in the second group match. The Arsenal midfielder was in flying form at the end of the domestic season and with 20 goals in 87 caps he is a key figure for his country. His absence is undoubtedly a big blow.

  166.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Max Galla on Twitter: "Nick (see earlier text) surely has to delay the naming of the child until England win the final and then name it after the winning goalscorer."

    OAM Ibrahim on Twitter: "I love it when you English huff and puff to eventually crash out and realise that you're not a world footballing power after all."

    Swan in the Rushes on Twitter: "It takes a 'goal that never was' to be scored against England for Sepp Blatter to decide goal-line technology is a necessity?"

  167. 1827:  

    But England's quarter-final is still three days away and we have more pressing matters to deal with, starting with tonight's first last-eight clash between Portugal and the Czech Republic. I'm open to the debate, and I'll hold my hands up if I'm wrong, but I think it could be one of the better quarters tonight. Two fairly evenly-matched teams containing plenty of talent, for who a semi-final place would represent a big over-achievement on their pre-tournament expectations.

  168. 1822:  

    Confidence isn't a problem for the Italians, with manager Cesare Prandelli asserting that his side can beat anyone. They gave Spain a fright earlier in the tournament and have looked typically ruthless. "There's no difference to us who we play," said Prandelli. "We have already played Spain who are reigning world and European champions. If we play well we can take on anyone." A lot of the English media seem to have made up their mind which way it is going on Sunday, considering the number of "who will take penalties?" pieces.

  169.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chrissy Prior on Twitter: "Portugal and Ronaldo to cash in on the Czech Republic's defensive frailties tonight, resulting in the Czechs bouncing out of Euro 2012."

    Saqueeb Rajan on Twitter: "Dare I say Portugal v England final? Ronaldo improving by the minute and Rooney bagging his first - a wager of $10 is surely worth it?"

  170. 1818:  

    Gerrard himself has played a typical captain's role in the build-up to Sunday's game in Kiev with the now standard "we can't be complacent" chat. "Italy is not going to be an easy game for us," the England captain said. "People say we've avoided Spain but I don't want to underestimate the Italians. Italy isn't going to be an easy game. Spain are a fantastic team, sure, but our plan was to finish top of the group. Now we are just going to concentrate on our next match." A- Stevey. I'm detracting marks for failing to say that there are "no easy games at this level" or that "every game is a cup final".

  171. 1812:  

    Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi is certainly keen to lock horns with England's captain on Sunday. "Gerrard has always been my idol and he's a player who's been at the top level of the game for 10 years," said De Rossi. No need to ask which shirt he'll be looking to swap for come full-time.

  172. 1810:  

    One thing that most people agree on is that if England are to perform to their potential against Italy, captain Steven Gerrard will be central to that. The midfielder had a stormer against Ukraine, adding to his record of an assist a game by crossing for Wayne Rooney to score.

    Our analysis piece on Tuesday was essentially an ode to Stevey G. Beauty is a whipped cross from the right, a whipped cross from the right beauty, that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

  173.  
    GET INVOLVED

    David, via text: "Yesterday was the worst day of my life - I had a knee reconstruction the day before the Euros started and the football is the only thing that has kept me going!"

    Tim in London, via text: "Poor Bendtner. Overshadowed at Arsenal for showing he's pants, overshadowed at Euro 2012 for showing his pants."

  174. 1803:  

    Maybe we need to balance out the optimism with a bit of realism. Italy may not have Spain's quality - nor even be as good as some of the Italian teams of tournament's past - but they remain a stubbornly potent foe with enough talent to mortally wound England.

    In Mario Balotelli, they also possess a striker whose brilliance is second only to his inconsistency. "There are two Marios," said England's James Milner, a team-mate of Balotelli at Manchester City. "There is the one who turns up sometimes in training when it is a bit cold and he is not too interested. The other one is when he really wants it and he is a special talent."

    Lets hope it's version one that rocks up in Kiev.

  175. 1756:  

    You don't need to ask an English football fan to get carried away twice, and the country is now abuzz (OK, mildly reverberating) with a talk of maybes and what ifs. Avoiding Spain in the quarters seems to have got people thinking maybe it's not beyond us after all.

    England keeper Joe Hart has stepped forward to head the positivity drive, stating: "The whole point in coming here is not to keep people happy and off our backs. We are here to win."

    Oh Joe, you don't know what your unleashing. Hell hath no fury like an England fan scorned.

  176.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Nick in Leicester, via text: "Perfectly organised my football-free day to coincide with the birth of my child, so spent yesterday with the Mrs and new-born."

    Lisa in Zurich, via text: "Had quite a few nice Swiss beers now waiting for my flight. Can't see the Czechs winning tonight. They are a decent team who play neat football but there's no real penetration. Ronaldo and Nani will pick them off."

    Danny in Leeds, via text: "Two words to fill the gap left by the Euros yesterday - James Bond."

  177. 1746:  

    In making the last eight we've already exceeded Roy Hodgson's - and I would expect the majority of the country's - expectations. Saying that, in the build-up to the tournament, general English expectations were set somewhere between snowball in hell and British Wimbledon winner.

  178. 1741:  

    Of course, the last time we were all gathered together for some Euro 2012 action was for England's qualification party on Tuesday, when Roy's boys stole a march on France, nicked top spot in Group D and set up a quarter-final clash with Italy.

    Forget the frustration, sideline the angst and bury the torment deep down. Focus instead on the elation/relief that greeted full-time.

  179. 1735:  

    Respective Manchester United and Manchester City defenders Rio Ferdinand and Vincent Kompany have criticised Uefa after Croatia's fans were fined £64,561 fine for racism, which is more than £15,000 less than Bendtner's pant punishment.

    Kompany called on Uefa to "review their priorities", while Ferdinand tweeted: "Uefa are you for real? £80,000 fine for Bendtner. All of the racism fines together don't even add up to that?!"

    Such a shame that such off-field incidents continue to take attention away from what has been an on-field extravangza thus far.

  180.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Spencer in London, via text: "One night in Turin, the documentary about England at Italia 90, filled the void last night. Unfancied England team exceed all expectations. Let's hope for "one night in Kiev" with a slightly different ending."

    Chris from Northern Ireland, via text: "Last night, in a somewhat caveman-like manner, I was ushered from my apartment by the Mrs and taken out for dinner (although I still ended up paying). Back to normality tonight!"

    Jake in Cardiff, via text: "I donned glasses and a tracksuit, then spent the day in the garden screaming feverishly at the gnomes that I had named Platty and Les. 'David, DON'T! NOOO! Hit Les! Hit Les! OVER THE TOP!' I'm a lot calmer now, mind."

    Jake, I can only imagine that your gnome game was "made for Wrighty".

  181. 1730:  

    In addition, the Football Association has been fined 5,000 euros (£4,000) by Uefa for the "inappropriate conduct" of England fans in Friday's Euro 2012 win over Sweden.

    The fine was for the attempted pitch invasion by supporters during the 3-2 Group D victory in Kiev.

    The biggest fine handed out so far in the tournament, though, remains for Nicklas Bendtner's pants.

  182. 1727:  

    Uefa have also started disciplinary proceedings against the German Football Association over the "improper conduct" of fans in the 2-1 win over Denmark.

    Germany have been charged over fans letting off fireworks and "the displaying of inappropriate banners and symbols, and inappropriate chanting".

  183. 1725:  

    Unfortunately, Uefa have felt moved to take further disciplinary action against sides in the tournament. This includes a third action against Croatia over incidents during Monday's defeat by Spain.

    A Uefa statement read: "Uefa has today opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation [HNS] for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters [display of racist banners and symbols] at the EURO 2012 Group C match against Spain in Gdansk on Monday.

    "The disciplinary case also involves the improper conduct of the team [six Croatian players received a yellow card during the match]."

    Last week, the HNS was fined £20,000 after supporters let off flares during Croatia's 3-1 win over Republic of Ireland. Then on Monday, Uefa imposed a further fine over the abuse of Balotelli during Croatia's 1-1 draw against Italy.

  184.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rebecca, via text: "I was made redundant the same day the Euros started, so I felt a bit lost yesterday without the football to keep me occupied!"

    Liam Daniels, via text: "No football yesterday? Fifa all day, playing all the quarters! Greece beat Germany!"

    Ben in Reading, via text: "On tonight's game, let's hope for a 5-5 aet with red cards, ghost goals and a decent thunderstorm!"

  185. 1719:  

    Also in the aftermath of the England v Ukraine game - but more to do with the latter's elimination - legendary Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchekno has announced his retirement from the international game. The 35-year-old's final game wasn't the ideal send-off, but he can look back on his 111-cap career with pride. He scored a national record 48 goals in over a decade on the international scene, including two in Ukraine's win over Sweden in the first game of this tournament.

    The striker confirmed that he hopes to arrange a final, 112th appearance for his country in the coming weeks.

    "I just want to play one more game to say goodbye, just for my family and friends and all the fans who have supported me for many, many years," he said. "For everyone the time [to retire from football] comes."

    Ta ra Sheva. I salute you.

  186.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lee from Wales, via text: "I filled my night by playing Fifa - if you can't watch, then play instead."

  187. 1714:  

    So what have we missed while we've been away? Well, in the aftermath of England's win over Ukraine - and more specifically the Ukrainian goal that never was - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has now decided that video goal-line technology is "no longer an alternative but a neccessity", thus echoing what the vast majority have been saying for some time.

  188. 1710:  

    So how did you desperately claw your way through a football-free day yesterday? To what lengths did you resort to fill the void? Now we're back in the game, I also want to know your predictions for tonight. Will Portugal prevail or will the Czechs charge into the semis? Will Michal Bilek's side be able to compete without Rosicky? Or are we simply set for another Cristiano Ronaldo show? You can tweet us using the hashtag #bbcfootball or text in on 81111 (UK). Make sure you put your name on the texts, though.

  189. 1705:  

    Yesterday was our first day in 12 without major international tournament football, leading to a horde of listless, empty-eyed individuals roaming the landscape zombie-like in search of something - anything - to sate their craving. I spent the day in my living room, with the curtains closed, wrapped up in a subbuteo pitch, rocking backwards and forwards and watching the Graham Taylor documentary 'An Impossible Job' while muttering "Do I not like this".

    I've bounced back, though, and I'm primed and ready to bring you the first Euro 2012 quarter-final as Portugal take on the Czech Republic. Tournament on.

  190. 1700:  

    As Brian Clough might have put it, you can chuck all your groups and all your permutations and all your goals and all your clean sheets into the biggest dustbin you can find because none of it matters now.

    Yes, in what feels like a flick of Andy Carroll's ponytail, the group stages of Euro 2012 are over and we can get down to the knock-out business, extra-time, penalties, heartbreak, elation and all.

    Eight teams have gone home and eight teams remain, all with one aim: three more wins.

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