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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Ronaldo ends Wales dream

Portugal into Euro final as Real star answers critics with powerful opener

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 semi-final against Wales in Lyon. Photo: Getty
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 semi-final against Wales in Lyon. Photo: Getty

Cristiano Ronaldo scored one goal and inadvertently set up the other as Portugal ground out a 2-0 win over Wales last night to march into the Euro 2016 final.

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

Ronaldo then saw his shot turned in by Nani for a second goal three minutes later, ending Wales' remarkable run at their first major finals since 1958.

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

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.

The Welsh, with midfielder Aaron Ramsey suspended and replaced by Leicester City's Premier League winner Andy King, had an early spell of possession but a tight Portugal defence kept them at bay in cagey first half.

Portugal are in their first Euro final since losing on home soil to Greece in 2004.

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