Portugal qualify with win

Deco, Ronaldo and Quaresma strikes beat Czechs

Portugal have qualified for the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 after beating the Czech Republic 3-1 in Geneva.

Deco gave the Portuguese the lead on eight minutes against the run of play.

But their lead only lasted nine minutes before the Czechs hit back through Libor Sionko.

In the second-period, Portugal pressed and re-took the lead thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo on 63 minutes.

Then in injury time, Ricardo Quaresma added a third after Ronaldo broke clear from a free-kick and provided him with a simple tap-in.

Portugal now have six points in Group A, three ahead of both the Czech Republic and Turkey, who have to play each other in their last match.

Causing panic

The Czechs started brightly, but the opening goal came at the other end.

Ronaldo played a one-two with Nuno Gomes which Petr Cech came to deal with, and Deco scrambled home at the second attempt.

Milan Baros, who was restored to the starting line-up at the expense of Jan Koller, had a sight of goal on the quarter-hour mark when he headed Zdenek Grygera's cross over Ricardo's bar.

The Czechs were level two minutes later, however, thanks to a diving header from Sionko - one of the smallest men on the pitch - following Jaroslav Plasil's corner.

Deco soon found space to try to restore Portugal's lead, but his shot was too high to trouble Cech, and the Chelsea goalkeeper got down well seconds later to keep out a low drive from Ronaldo.

The game continued to flow from end to end at pace, with Sionko's pull-back from a corner causing panic in the Portuguese defence before the danger was cleared.

Cech again had to be alert four minutes before half-time to palm away a left-footed blast and a fierce right-footed free-kick from Ronaldo, but he was more than equal to both.

The second half began in a similar vein, with both teams on the front foot.

Marek Matejovsky slid a neat ball into the area and into the path of Sionko, whose low cross just evaded the onrushing Czech attackers three minutes after the break.

Nuno Gomes did well to get a shot away but it was at a comfortable height for Cech.

The Benfica striker then almost capitalised on hesitancy from David Rozehnal, but the Lazio defender got back well to make amends.

Decisive minute

Portugal were beginning to create half-chances, Simao Sabrosa the next to try his luck from 12 yards only to be denied by Cech.

Then came what proved to be the game's decisive 60 seconds.

After 62 minutes, Czech captain Tomas Ujfalusi got up well at the near post but saw his header flash across goal and narrowly wide from Plasil's corner.

And then at the other end, Deco rolled the ball to Ronaldo on the edge of the area and the 23-year-old struck his first goal of the tournament into the bottom-left corner.

Karel Bruckner introduced the Czechs' all-time leading goalscorer Koller after 73 minutes to join Baros up front in pursuit of an equaliser.

The only time Ricardo was unduly troubled in the remaining 17 minutes, however, was when he had to tip a Sionko header over the bar from substitute Stanislav Vlcek's cross.

And on the stroke of full-time, the Portuguese made absolutely certain when Ronaldo broke free and unselfishly played in substitute Quaresma for the clincher.