Portugal reach Euro 2016 final as Ronaldo and Nani see off Wales
Portugal 2 - 0 Wales

Portugal reach Euro 2016 final as Ronaldo and Nani see off Wales

06/07/2016

Two goals in three second-half minutes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani booked Portugal's place in the final of Euro 2016 as Wales were beaten in their first-ever major tournament semifinal.

Chris Coleman's side had enjoyed an outstanding run to the last four but were powerless to respond to Portugal's devastating attacking burst.

Ronaldo bulleted home a stunning header from Raphael Guerreiro's cross after a short corner on 50 minutes, rising above defender James Chester to give goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey no chance.

And with Wales rocking, a Portugal side that had failed to win a game in 90 minutes in the rest of the tournament doubled their advantage as Ronaldo's scuffed 25-yarder was prodded home by Nani with the defence in disarray.

Portugal had started the match brightly, with Ronaldo launching the first threatening attack as he ran at the Wales defence before being challenged well by Ashley Williams.

Wales midfielder Joe Allen was booked early on as he fouled Nani after losing the ball to him in a dangerous position, while James Collins had to head clear as Cedric Soares crossed threateningly towards Ronaldo.

With a little over a quarter of an hour gone, Joao Mario skewed a cross-shot past the far post -- but Wales, without suspended midfielder Aaron Ramsey, began to settle and Gareth Bale won a corner from which he fired over after the ball had been worked back to him near the edge of the area.

Moments later, Bale saw a threatening low cross well taken by Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio, and with 23 minutes gone he launched an attack from inside his own half, driving forward before seeing a 25-yard effort stopped.

Portugal had not forced a save from Hennessey with more than half an hour gone, but lifted their tempo as the first half entered its closing moments.

Ronaldo was the central figure, with his shot from distance rebounding behind before he headed Adrien Silva's cross over the bar when well placed.

Having sparked Portugal into taking control early in the second half by scoring one and creating the second, the Real Madrid man came close to making it 3-0 when a 25-yard free kick brushed the roof of the net.

Nani's deflected shot was then fumbled by Hennessey, with Joao Mario firing the rebound wide when he should have put the game beyond any doubt.

Coleman brought on strikers Sam Vokes and Simon Church, as well as attacking midfielder Jonny Williams, and Vokes soon headed a tough chance over the bar as Wales sought a route back into the match.

Ronaldo was booked for fouling Williams, but Wales were struggling to test Rui Patricio while Portugal continued to come forward at every opportunity.

Rentao Sanches ran at a backpedalling defence before cutting inside and lashing over, while Bale saw a 35-yard effort comfortably saved as Wales began to run out of ideas.

Hennessey saved a Danilo shot with time running out, grabbing the ball almost on the line with Nani poised to tap in his second goal of the game, and Bale saw a late free kick blocked.

But Portugal ended the evening on the attack, with Ronaldo firing into the side-netting from a tight angle as Welsh dreams of reaching the final evaporated.

Portugal, meanwhile, can look forward to facing the winners of Thursday's second semifinal between hosts France and Germany.

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