Portugal were all over the Czechs today, but chance after chance went wide, found the post or Petr Cech’s paw. The Czechs showed some interesting play, but it all seemed to die in the final third.
The Czechs seemed to have been playing with fear in the hearts. Fear or not, the Portuguese could guess their every move. The Czech Republic were out of place and played like it. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal were happy to remind them how out of place they truly were.
Portugal slowly neutralized the Czechs over 90 minutes. After Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal, the Czechs were powerless to stop the inevitable 1-0 victory. But, that inevitability, the futility, was created over 90 minutes. The Portuguese were everywhere on the pitch, and even if they didn’t score, they dominated the Czechs. The Portuguese played like they knew they were going to win that match, and the Czechs played not to lose.
Props to Petr Cech for keeping the Czech Republic in the match, but asking Petr Cech to keep a clean sheet against Portugal is a significant task with the amount of quality Portugal have up top.
Tomorrow, Germany face Greece in the second quarterfinal matchup. I feel that people are giving the Greeks a lot of respect. I’m not one of those people. They defend well, and Greece play as a team. That being said, they will be tired. I expect Germany to not only beat Greece, but they will bludgeon them to the tune 4-0 or 5-0. The group stages for Germany felt like a formality (let’s be honest, they were). Germany will turn it on tomorrow. This is the stage the Germans were waiting for.