After becoming the first side to make the semi-final of Euro 2012, Portugal have now been installed as 5/1 third-favourites to win the tournament for the first time.
Paulo Bento’s side bested Czech Republic 1-0 in their Thursday night quarter-final, though in truth, that scoreline was not reflective of their dominance over the 90 minutes.
Indeed, it took a late header from superstar captain Cristiano Ronaldo to separate the sides, at a time when little more than ten minutes remained on the clock.
The Real Madrid forward did sum up his nation’s supremacy during the game though, telling BBC Sport, “In the first 20 minutes we weren’t that good but we improved a lot. It was a perfect game for us, with a lot of opportunities. The Czechs didn’t have one opportunity.”
In light of his match-winning strike, Ronaldo’s third of the tournament, he has been trimmed to 2/1 to claim the Golden Boot award in Poland and Ukraine, from the 7/2 price he was prior to Thursday’s tie.
He now enjoys leading scorer status along with Mario Gomez of Germany, and there is a possibility that the players’ respective nations could clash in the final of the competition.
For that to happen, Portugal would have to make their second European championships final appearance in three attempts, after they were surprisingly beaten on their native soil against Greece in Euro 2004.
They now seem better equipped to do so though, and could avenge their defeat at the hands of France back in the semi-finals of Euro 2000, should Laurent Blanc’s men get past defending champions Spain on Saturday.
Boss Paulo Bento outlined that their sole focus is to reach the final, telling reporters, “In the semi-finals of a tournament like this, there are always great teams with different characteristics who are well organised with players of great quality.
“Our aim will be to win against France or Spain. There cannot be any other goal for us.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.