Cristiano Ronaldo halts the Welsh charge and helps Portugal reach final

Cristiano Ronaldo became the “Dragon-slayer” as his record-equalling ninth European Championship goal helped power Portugal past Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bales’ Wales and into the Euro 2016 final.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after his goal against Wales
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after his goal against Wales
Ronaldo brilliantly rose above the Wales’ defence to score his country’s first goal and inadvertently set up the other in the 2-0 win in front of 50,000 fans in the Stade de Lyon on Wednesday. 
British media called the 31-year-old Ronaldo the “Dragon-slayer” as they recounted how the sharpshooter had stunned Welsh fans brandishing flags and t-shirts with the national red dragon symbol. 
In what was billed as a shootout between Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale, it was the Portugal captain who prevailed, opening the scoring in Lyon with a majestic 50th-minute header that saw him tie France great Michel Platini’s record of nine goals at the Euro finals. He also teed up Nani for Portugal’s second goal three minutes before consoling his club colleague Bale on the pitch at the end. 
Fernando Santos’s men now go on to a Sunday showdown at the Stade de France with either Germany or hosts France, who meet in Marseille on Thursday. 
It will be only Portugal’s second major final after Euro 2004, when a 19-year-old Ronaldo was left in tears on the Estadio da Luz pitch in Lisbon after the hosts were beaten 1-0 by Greece. While Ronaldo — whose three goals leave him one short of France’s tournament top scorer Antoine Griezmann — closes in on what would be his first international trophy, Bale and Wales’s dreams of emulating Greece ultimately came up short.
Missing the suspended Aaron Ramsey, they failed to test a Portugal team who had not previously won inside 90 minutes at the tournament.

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