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Czechia frustrates Portugal to scoreless first half

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Jindrich Stanek Czechia Cristiano Ronaldo stopped by Jindrich Stanek - The Canadian Press

Portugal controlled play, but were frustrated at every turn by Czechia as the two sides wrapped up Matchday 1 at UEFA Euro 2024 with a scoreless first half.

In taking to the pitch, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to appear in six different Euros.

In the eighth minute, Ronaldo got the crowd buzzing.

Rafael Leao intercepted a clearance in the area and crossed in for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, but Ronaldo mistimed his header badly and it went off his shoulder and wide.

With Portugal controlling play, Czechia was happy to cede it to them, attempting to keep any efforts to those from distance. In the 24th, a Bruno Fernandes effort from 35 yards out just skidded over the crossbar. Minutes later, Bernardo Silva found Fernandes on the left. He sent in an inviting ball to the front of goal, but it was just out of the reach of a sliding Leao, who would have scored had he made contact.

Ronaldo had, perhaps, the best chance of the half in the 32nd. Played in beautifully by former Manchester United teammate Fernandes, Ronaldo was in alone on  Jindrich Stanek, but the Czechia keeper made a fine save. Should Ronaldo have scored there would have undoubtedly been a VAR check for offside.

Late in the half, Leao became the first player to go into the referee's book when he was adjudged to have dived under contact from Tomas Soucek to win a penalty.

With one of the final kicks of the half, Stanek again turned Ronaldo aside from close range.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkiye opened up Group F play with a thrilling 3-1 win over Georgia.