Cristiano Ronaldo was instrumental as Portugal reached the Euro 2016 final, ending Wales’ incredible run with a 2-0 win in Lyon.
The pre-match talk had centred on Ronaldo’s showdown with Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale and it was the Portuguese who shone as his side took another step towards assuaging the pain of their defeat in the 2004 final.
Ronaldo leapt imperiously to head in a 50th-minute opener – equalling Michel Platini’s record of nine goals at European Championships – and had the shot that Nani steered home to extend Portugal’s advantage just three minutes later.
That quickfire double brought to life a semi-final that had until then been a largely cagey affair, with Bale having marginally the better of the first-half head-to-head against his club colleague.
Indeed, Chris Coleman’s side will have been content with their efforts in the opening 45 minutes, Bale steering one shot over and another on target.
Portugal – who reached the last four without winning a game in normal time – had few openings of note, though Joao Mario might have done better with a low strike on the angle.
Yet within eight minutes of the restart their place in the Paris final was practically assured, with hosts France or world champions Germany now standing between a first major international honour for Ronaldo.