Portugal has defeated the Czech Republic to gain a semi-final slot in the Euro 2012 soccer championship, marking its sixth such appearance in a European or world event.

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo netted the Portuguese clincher with a header Thursday in the 79th minute of quarter-final play in the Polish capital for a 1-0 victory.

Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva congratulated the team, saying they had demonstrated the crisis-plagued country's capacity to "rise up and overcome great challenges".

The team will now face Spain in semi-final action next Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine.