A late Cristiano Ronaldo header saw Portugal become the first team to book their place in the Euro 2012 semi-finals.
It also signalled the exit of a spirited Czech Republic team who had bravely qualified for the quarter-finals of the tournament as Group A winners despite suffering a 4-1 defeat against Russia in their opening game.
Real Madrid star Ronaldo seemed intent on single-handedly leading his country into the last four, having struck the post twice earlier in the game and missing a number of gilt-edged chances.
But with just over ten minutes left to play he stooped to head Joao Moutinho’s cross beyond Petr Cech and decide the tie in Portugal’s favour.
The first half started slowly, both sides cagily getting a feel for the game before beginning to create and squander chances.
The Czech Republic enjoyed a prolonged period of dominance, forcing a succession of corners, while Ronaldo was Portugal’s most dangerous outlet using a variety of his strength, pace and skill to bamboozle opposition defenders.
And the former Man United star came close to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half time when he controlled Raul Meireles’ pass before turning Michal Kadlec and shooting against the post.
Earlier he had directed an overhead kick narrowly wide of Petr Cech’s goal and blazed a free-kick off target as he controlled the ebb and flow of the Portuguese game.
Hugo Almeida, a substitute for the injured Helder Postiga, headed over from an unmarked position early in the second half and Ronaldo was again denied by the post as Portugal’s assault on the Czech goal continued.
The chances kept coming, Ronaldo accelerating through two defenders before volleying over while Almeida headed home from an offside position.
Nani missed a couple of chances, seeing a shot deflected over by Kadlec and a cross straight into the welcoming arms of Cech before Ronaldo took centre stage for the second game in a row.
His goal knocked the stuffing out of the Czech side who failed to create anything overtly threatening in reply leaving Portugal to weight up a semi-final showdown with Spain or France.