An all-Iberian matchup is heating up with just days to go until Spain and Portugal meet in the European Championship semifinals.
Coming off an explosive 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic last week, Portugal will have to stave off defending World Cup and Euro champion Spain for a spot in the Euro 2012 finals. The two teams play Wednesday in Donetsk, Ukraine.
No doubt the rivalry between the neighboring countries is one with which Newarkers are familiar. The classic showdown is more than 90 years old, with Spain maintaining its dominance in 37 head-to-head matches against Portugal, when its national football team first debuted, according to Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA). Portugal will likely be looking for redemption this week – and its first major tournament win – after its 1-0 Round of 16 loss to Spain in the 2010 World Cup.
But Portugal packs some serious punch with Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid attacking midfielder who notched three goals in his last two matches. Ronaldo's 79th-minute header clinched his team's spot in the semis and some say he's in top form going into Wednesday's match.
The match will broadcast on ESPN at 2:45 p.m. (ET) Wednesday. Who will you be rooting for? Vote in our poll and tell us in the comments!
Check back on Patch Tuesday to find out where you can catch the big game in Newark.