For thousands of Portuguese fans watching on a giant screen in central Lisbon, it looked like it was going to be a night of frustration.
Extra-time beckoned as chances went begging in the Euro quarter-final against the Czech Republic.
Then Ronaldo struck, prompting jubilation.
The group stage had been nail-biting enough for the thousands in central Lisbon. Now the team is into the last four.
The final whistle provoked scenes reminiscent of 2004 when Portugal, then hosts, reached the final.
“It was a beautiful match, Portugal deserved to win. But I think the Czech Republic played better than us in the first half,” said one supporter, draped in a Portuguese flag.
With Ronaldo now living up to his billing as one of the tournament’s outstanding stars, Portuguese fans will be hoping their team can go one better than eight years ago when they finished runners-up.