Portugal v Netherlands, 17 June 2012

Score2-1 to Portugal
RefereeNicola Rizzoli
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group B
VenueMetalist Stadium, Kharkiv
Attendance37,445
Kick-off: 9.45pm local Assistant referees: Renato Faverani (Italy) Andrea Stefani (Italy) Fourth official: Martin Atkinson (England) Additional assistant referees: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) Paolo Tagliavento (Italy) Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Portugal beat the Netherlands 2-1 to secure second spot in Group B and a quarter-final against the Czech Republic. Paulo Bento's side were perhaps considered third among equals in this so-called 'group of death', but it is the Dutch who finish buried at the bottom of the pile without a point to their name. Suitably dressed in black, it was ultimately a funereal occasion for Bert van Marwijk's side, who had hope of an unlikely resurrection when Rafael van der Vaart put them in front. Cristiano Ronaldo then came to the fore, however, scoring a goal in either half and hitting the post twice in a majestic performance. However, even Paulo Bento's pre-match warning that "Dutch teams like to have the ball, to play and to control the game" could scarcely have prepared his players for the Oranje's early slickness. Van der Vaart, so consummate in possession, played no small part, but it was his splendid 11th-minute finish which was the most striking difference from what had gone before. When the Tottenham Hotspur FC midfielder curled in from the edge of the penalty area, it looked as though he might have a chance of celebrating his 100th cap in the quarter-finals. Van Marwijk had everything he could have wanted; an attack which had finally clicked, dominion of the ball and an early goal. Then, though, came the Ronaldo show. Stationed on the left, the Real Madrid CF forward's first notable involvement was a surging run and shot against the post; his second a ferocious header straight at Maarten Stekelenburg. It was third time lucky when he raced on to João Pereira's cute through ball, steadied himself and finished with aplomb. Hélder Postiga could have drawn Portugal level even before that when inadvertently put clean through by Gregory van der Wiel, but suddenly it seemed unlikely to matter. Bento's side were rampant, with Ronaldo and Nani both going close before half-time. The Dutch had chances of their own through the unlikely Ron Vlaar and Nigel de Jong soon after the interval, but there was always a certain air of inevitability about Portugal's threat; Ronaldo was a simply unstoppable force. Twice he showed searing pace down his flank, composure and awareness to pick out first Fábio Coentrão, and then Nani, but Stekelenburg was a man inspired. Ronaldo, though, was a man possessed and on 74 minutes took it upon himself to go it alone. He was the catalyst for yet another thrilling counterattack, but this time surrendered possession in his own half and made a beeline for the Dutch penalty area. In the blink of an eye he had the ball back thanks to Nani's precise pass and duly made no mistake, checking back on to his right foot before slotting in. Though Van der Vaart struck the woodwork and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie both went close late on, the final nail had already been firmly inserted in the Dutch coffin. Ronaldo attempted to add another for good measure in the final minute but was denied by the frame of Stekelenburg's goal once more.

2  Portugal

Manager: Paulo Bento

1  Netherlands

Manager: Bert van Marwijk

Goals:

Cristiano Ronaldo 28 G
Cristiano Ronaldo 74 G

Goals:

Rafael van der Vaart 11 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Rui Patrício
Defender Bruno Alves
Defender Pepe
Defender/Midfielder Fábio Coentrão
Defender/Midfielder Miguel Veloso
Midfielder João Moutinho
Midfielder João Pereira
Midfielder Nani
Midfielder Raul Meireles
Midfielder/Forward Cristiano Ronaldo (captain)

Starting lineup:

Defender Joris Mathijsen
Defender Ron Vlaar
Defender Jetro Willems
Midfielder Nigel de Jong
Midfielder Arjen Robben
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder
Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart (captain)

Substitutions:

Nélson Oliveira for Hélder Postiga 64
Custodio for Raul Meireles 72
Rolando for Nani 87

Substitutions:

Ibrahim Afellay for Jetro Willems 57

Cards:

João Pereira 90 Y

Cards:

Jetro Willems 51 Y
Robin van Persie 69 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Beto
Goalkeeper Eduardo
Defender Miguel Lopes
Defender Rolando
Defender/Midfielder Ricardo Costa
Midfielder Custodio
Midfielder Rúben Micael
Midfielder Silvestre Varela
Midfielder Hugo Viana
Midfielder/Forward Ricardo Quaresma
Forward Hugo Almeida

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Tim Krul
Goalkeeper Michel Vorm
Defender Wilfred Bouma
Defender Johnny Heitinga
Midfielder Ibrahim Afellay
Midfielder Stijn Schaars
Midfielder Kevin Strootman
Midfielder Mark van Bommel
Midfielder/Forward Dirk Kuyt
Midfielder/Forward Luciano Narsingh
Forward Luuk de Jong