Kharkiv: A Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal beat the Netherlands 2-1 at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv to send the Oranje out of Euro 2012 and set-up a quarter-final meeting with the Czech Republic.
Rafael van der Vaart broke the deadlock early on with a sumptuous curling strike from distance to put Bert van Marwijk`s team into the lead. Portugal, however, improved after the opener and despite squandering a barrage of opportunities, Ronaldo would equalise in the 28th minute after a fine assist from Joao Pereira.
Ronaldo silenced his doubters in possibly his best ever game for the Seleccao With chances at both ends in a competitive second half, the Dutch would come unstuck by the speed of Portugal`s counter-attacks, with Ronaldo sealing his double 16 minutes from time to send their opponents crashing to a humiliating exit.
The Dutch, needing to win by at least two clear goals, began the match on the front foot, with Wesley Sneijder firing over the side-netting after a good delivery from Gregory Van der Wiel. Their breakthrough would be an early one.
Arjen Robben retained possession on the wing, cutting in before feeding Van der Vaart. The Tottenham midfielder, from distance, produced a moment of star quality, curling the ball past a beaten Rui Patricio to hand Van Marwijk`s men an 11th minute lead.