Group Elimination B: Sunday, 17 June 2012 - Kharkiv - Metalist Stadium
The Dutch face the Portuguese in their last group matchon June 17 at the Kharkiv Metalist Stadium
The Portuguese get back on the Euro track after a 3-2 win against the Danes on the 13th of June. Even though a loss can take them through, the Portuguese team would have to beat the Dutch in the upcoming match-up by a large goal difference. Main striker HelderPostiga is expected to deliver such a win with wingers Nani and team Captain Cristiano Ronaldo beside him. Silvestre Varela, now a key player can add to that effect withNani, RuiPatricio, Joao Pereira, and Pepe.
Team captain Ronaldo however needs to get his head back in the right way of thinking after being the one responsible for almost blowing away the victory against Denmark. He needs to come back and defend on the wing, if he falls short in the next game, it can lead to a loss against the Netherlands.
The Dutch had been one of the favourites from the start coming into the tournament in fine form but unfortunately they failed to capitalise on this factor. Having two losses on their belt against Germany with a score of 1-2 and Denmark at 0-1, the Dutch are just about ready for an exit out of the tournament. Unless manager Bart Van Marwijk make some changes to the line-up and strengthen the team’s defense, they don’t have a chance against the strong Portuguese attack. Ron Vlaar should probably return to the line-up since Mathijsen failed to deliver the last time out. Van Persie should regain his form and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar shows a lot of potential but has not been given the time of day to shine.
Predictions: Draw 1-1
Based on prior performances and factors concerning both sides, the fight is equal. The Netherlands have two losses against them and the Portuguese showing a weakening attack and defense. It is hard to point which side is better as of now. One thing is for certain however, both teams, especially the Dutch, need a win.
Euro Cup 2012 Highlights: Ronaldo Redeems As Portugal Advances
Cristiano Ronaldo created a slice of history in powering Portugal to the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 on Sunday but faces a lonely day off after his supermodel girlfriend decided to remain in New York instead of jetting to Poland.
Ronaldo scored two goals as Portugal beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the Ukranian city of Kharkiv to guarantee itself second place in Group B and a last-eight showdown with the Czech Republic.
After Portugal's impressive recovery from losing to Germany in its opening game, coach Paulo Bento decided to reward his players with a day off to spend with their wives and girlfriends when they return to their Polish training base.
However, Ronaldo will be on his own after his leading lady Irina Shayk opted to stay in the United States rather than travel to the tournament.
"We will rest and regroup and the players will have some time to enjoy themselves," Bento said. "It is important after coming through a difficult group that they can have some normal time. We want everyone to share in our success, the players, the people close to them, the whole nation."
Shayk and Ronaldo are used to spending time apart because of his commitments as one of the world's finest soccer players and her own as one of the most sought-after models on the New York fashion scene.
She was spotted by paparazzi exercising and shopping in New York just hours before Ronaldo geared up for what was one of his most important matches for his national team. "When asked last week if he expected his girlfriend to join him during the event, Ronaldo simply replied "no."
Defeat would have eliminated Portugal from the competition and led to criticism aimed at Ronaldo, whose performances at major tournaments have often been called into question.
In the side's previous match against Denmark, rival fans taunted the 27-year-old by chanting the name of Lionel Messi, the Argentina and Barcelona superstar widely regarded as the only better player in the world.
EURO 2012: Portugal vs Netherlands Timeline
- 90+4' - The second-half is over. The match ends 2-1.
- 90+2' - Portugal's Joao Pereira has been booked in Kharkiv.
- 90' - 4 minutes will be added to the Second half.
- 90' - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) fires in a shot – and hits the post!
- 89' - Netherlands's Robin van Persie misses with an attempt on goal.
- 87' - Portugal make their Third substitution with Rolando replacing Nani.
- 86' - Netherlands's Klaas Jan Huntelaar breaks free at Metalist Stadium. But the strike goes wide of the post.
- 86' - Portugal are pushing forward but Nani's finish is wide of the goal.
- 85' - Portugal are coming forward and Nani gets in a strike, it misses the target, however.
- 84' - Corner awarded to Netherlands.
- 83' - So close for Netherlands as Rafael van der Vaart's shot comes back off the post.
- 80' - Portugal push upfield and Nelson Oliveira gets his head to the ball. The attempt is cleared by an alert Netherlands defence.
- 80' - Nicola Rizzoli has awarded Portugal a corner. Miguel Veloso takes the kick from the Left .
- 79' - In Kharkiv Portugal attack through Nelson Oliveira. The finish is off target, however.
- 76' - Netherlands's Wesley Sneijder gets in a shot on goal at Metalist Stadium. But the effort is unsuccessful.
- 74' - Goal! Cristiano Ronaldo gives Portugal a 2-1 lead in Kharkiv.
- 74' - Nani with an assist there.
- 73' - Corner awarded to Portugal.
- 72' - Nani for Portugal drives towards goal at Metalist Stadium. But the finish is unsuccessful.
- 72' - Paulo Bento (Portugal) is making a Second change, with Custodio replacing the possibly injured Raul Meireles.
- 69' - Robin van Persie (Netherlands) has been booked and must now be careful not to get a second yellow card.
- 68' - Raul Meireles has recovered and rejoins the match in Kharkiv.
- 68' - Nicola Rizzoli has awarded Portugal a corner. Joao Moutinho takes the kick from the Left .
- 68' - The match at Metalist Stadium is underway again.
- 67' - Netherlands make their First substitution with Ibrahim Afellay replacing Jetro Willems.
- 67' - Attention is being given to Portugal’s Raul Meireles and play has been suspended briefly.
- 66' - In Kharkiv Portugal drive forward through Fabio Coentrao. His shot is on target but it's saved.
- 65' - Netherlands push forward at Metalist Stadium and Robin van Persie gets in a strike. This is blocked, however, by a determined Portugal defence.
- 64' - Nelson Oliveira is on a sub for Helder Postiga for Portugal.
- 60' - At Metalist Stadium Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) takes a corner from the Left.
- 60' - Nicola Rizzoli blows against Portugal's Helder Postiga for offside.
- 59' - Portugal have been awarded a corner by Nicola Rizzoli. Raul Meireles steps up to take it.
- 55' - Joao Moutinho of Portugal gets in a strike, but is off target.
- 54' - Portugal's Helder Postiga is whistled for offside at Metalist Stadium.
- 53' - In Kharkiv, Ron Vlaar (Netherlands) misses the target with a header.
- 53' - In Kharkiv Wesley Sneijder for Netherlands takes a corner from the Left-hand flag.
- 52' - Portugal's Joao Moutinho looks ok and returns to the pitch.
- 52' - Play has been resumed at Metalist Stadium.
- 52' - Play has been interrupted briefly in Kharkiv to check on Joao Moutinho, who is grimacing with pain.
- 51' - Jetro Willems (Netherlands) has been given a yellow card and will be suspended from the next match.
- 50' - Nicola Rizzoli has awarded Netherlands a corner. Wesley Sneijder takes the kick from the Left .
- 49' - Joao Moutinho for Portugal gets in a strike but fails to hit the target.
- 48' - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) gets in a strike but the shot is blocked by a defender.
- 46' - The second-half is underway in Kharkiv.
- 45' - The first-half is over at Metalist Stadium.
- 41' - Portugal are pushing forward but Cristiano Ronaldo's finish is wide of the goal.
- 38' - Portugal are coming forward and Miguel Veloso gets in a strike, it misses the target, however.
- 35' - Portugal attack but Cristiano Ronaldo's header doesn't find the target.
- 35' - Corner awarded to Portugal.
- 34' - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) is given an opening but the shot is blocked by a defender.
- 33' - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gets in a shot on goal at Metalist Stadium. But the effort is unsuccessful.
- 31' - Nani of Portugal gets in a strike, but is off target.
- 28' - Joao Pereira instrumental with a fine assist.
- 28' - Cristiano Ronaldo levels the scores at 1-1.
- 27' - Wesley Sneijder for Netherlands drives towards goal at Metalist Stadium. But the finish is unsuccessful.
- 24' - Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal is whistled offside.
- 23' - Portugal push forward at Metalist Stadium and Cristiano Ronaldo gets in a great header. The attempt is cleared by the Netherlands defence.
- 22' - Netherlands surge into the attack at Metalist Stadium but Nigel de Jong’s header is off-target.
- 22' - Netherlands have been awarded a corner by Nicola Rizzoli. Rafael van der Vaart steps up to take it.
- 20' - In Kharkiv, Robin van Persie of Netherlands is presented with a shooting opportunity. But the strike is blocked by the covering defence.
- 18' - Portugal's Raul Meireles gets his shot away but it misses the target.
- 18' - In Kharkiv Raul Meireles for Portugal takes a corner from the Right-hand flag.
- 18' - Helder Postiga gets his shot on target but fails to score for Portugal.
- 17' - Portugal drive forward but Cristiano Ronaldo is judged offside.
- 16' - Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo misses with an attempt on goal.
- 11' - That's a fine assist from Arjen Robben.
- 11' - Netherlands take a 0-1 lead thanks to Rafael van der Vaart.
- 10' - Netherlands's Wesley Sneijder has run offside.
- 7' - At Metalist Stadium Joao Moutinho (Portugal) takes a corner from the Left.
- 7' - Important block from the Netherlands defence as Cristiano Ronaldo fires in a strike for Portugal.
- 6' - Netherlands's Rafael van der Vaart gets in a shot but it is blocked by a Portugal defender.
- 4' - Netherlands's Wesley Sneijder breaks free at Metalist Stadium. But the strike goes wide of the post.
- 1' - The match has started.
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