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Holland 1-2 Portugal (FT)
Denmark 1-2 Germany (FT)
19.27 – Good evening. With all four teams still in with a shot of qualification – albeit Holland very unlikely to progress – it should be a fascinating evening.
We’ll be focusing on Holland v Portugal, while keeping you up to date with what’s going on in the other game.
19.38 – In what’s surely the most meta moment of the tournament so far, RTE’s Bill O’Herlihy has (unless my ears deceive me) just made an exaggerated Aprés Match-esque pronunciation of ‘loive’.
It’ll be difficult for the actual football to top that.
20.05 – Ronaldo goes on one of his characteristic mazy runs down the left wing, cutting inside past Vlaar and hitting the outside of the post.
Seconds later, Van der Vaart inexplicably plays an attempted back-pass that finds Postiga, but the striker makes a mess of the one-on-one with the goalkeeper, hitting it wide.
Holland look very vulnerable at the back – as they have throughout the tournament.
20.44 – So 1-1 at half-time then. Holland will probably count themselves lucky to be going in at 1-1 despite starting brightly. They’ve looked quite porous at the back, and are losing the midfield battle.
Huntelaar, meanwhile, for all his insistence that he should be a regular starter, has been relatively quiet.
Portugal, on the other hand, have looked less reticent as the half progressed, as if they only belatedly realised how poor Holland are at the back.
21.01 – Holland have looked somewhat more solid in this second half, perhaps partially due to the fact that Portugal know a draw is good enough to take them through as it stands, and are consequently happy to adopt a more conservative footballing style.
21.09 – PORTUGAL SUBSTITUTION: Oliveira comes on for Postiga.
Meanwhile, it’s a good run from Ronaldo, who then finds Veloso, and the attacker’s powerful shot is parried away by the goalkeeper.
21.19 – Van der Vaart loses possession cheaply, and Portugal hit their opponents on the counter-attack.
The ball eventually falls to Ronaldo, who coolly slots it into the corner unchallenged to give his side a well-deserved lead.
21.30 – Van der Vaart just hit the woodwork with another stunning attempt – not that it would have made a difference in the grand scheme of things.
Meanwhile, Rolando replaces Nani, who has shown his usual infuriating inconsistency this evening.
21.33 – Ronaldo almost puts the icing on the cake for Portugal, hitting the post with a vicious shot from just outside the box.
Four minutes of added time will be played, in contrast to the first half, when there was literally no stoppage time.
21.45 – Ultimately, it was a deserved victory for Portugal.
Holland grew increasingly desperate as the half progressed, ending up with a six-man attack, and looking all too open defensively as a result.
Portugal, without excelling at any time, manged to capitalise on their opponents’ obvious tactical weaknesses.
Ronaldo, after a slow start to the tournament, was the hero for his side tonight, always looking a threat, and scoring two well-taken goals in the process.
21.54 – Right, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.
But we haven’t finished the liveblogs just yet. Niall Kelly has just started liveblogging the US Open. Click here if you still haven’t had enough sport for this weekend.