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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.
19.29 – Here are the teams for this evening:
Portugal v Holland
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Meireles, Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo. Subs: Eduardo, Custodio, Almeida, Quaresma, Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Ruben Micael, Varela, Miguel Lopes, Hugo Viana, Beto.
Holland: Stekelenburg, Willems, Mathijsen, Vlaar, Van Der Wiel, Van der Vaart, Nigel De Jong, Sneijder, van Persie, Robben, Huntelaar. Subs: Vorm, Heitinga, Bouma, Van Bommel, Kuyt, Schaars, Strootman, Luuk De Jong, Narsingh, Afellay, Boulahrouz, Krul.
Denmark v Germany
Denmark: Andersen, Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Simon Poulsen, Kvist Jorgensen, Eriksen, Jakob Poulsen, Zimling, Krohn-Delhi, Bendtner. Subs: Lindegaard, Christian Poulsen, Rommedahl, Bjelland, Okore, Schone, Silberbauer, Pedersen, Wass, Kahlenberg, Mikkelsen, Schmeichel.
Germany: Neuer, Bender, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez. Subs: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Klose, Mertesacker, Kroos, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.
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.
19.45 – And we’re off…
19.48 – Maths lovers will appreciate this…
19.50 – A cross falls to Sneijder at the far post, but he scuffs it wide from a difficult angle – only a half chance, if even.
19.53 – Holland have started with the type of adventurous attacking mindset that their line-up suggested they’d adopt.
Conversely, they could well be vulnerable in defence, particular with someone as immobile as Van der Vaart seemingly playing in central midfield.
19.56 – GOAL FOR HOLLAND!
19.58 – Robben beats a player before laying it off to Van der Vaart, who justifies his starting spot by curling it into the corner of the net. Stunning goal.
20.00 – Holland need to win by two clear goals and also hope Germany beat Denmark – a scenario that suddenly seems so much more feasible following that goal.
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.
20.06 – Holland’s all-out attacking style means it’s a fantastic match.
The term ‘end-to-end stuff’ is an over-used cliché, but it genuinely applies in this case.
20.10 – Arsenal’s recent signing, Lukas Podolski, has given Germany the lead against Denmark, hammering it home from close range.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo has a great chance from a cross, but heads it straight at the goalkeeper.
It’s been a less-than-vintage tournament for the Real Madrid attacker.
20.11 – Good news for Denmark fans! Krohn-Delhi has equalised with a header from a corner.
20.13 – GOAL FOR PORTUGAL!
20.16 – Joao Pereira plays a beautiful through ball to Ronaldo, who finishes with aplomb after timing his run to perfection.
Holland have looked very vulnerable, especially since scoring, so it’s no surprise that Portugal are back in this game.
Holland fans demonstrate their unusual dress sense (Manu Fernandez/AP/Press Association Images).
20.25 – Veloso has just hit a free kick marginally over.
Holland’s adventurous approach has gradually become completely ineffectual. They’re currently getting completely overrun in midfield, meaning the likes of Van Persie and Huntelaar can do little but watch on in despair.
20.28 – The good and bad of Ronaldo can be seen within a matter of moments.
He controls a kick-out beatifully and beats his man, but then shoots wastefully wide from a near-impossible angle when a cross would’ve definitely been the better option.
20.31 – HALF-TIME: HOLLAND 1-1 PORTUGAL
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.
20.45 – Gilsey reckons the Dutch “will pack it in” in the second half.
20.46 – We’re back underway…
20.49 – Here are the first-half goals by the way:
YouTube credit: Kasey Cummings
YouTube credit: DjidjaCR7
20.55 – Willems has just been booked for a nasty-looking sliding tackle on Moutinho.
He’ll miss the quarter-final game should Holland progress.
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.
21.05 – Good news for anyone who’s already fed up with the Euros:
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.
21.11 – HOLLAND SUBSTITUTION: Afellay replaces Willems.
That’s an attacking substitution if ever there was one.
21.14 – That’s an absolutely sitter! A lovely ball across the goal from Ronaldo to Nani, who carelessly hits it straight at the goalkeeper.
21.15 – GOAL FOR PORTUGAL!
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.
21.21 – Holland seem completely deflated at the moment, and still look the more likely side to score.
21.24 – Here’s that second Ronaldo goal:
YouTube credit: margarita mendez
21.25 – Bender has put Germany ahead against Denmark. Surely that’s confirmation of the Danes’ exit.
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.
21.36 – FULL-TIME: PORTUGAL 2-1 HOLLAND
21.37 – “Good night from… Where are we? Ukraine,” says a wary-sounding Ger Canning.
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.
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