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Ronaldo double sends Portugal into quarter-finals

Cristiano Ronaldo shone for the first time at Euro 2012, scoring twice in Portugal's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in their Group B game on Sunday to secure a quarter-final place and send the winless Dutch home.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2012 12:52 IST
Euro2012

Portuguese-forward-Cristiano-Ronaldo-celebrates-after-winning-the-Euro-2012-football-championships-match-Portugal-vs-Netherlands-at-the-Metalist-stadium-in-Kharkiv-AFP-Patrick-Hertzog

Cristiano Ronaldo shone for the first time at Euro 2012, scoring twice in Portugal's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in their Group B game on Sunday to secure a quarter-final place and send the winless Dutch home.

In an open and entertaining game, Ronaldo cancelled out Rafael van der Vaart's 11th-minute opener and hit the winner with 16 minutes left as Portugal went through as runners-up behind Germany and now face the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Dutch midfielder Van der Vaart beat keeper Rui Patricio with an exquisite curling shot from outside the box but Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player, latched on to Joao Pereira's slide-rule pass to level for the Portuguese in the 28th.

As the Dutch, World Cup finalists two years ago, left huge gaps at the back after the break, Ronaldo was fed by Nani and had time to pick his spot and fire past Maarten Stekelenburg.