Germany and Portugal March into Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
Forward Cristiano Ronaldo, criticized for his lack of form early in the tournament, delivered when it mattered most, scoring two goals to lift Portugal past the Netherlands, 2-1, Sunday and into the quarterfinals of the European Championship 2012.
Portugal advanced to the last eight together with Germany, a 2-1 winner over Denmark at the Arena Lviv. The Germans topped Group B, known as the "Group of Death", with nine points while Portugal finished second with six points.
The Germans and the Portuguese join Czech Republic and Greece in the quarterfinals. The Czechs and Greeks advanced after finishing 1-2 in Group A.
Portugal will face the Czech Republic Thursday in Warsaw while Germany squares off on with Greece Friday in Gdansk.
Rafael van der Vaart scored in the 11th minute for Netherlands with a curler that zoomed past goalkeeper Rui Patricio at the Metalist Stadium.
Ronaldo, who only had one goal before the game, tied the count in the 28th minute with a fine strike past Maarten Stekelenburg from a pass by Joao Pereira.
In the 74th minute, Nani fed a long pass to Ronaldo, who eluded Gregory Van der Weil in the box and booted home the game-winning goal.
"Ronaldo got so much criticism in the last game and he is back now," Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk said. "That is how fast things can change."
"It won't be easy. We'll have to be this good again to reach the semifinals," Portugal coach Paulo Bento told goal.com when asked about their upcoming match against Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, Lukas Podolski opened the scoring for Germany in the 19th minute and Lars Bender slotted home the winner in the 80th after Michael Krohn-Dehli had equalized for Denmark in the 24th minute.
In his 100th international match, Podolski scored his first goal of the event from an assist by Mario Gomez.
Denmark replied just five minutes later with a header from Krohn-Dehli for his second goal at Euro 2012.
Bender, who replaced suspended right back Jerome Boateng, picked up a pass from Mesut Oezil and made it 2-1.
L'VIV (Ukraine/-) (AFP) - (AFP) - Slideshow of Euro 2012 on June 17, 2012, including Portugal vs Netherlands (2-1), Denmark vs Germany (1-2), and training sessions of Italy, Spain, Croatia and Ireland national teams, in Ukraine
Euro 2012 in pictures - June 17
- Spain Tops Italy: Nabs 2nd Straight Euro Championship
- Euro 2012 Finals Preview: Italy vs Spain
- Super Mario Balotelli Lifts Italy Past Germany into Euro Final
- David Beckham Surprise Omission from Great Britain's Olympic Soccer Team
- Spain Tops Portugal in Penalty Shootout, Advances to Euro Final
- Italy Hopes to Get Key Players Back vs Germany
- Spain and Portugal Ready for Euro 2012 Semi-final Battle
- Italy Tops England in Penalty Shootout
- Alonso Sparks Spain Past France into Semifinals
- Germany Posts Record 15th Straight Win, Books Place in Euro 2012 Semis
- Greece Faces Daunting Task vs Germany in Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
- Ronaldo's Header Powers Portugal into Euro 2012 Semis
- England and France Move On to Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
- Spain And Italy Move on to Euro 2012 Quarterfinal Round
- Germany and Portugal March into Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
- Coach Del Bosque Signs Contract Extension with Spain
- Czechs and Greeks Advance to Euro 2012 Soccer Quarterfinals
- Fernando Torres Stars in Spain's 4-0 Win Over Ireland
- Euro 2012: Portugal Edges Denmark; Germany Tops Netherlands
- Euro 2012: Czechs Drub Greece; Poland Ties Russia
- Euro 2012: England and France Battle to Draw at Euro 2012
- United States Settles for Tie on Road Against Guatemala
- Euro 2012: Italy Ties Defending Champion Spain; Croatia Dumps Ireland
- Euro 2012: Denmark Shocks Netherlands; Germany Edges Portugal
- Euro 2012: Russia Trounces Czech Republic; Poland-Greece Draw
- World Cup Qualifying: US Faces Tough Challenge in Guatemala
- Sweden Ends Euro 2012 Preparation with Win vs Serbia
- Brazil Downs United States in Exhibition Soccer Match
- Spanish Soccer Squad Unleashes True Form Against South Korea
- Landon Donovan Hat Trick Powers United States Past Scotland
- Offensive-Minded Coach, Goal Scorers Boost US Soccer Team
- Soccer Bridges Distance Between Manchester City and Abu Dhabi
- Manchester City Wins Premiere League Crown After 44 Years
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