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Ronaldo’s heroics secures Portugal win over Netherlands

Portugal dominated The Netherlands 2-1 at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv to send the Oranje out of Euro 2012 and set-up a quarter-final meeting with the Czech Republic in Warsaw on June 21. The great thing in this match, is with the superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in his game.

It was a goal for the Netherlands at first, as Rafael van der Vaart broke the deadlock early on with a strike from distance to put them on the lead. Portugal, after a long struggle, tied with the Dutch with a goal from Ronaldo.

After a series of serious plays with both sides failing to goal, Ronaldo lands one 16 minutes from time to send the Oranje home.

Even as it is the obvious, Cristiano Ronaldo refused to take the credit for the important victory, praising the whole team instead.

The Real Madrid star was the target of criticism from both critics and supporters due to his performance in the first two tournament outings, specifically against Germany and Denmark.

"Without the team, we wouldn't have won," the attacker told reporters after the game. "We achieved our aim and now we have to play against the Czechs, which will be hard."

Netherlands defender Gregory van der Wiel has evem admitted that he found it "impossible" to mark Cristiano Ronaldo in the match. He never really got close to foiling the plans of the Seleccao star at any stage of the game.

"I had played against Ronaldo three times before, so it was no surprise what he did today," Van der Wiel told the website Goal.com. "But it really is impossible to mark him when he plays this well.

"The truth is that I didn't have a good tournament, I have to admit, but it not is all my fault. I could never play my attacking style. I was unmarked several times but my team-mates never passed the ball to me."

Whatever the case maybe, the Real Madrid star put in a performance tonight that silenced the critics and doom-mongers who have been on his back since the tournament started. This performance also somewhat resurrected his following. If this continues, he might bring the Portuguese closer to the championship, as well as secure his quest for the Ballon D’or.