KHARKIV, Ukraine — Cristiano Ronaldo finally found the form he was lacking at the European Championship, scoring twice Sunday to give Portugal a 2-1 win over the Netherlands and a spot in the quarterfinals.
The Real Madrid forward failed to sparkle in Portugal’s two previous matches but he was devastating against the Dutch. He produced an equalizer with his first goal of the tournament in the 28th minute and scored the winner in the 74th.
“Once again we showed how united we are as a team,” Portugal midfielder Miguel Veloso said. “It wasn’t easy to start with a defeat. The secret was our defending, our humility.”
Needing a win to have a chance at staying in the tournament, the disappointing Dutch fielded an impressive attacking lineup featuring Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie up front, but it wasn’t enough to keep them at Euro 2012.
Instead, it will be Portugal in the quarterfinals facing the Czech Republic on Thursday in Warsaw.
The Netherlands have beaten Portugal only once in their past 10 meetings, in 1991.