The Netherlands got off to a fantastic start in their Euro 2012 Group B finale against Portugal, looking like they were very much up to a fight for a place in the quarterfinals, but they fell apart in the latter part of the half and face a long road back to second place in the group. They're locked in a 1-1 draw with Portugal at halftime, and Portugal appear to have all of the momentum.
It appeared as if Bert van Marwijk got his tactics spot on in the early going, with Rafael Van der Vaart scoring a stunner in the 11th minute to put the Netherlands ahead. The Oranje seemed to step off the gas a bit after that goal, however, and they don't have the defense to step off the gas. From the goal until the end of the half, Portugal looked like the better side.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Raul Meireles and Helder Postiga all had opportunities that they should have done much better with in the first 30 minutes of the game, but Ronaldo finally capitalized on one in the 28th minute. Joao Pereira found him with a well-placed through ball that split the Holland defense and Ronaldo pounced, running onto it and applying a calm finish past Maarten Stekelenburg.
Van Marwijk has a lot of work to do in the locker room to get his team back into the match. As long as Denmark and Germany stay tied, they can't go through to the knockout stage, but they'll go through if they win this match by two goals while Germany win by one. They're not dead yet, but they sure looked like it based on their last 15 minutes in the first half.
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