Bert van Marwijk's attacking changes got the Oranje off to a brilliant start in their Group B finale against Portugal, but their lack of defense was ultimately their undoing. It was always just a matter of time before Cristiano Ronaldo found his finishing touch, and he turned it on against the Netherlands on Sunday, scoring two goals in a 2-1 Portugal win that sent them through to the quarterfinals.
Rafael Van der Vaart, who replaced Mark van Bommel in the Netherlands lineup in an attacking maneuver by van Marwijk, scored the game's opening goal after just 11 minutes. Arjen Robben shocked the world with his unselfish play on the goal, laying off to Van der Vaart for a nice assist on the Tottenham man's 20-yard blast past Rui Patricio.
For some reason, Holland started to look like their job was already done after that goal, and they were thoroughly outplayed by Portugal for the rest of the match. The Portuguese front four could have had multiple goals before they finally finished off a good chance and bagged one in the 28th minute, with Ronaldo netting the equalizer on a Joao Pereira through ball.
Portugal controlled the entire second half, and with his team needing multiple goals, van Marwijk made very aggressive substitutions. He pulled left back Jetro Willems off for Ibrahim Afellay, shifting his already porous defense into a makeshift back three that featured Gregory Van der Wiel as a right central defender. No one can blame the Netherlands for being aggressive at that time, but their lack of quality and communication in defense was their eventual undoing.
Ronaldo scored his second goal of the game and the tournament in the 74th minute, applying a simple finish to a pass across the box from Nani. The Netherlands defense was all over the place on the goal, offering little resistance. Considering how poorly they defended all night, the Netherlands were very lucky to only concede twice. They now exit Euro 2012 with zero points after entering the tournament as favorites to make the knockout stages.
You can find our previous live coverage of both of Saturday's games in our Euro 2012, Group B Finale StoryStream. For more on Euro 2012 and the entire world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.