Portugal send Holland home

Rafael van der Vaart´s entrance in the second half did not help Holland advance to the final of Euro 2004. Portugal defeated the Dutch 2-1 and play the final on Sunday. Wesley Sneijder and Johnny Heitinga remained on the bench for Holland.

Most of the Dutch players were eliminated for thew third time in the semi-final of a big tournament after the loss against Portugal. Stam, Overmars, Bosvelt and the injured De Boer finished their career as an international without a trophy. It is believed that coach Dick Advocaat, despite a contract until 2006, will quit. His successor has the task to build a new national team with talented youngsters such as Van der Vaart, Heitinga, Robben, Sneijder and possibly also De Jong and Van Persie.

Portugal were better from the get-go. The Dutch defence was under pressure from the first time Portugal, led by Deco and Figo, touched the ball. Manchester United´s Ronaldo opened the score in the 26th minute when he headed in a corner while virtually unmarked.

Hardly a minute later Overmars had a good chance to equalise, but the winger´s shot went high.

With Makaay in the second half for Overmars and Van der Vaart for Bouma ten minutes later Holland tried to find the way to the Portugese goal. But Maniche made it 2-0 with a beautifully curled effort in the 58th minute.

Andrade´s own goal gave Holland hope for more for about twenty minutes. But despite Van Hooijdonk´s presence in the last ten minutes, Holland were not able to score. Portugal play the winner of the match Czech Republic - Greece on Sunday.

Portugal - Holland 2-1 (1-0). 27. Ronaldo 1-0, 58. Maniche 2-0, 63. Jorge Andrade 2-1 (o.g.). Referee: Frisk (Swe). Att.: 46.697. Yellow card: Ronaldo, Figo, Nuno Valente (Portugal), Robben, Overmars, Van Nistelrooy (Holland).

Portugal: Ricardo; Miguel, Ricardo Carvalho, Jorge Andrade and Nuno Valente; Costinha, Maniche (87. Couto), Deco and Figo; Pauleta (75. Nuno Gomes) and Ronaldo (68. Petit).
Holland: Van der Sar; Reiziger, Bouma (56. Van der Vaart), Stam and Van Bronckhorst; Seedorf, Cocu and Davids; Overmars (46. Makaay), Van Nistelrooy and Robben (81. Van Hooijdonk).

Photo: Proshots/Stanley Gontha