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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Portugal 2-1 Holland

Ronaldo (left) and Maniche
Portugal sent the host nation into raptures by beating Holland to reach the final of Euro 2004.

Cristiano Ronaldo escaped slack Dutch marking to head Portugal into a first-half lead.

Luis Figo hit the post before Nuno Maniche doubled Portugal's lead in the second half with a stunning strike.

An own goal from Jorge Andrade handed the disappointing Dutch a lifeline but Portugal held out to reach their first final of a major championship.

After a cagey opening the game began to open up and Ronaldo's lunge was a whisker away from connecting with Figo's cross.

Figo's electric 70-yard run at pace ended with a ball back to Ronaldo to fire his shot straight at Edwin van der Sar.

The livewire Figo looked a different player to the one withdrawn against England and he again showed his pace to run at Michael Reiziger and as his dangerous cross came in Wilfred Bouma slid in to nick the ball away from Pauleta.

26 mins: Ronaldo heads Portugal in front
40 mins: Figo curls shot against the post
55 mins: Pauleta denied by van der Sar
56 mins: Maniche stunner doubles Portugal's lead
63 mins: Andrade own goal hands Holland a lifeline

But the disappointment did not last long as Portugal swept into the lead on 26 mins. Figo's inswinging corner found the Dutch marking wanting and Ronaldo got in between Reiziger and Giovanni van Bronckhorst to power in a downward header.

As Holland sought an equaliser Edgar Davids broke down the left and his cross dropped at the far post for Marc Overmars who blasted over from eight yards.

Davids then tricked his way past Miguel to whip in a cross at the near post for Clarence Seedorf, whose header came off Andrade for a corner.

Portugal should have doubled their lead on 35 minutes when Deco's deft touch sent Maniche clear and his cross was met by Pauleta whose under-powered close-range shot allowed van der Sar to save.

Ronaldo (left) heads Portugal into the lead
Ronaldo (left) heads Portugal into the lead

The host nation were gaining the upper hand but Holland nearly forced their way back five minutes before half-time, only for Ruud van Nistelrooy's clinical finish to be wiped out by an offside flag.

At the other end, Figo worked himself a yard of space to curl a delicious left-foot shot against van der Sar's right-hand post with the keeper floundering.

Holland replaced Overmars with Roy Makaay at the start of the second half to try and give support to the lonely van Nistelrooy.

Holland almost over committed themselves on 55 minutes as Ricardo's long punt caught them out and Pauleta raced clear - but the mis-firing frontman shot straight at van der Sar.

But Portugal put one foot in the final on 56 minutes with a stunning goal from Maniche.

Holland were caught napping as Ronaldo tapped a short corner to Maniche who from the corner of the penalty area curled in a blistering right-foot shot past van der Sar.

The game was far from over and Portugal gifted Holland a lifeline on 63 minutes when Andrade's attempt to clear van Bronckhorst's cross looped the ball over the stranded Ricardo.

Seedorf then whipped a free-kick across the face of goal and van Bronkhorst, Makaay and van Nistelrooy all agonisingly failed to make contact.

Holland were prone to Portuguese breaks and when Miguel got forward to screw the ball back to Maniche, Cocu bravely threw himself in front of the shot to deny an almost certain third goal.

Coach Dick Advocaat played Holland's last card when he sent on Pierre van Hooijdonk to partner Makaay and van Nistelrooy but central defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Andrade cemented their growing reputations by ushering Portugal to the final.

It was a nail-biting climax, but when the referee blew for full-time, the Portuguese were in a final at last - and the celebrations could begin.

Portugal: Ricardo, Miguel, Andrade, Ricardo Carvalho, Nuno Valente, Ronaldo (Petit 67), Maniche (Couto 87), Costinha, Figo, Deco, Pauleta (Nuno Gomes 75).
Subs Not Used: Quim, Moreira, Paulo Ferreira, Rui Jorge, Rui Costa, Simao, Beto, Tiago, Postiga.
Booked: Ronaldo, Nuno Valente, Figo.

Holland: Van der Sar, Reiziger, Stam, Bouma (Van der Vaart 55), Van Bronckhorst, Davids, Seedorf, Cocu, Overmars (Makaay 45), van Nistelrooy, Robben (Van Hooijdonk 81).
Subs Not Used: Westerveld, Waterreus, Van der Meyde, Kluivert, Sneijder, Heitinga, Bosvelt, Zenden.
Booked: Overmars, Robben.

Attendance: 46,679.

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden).

Category Portugal Holland
Total shots 12 7
Shots on target 7 1
Possession 47% 53%
Corners won 9 2
Fouls committed 22 20
Offsides 5 3
Bookings 3 2
Sent Off 0 0


  • Portugal reached the final and put an end to the streak of hosting countries going out at the semi-final stage. It is the first time they have reached the final of a major tournament after semi-final exits from the 1966 World Cup, and the 1984 and 2000 European Championships.
  • Luiz Felipe Scolari is the first foreign trainer to take a team to the European Championship final. Two other foreign trainers - George Raynor (Sweden 1958) and Ernst Happel (Holland 1978) have achieved this at the World Cup but both lost in the final.
  • Luís Figo was selected in the first 11 and therefore equalled Fernando Couto's caps record for Portugal. Couto took the record back when he came on as a late substitute. He therefore also played in his 13th European Championship match which took him into the top ten.
  • Nuno Valente received the 600th card shown at the European Championship.

    Links to more Euro 2004 stories


    Figo wish comes true
    30 Jun 04 |  Portugal
    Advocaat ponders future
    30 Jun 04 |  Holland
    Scolari commits to Portugal
    30 Jun 04 |  Portugal
    Van Nistelrooy accuses ref
    30 Jun 04 |  Holland


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