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Portugal survives Portugal goal

Lisbon, June 30 (Agencies): Portugal roared into the Euro 2004 final today, overcoming the Netherlands and a same-side goal.

Portugal deservedly led the Netherlands 1-0 at half-time, thanks to a 26th-minute header from Cristiano Ronaldo. In the 58th minute, Maniche struck, putting Portugal ahead by two goals.

However, five minutes later, the self-goal by Jorge Andrade helped the Netherlands open its account by default.

The opening goal came when the 19-year-old Ronaldo rose unmarked to head home a Deco corner after twice going close to connecting with dangerous crosses from Luis Figo, who had an influential first half on his record-equalling 109th appearance for Portugal.

Swedish referee Anders Frisk booked Ronaldo for taking off his shirt to celebrate the goal, the only blot on Portugal in the first 45 minutes, and Pauleta should have buried a Maniche cross after 35 minutes but shot straight at goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Dutch winger Marc Overmars had a chance to equalise two minutes after Ronaldo scored but blazed a volley just over the bar, and Portugal almost doubled their lead just before the interval when Figo’s superb curling shot struck the post.

Before the kickoff, Dutch fans flooded into central Lisbon like a river of orange, singing and dressed in their national colours.

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