Holland were 45 minutes from exiting Euro 2012 as they were drawing 1-1 with Portugal at half-time of their final Group C match on Sunday.
The Dutch took the lead in the 11th minute through Rafael van der Vaart with a sumptuous curling effort from outside the area after being set up by Arjen Robben.
However, the Portuguese levelled in the 28th minute as Joao Pereira delivered a perfectly weighted pass to an on-side Cristiano Ronaldo, who put it away after a series of misses by him prior to that.
"This is for you my son," the 27-year-old Real Madrid star mouthed to the TV camera.
The Dutch need to beat Portugal to have any chance of progressing to the quarter-finals after losing both their opening games.
Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) shoots to score during the Euro 2012 football championships match Portugal vs. Netherlands, on June 17, 2012 at the Metalist stadium in Kharkiv. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY