Last I checked if they didn't replicate Denmark's results or better they wouldn't advance. The only way to 100% ensure they would advance would be to win. When the game went into half-time Denmark was tied 1-1 with Germany so their was always the possibility that:
A. Denmark could win that game and Portugal would be out (unless they also won)
B. Holland could beat Portugal and with a Denmark tie, Portugal would be out
So how do you call that a meaningless game? You're an absolute idiot if you don't think Holland didn't want to leave there with at least 3 points or if they wouldn't of loved to beat Portugal and tried to ruin their chances to advance.
To say that Portugal is an average team, no better than the Czech's is pretty stupid. Portugal has been out of the group stages in all major tournaments the past 8 years with the exception of 1. They were within an offside goal of beating Spain the eventual champions in the World Cup, etc. etc.
Portugal has never been an average team and even with the Golden Age of players now retired from the Figo era, they are still a force in soccer.
Stop looking at box scores and watch games. Furthermore ESPN doesn't know shit when it comes to soccer, so if that's your source, bury yourself ...