UEFA 2012 European Championship: Day 7
Thursday 14 June 2012
‘Squeaky bum’ time in Group B for Portugal and Netherlands last night, as they knew that if they BOTH lost their second round games, they would be heading for the door marked ‘exit’ and that would send Denmark and Germany through to the Quarter-Finals.
Denmark (1) 2 – 3 (2) Portugal
Perhaps I’ve hit a bit of a saturation point with the tournament or maybe I was watching a completely different game. After the win for Portugal in the Lviv Arena, the pundits were describing it as the game of the competition. Really? Just as every 0-0 match isn’t boring, so not every 3-2 game is a classic. For me, it wasn’t a technically good game or indeed a thrilling end-to-end encounter – all that could be said is that from 2-0 down Denmark fought back and Portugal snatched it at the end. My highlights were the two second-half misses by the 2004 ‘winker’ Ronaldo, who yet again seemed to pose and posture his way through another game, and was lucky that substitute Silvestre Varela’s late strike saved his blushes.
Netherlands (0) 1 – 2 (2) Germany
The overhead shot of the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv reminded me of the ‘old’ Wembley in terms of its shape (minus the Twin Towers of course). It’s funny, but I miss the original stadium. Anyway, enough nostalgia. The trouble with watching Germany is that after a while it becomes a bit difficult to describe their performances as you end up invariably going on about how efficient they are, how they have a great crop of youngsters coming through and how they rise to the occasion in tournaments. Yes it’s all true and after a good win over the Netherlands, they look favourites to win the competition. It was an interesting point made before the game about the respective developments of the teams in recent years, with Germany moving more towards Dutch flair in their play, while the Netherlands had shifted towards a more physical style. Perhaps too simplistic a notion, but you can see the general point. In the first-half two excellent goals from Mario Gomez put the Germans comfortably ahead, whilst Robin van Persie scored a brilliant goal with seventeen minutes remaining. The Netherlands huffed and puffed, but the Germans were always in control and Die Mannschaft rolls on in impressive fashion.
So as with Group A, all four sides can qualify. The permutations are as follows:
- Germany will advance to the quarter-finals if;
- they do not lose to Denmark by 0–1 or 1–2 or by 2 goals or more
- or Portugal do not beat the Netherlands.
- Portugal will go through to the knock-out stages if;
- they beat the Netherlands and Denmark overcome Germany by 1–0 or 2–1 or at least 2 goals or
- they do not lose to the Netherlands and Germany do not lose to Denmark or
- they lose to the Netherlands by 1 goal and Germany beat Denmark.
- Denmark will advance to the quarter-finals if;
- they defeat Germany or
- they draw with Germany and the Netherlands beat Portugal.
- The Netherlands will advance to the quarter-finals if they defeat Portugal by at least 2 goals and Germany defeat Denmark.