Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Euro 2012 Day 6 Review

Day six of the championships saw the second round of matches from the so called group of death.

First game of the day saw Denmark take on Portugal, the Danish came into the match on the back of a shock one nil victory against the Dutch whilst Portugal were edged out by Germany. Portugal knew that this was probably a must win game and would have targeted this match as their most likely victory, Denmark had the chance to all but secure qualification to the quarters with a win.

The game started on a even keel before defender Pepe, headed in from a corner to give Portugal the lead in the 24th minute. Things got even better for the Portuguese as Helder Positga fired in from close range to seemingly put his side in the driving seat, twelve minutes later.

People wondered whether a defensively minded Danish team could respond but they did four minutes before half time as Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner pulled one back for his side, Portugal were good value for their lead going into half time and were glad for it after conceding so late in the opening half.

The second half consisted of Denmark trying to break through the Portugal defence but struggled to make any impact, at the other end however Cristiano Ronaldo had what a mate of mine described as a 'Shocker'. The Real Madrid hitman, missed chance after chance including a one on one with the keeper and should have put the game out of sight.

His team were punished ten minutes from time as Bendtner headed in his second goal which seemed to have secured at least a point. Although Denmark had the better of the play after this, it was Portugal who found the winning goal as substitute Silverstre Verela, smashed in from inside the area to get the Portuguese's campaign up and running.

I felt this game deserved to be draw, in the final games I can see Portugal drawing with the Netherlands and Denmark losing to Germany, therefore I believe that Portugal will go through to the quarter finals.

Today's second game was built up as the biggest of the tournament so far. The Netherlands who surprisingly lost their opening game, were to take on Germany who saw off Portugal in their first contest. The Netherlands knew that defeat would leave them with an uphill task to qualify whilst the Germans could leave themselves needing just a point to qualify with victory.

Like their opening game, the Dutch had plenty of possession but failed to make it count as once again Robin Van Persie fluffed his lines. Germany seemed comfortable in possession and in general as they took the lead on 24 minutes through Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez. More was to come from the in-form striker as he doubled his tally seven minutes from half time, with an excellent finish across the keeper to put the Germans in utter control.

The Dutch needed to respond as they brought on Rafael Van Der Vaart and Klaas Jan Huntelaar at the start of the second half. At times they struggled to get the ball from Germany and when they did they were usually wasteful, it took until the 73rd minute when finally Robin Van Persie, scored in this year's championships to give his side hope.

The Orange men kept banging on the German door but never really threatened, as Jochim Low's men surely booked their place in the knockout stage. The Netherlands now need results and goal difference to go their way in the final group game, I feel they will struggle and be on the early plane home.

Germany's Mario Gomez, second right, scores a goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match between the Netherlands and Germany in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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