Germany and Portugal through to last eight of Euro 2012

Germany scored an 80th minute winner through Lars Bender against Denmark last night to secure top spot in Group B while a Cristiano Ronaldo double sank the dismal Dutch.

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Lukas Podolski had given Germany a 19th minute lead but saw Michael Krohn-Dehli head in an equaliser for Denmark six minutes later. The young Germany team were dominant for large parts of the match displaying an exceptional workrate and ambition.

In particular Sami Khedira’s midfield generalship and Thomas Muller’s inspired work on the wing helped Germany qualify with a 100% record. But it was all for nothing until Lars Bender, The 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen player, scored Germany’s late winner to end Denmark’s dream of repeating their 1992 heroics.

Germany will now play Greece in the last eight in Gdansk.

In the other game in Group B, Euro 2012’s group of death, the Netherlands had to win by two clear goals and hope Denmark lost to Germany in order to progress. The world cup finalists started well and Rafael van der Vaart’s lovely curling strike put them ahead. It was his first start in the tournament and he appeared eager to prove a point.

But from that point the Netherlands faded badly and were undone by Ronaldo who put on a performance of pace, power and poise that the Dutch could not contain. He first equalised after 28 minutes from Joao Pereira’s precise through ball before driving home the winner on the 74 minute mark.

The Dutch were whitewashed, unable to win any of their three matches and will be bitterly disappointed by their performance only two years after their world cup final appearance in South Africa in 2010.


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