Cup Finals Blog

The World United Through Football

Germany and Portugal Go Through

Rafael van der Vaart

Rafael van der Vaart Scores First But Holland Finish Last (Photo: Wikipedia)

Group B
Portugal vs Holland
Metalist Stadion, Kharkiv.

With too many possibilities depending on who does what in which game, it’s best to see how things develop in Kharkiv and Lviv on parallel lines.

Any team could still qualify for the quarter-finals and any team could be on the plane home.

The World United Through Football Portugal 0 –  Holland 1
Recalled as captain, Tottenham’s Rafael Van der Vaart put Holland ahead after just eleven minutes. Arjen Robben did the work on the right side and laid the ball off to Van der Vaart, who calmly curled the ball into the net with his left foot.

If the Denmark vs Germany match remained a draw, a win wouldn’t help Holland; the Dutch and Portuguese would be packing their bags.

Holland needed to win by at least two goals to stand a chance of doing anything.

The World United Through Football Denmark 0 – Germany 1 in Lviv (19 mins).
Podolski capped his 100th appearance with a goal; latching on to a cut-back.

The World United Through Football Denmark 1 – Germany 1 in Lviv (24 mins).
Michael Krohn-Dehli, who scored against Holland earlier in the tournament, headed Denmark back on level terms.

The World United Through Football Portugal 1 –  Holland 1 (28 mins)
It took a while but Cristiano Ronaldo finally scored for Portugal in this tournament. Joao Pereira sent the Portuguese captain through and Ronaldo held off Ron Vlaar.

A draw in both games would see Portugal join Germany in the quarter-finals.

Half-time:
Portugal 1 –  Holland 1 in Kharkiv.
Denmark 1 – Germany 1 in Lviv.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo Double Sees Portugal Through (Photo: Wikipedia)

Holland hardly seemed in the game during the second-half; except for Maarten Stekelenburg, who continued to deny the Portuguese the insurance policy they so badly desired.

If Denmark were to score, Portugal would be out.

If Portugal and Denmark were to score, Germany would be out. All so tight with just over 15 minutes to go.

Then the goal that almost surely secured Holland’s elimination.

The World United Through Football Portugal 2 –  Holland 1 (74 mins)
Portugal broke from deep, then a beautifully weighted pass from Nani to Ronaldo; who stopped the ball with his left foot and waited for the defenders to lose balance and see how the goalkeeper would move; then picked his spot.

The World United Through Football Denmark 1 – Germany 2 in Lviv (80 mins).
Lars Bender’s goal, with ten minutes left, must secure Germany’s advance to the quarter-finals as group winners.

Van der Vaart hit the post with seven minutes to go; not enough time for three more goals surely.

Ronaldo was denied a hattrick by the post, just before the game moved into injury time.

Final Scores

Portugal 2 –  Holland 1
Denmark 1 – Germany 2

Teams

Travel to Portugal Portugal
12-Rui Patricio; 2-Bruno Alves, 3-Pepe, 5-Fábio Coentrão, 21-Joao Pereira; 4-Miguel Veloso, 8-João Moutinho, 16-Raul Meireles; 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 23-Hélder Postiga, 17-Nani.

Travel to Holland Holland
1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 4-Joris Mathijsen, 13-Ron Vlaar, 15-Jetro Willems, 2-Gregory Van Der Wiel; 23-Rafael Van der Vaart, 8-Nigel De Jong, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 11-Arjen Robben; 9-Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 16-Robin Van Persie.

Denmark vs Germany – Ukrayina Stadion, Lviv.

Travel to Denmark Denmark
1-Stephan Andersen; 4-Daniel Agger, 3-Simon Kjaer, 5-Simon Poulsen, 6-Lars Jacobsen; 21-Niki Zimling, 19-Jakob Poulsen, 7-William Kvist, 9-Michael Krohn-Dehli, 8-Christian Eriksen; 11-Nicklas Bendtner.

Travel to Germany Germany
1-Manuel Neuer; 14-Holger Badstuber, 5-Mats Hummels, 16-Philipp Lahm, 15-Lars Bender; 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger, 6-Sami Khedira, 10-Lukas Podolski, 13-Thomas Müller; 23-Mario Gomez, 8-Mesut Özil.

June 17, 2012 Posted by | Denmark, Euro 2012, Germany, Holland, Match Reports, Portugal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Denmark 2 – Portugal 3

English: Nicklas Bendtner warming up for Arsen...

Nicklas Bendtner – Scored Two For Denmark (Photo: Wikipedia)

Group B:
Denmark vs Portugal (2:3)
Ukrayina Stadion, Lviv.

With twenty minutes gone the game needed a goal.

The World United Through Football Denmark 0 – Portugal 1 (24 mins)
Pepe it was who brought the game to life, running to the front post to flick in a Portuguese corner.

The World United Through Football Denmark 0 – Portugal 2 (36 mins)
Hélder Postiga doubled Portugal’s advantage just working himself free-enough to slot home Nani’s short pass in the Danish penalty area.

The World United Through Football Denmark 1 – Portugal 2 (41 mins)
Denmark didn’t feel like going out of the tournament just yet; Nicklas Bendtner heading home to bring the Scandinavians back into the game.

Half-time: Denmark 1 – Portugal 2

Denmark’s spell of possession football was let down by Daniel Agger’s forward pass. The white shirts broke swiftly with Ronaldo, on the left, striding in fast on goal. Under increasing pressure from the returning Danes, Ronaldo chose to shoot early and Stephan Andersen was down well to block the effort.

Substitution
Dennis Rommedahl seemed to pull up with a hamstring injury on the hour; to be replaced by Tobias Mikkelsen.

Ronaldo’s night seemed to go from bad to worse when he slid the ball wide when face-to-face with the Danish keeper; twelve minutes from the end.

The game could have been out of reach for Denmark but two minutes later they were level.

The World United Through Football Denmark 2 – Portugal 2 (80 mins)
Nicklas Bendtner equalised for Denmark; heading in a wide cross from the right.

The World United Through Football Denmark 2 – Portugal 3
Porto’s Silvestre Varela, just on as a substitute for Raul Meireles, showed Ronaldo how it should be done; smashing the ball past Andersen.

With just injury time left to play, Denmark almost snatched another equaliser. The Portugal players on the bench held the collective breath and let out a huge sigh of relief when the referee’s whistle gave out its last couple of shrieks.

Final score: Denmark 2 – Portugal 3

Teams

Travel to Denmark
1-Stephan Andersen; 4-Daniel Agger, 3-Simon Kjaer, 5-Simon Poulsen, 6-Lars Jacobsen; 21-Niki Zimling, 7-William Kvist, 9-Michael Krohn-Dehli, 10-Dennis Rommedahl; 11-Nicklas Bendtner, 8-Christian Eriksen.

Travel to Portugal
12-Rui Patricio; 3-Pepe, 2-Bruno Alves, 5-Fábio Coentrão, 21-Joao Pereira; 4-Miguel Veloso, 8-João Moutinho, 16-Raul Meireles; 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 23-Hélder Postiga, 17-Nani.

June 13, 2012 Posted by | Denmark, Euro 2012, Match Reports, Portugal | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dutch Pain is Denmark’s Gain

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben (Photo: Wikipedia)

Group B:
Holland vs Denmark (0:1)
Metalist Stadion, Kharkiv.

Focus on Holland.

Holland were European Champions back in 1988 and Denmark won the competition four years later; two former winners battling to stay alive in the ‘Group of Death’.

Neither team showed too much urgency to their game; the first twenty minutes played almost at walking pace.

The World United Through Football Holland 0 – Denmark 1
Then Denmark punished the Dutch for their complacency in the 24th minute; Michael Krohn-Dehli cutting in on the left side of the penalty area and firing the ball through Maarten Stekelenburg’s legs.

A little wakeup call for the Dutch but the alarm bell didn’t seem to ring in too many ears.

Even the Danish goalkeeper, Stephan Andersen, seemed to fall asleep when he stabbed the ball out nonchalantly – to Arjen Robben. After missing a penalty for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final against Chelsea, the Bayern star shook his head when his curled shot hit the post.

Half-time: Holland 0 – Denmark 1

No great panic from Holland at the start of the second-half, but there appeared to be a little more snap to the passing and more purpose in their forward movement.

Maarten Stekelenburg had to be alert to keep the Dutch at bay.

At the other end, Holland looked terribly suspect at the back. So much so that Denmark almost walked the ball into the net, against the run of play, ten minutes after the restart.

Substitution
In an attempt to introduce a little more attacking spark in the final twenty minutes  Holland replaced Nigel De Jong and Ibrahim Afellay with Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

The move almost paid dividends but Andersen smothered the ball at the feet of Van Persie and Huntelaar.

Credit to Denmark for not being intimidated under the early pressure; holding on to their lead and not withering in the humidity; even looking to extend their advantage.

Substitution
With one last throw of the dice, Holland bought on Dirk Kuyt for Gregory Van Der Wiel.

Final score: Holland 0 – Denmark 1

Teams

Travel to Holland
1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 13-Ron Vlaar, 3-John Heitinga, 15-Jetro Willems, 2-Gregory Van Der Wiel; 8-Nigel De Jong, 6-Mark Van Bommel, 20-Ibrahim Afellay, 11-Arjen Robben; 16-Robin Van Persie, 10-Wesley Sneijder.

Travel to Denmark
1-Stephan Andersen; 4-Daniel Agger, 3-Simon Kjaer, 5-Simon Poulsen, 6-Lars Jacobsen; 21-Niki Zimling, 7-William Kvist, 9-Michael Krohn-Dehli, 10-Dennis Rommedahl; 11-Nicklas Bendtner, 8-Christian Eriksen.

June 9, 2012 Posted by | Denmark, Euro 2012, Holland, Match Reports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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