KHARKIV, Ukraine: Germany moved to the brink of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals on Wednesday after two predatory Mario Gomez strikes gave the three-times champions a 2-1 win over old rivals the Netherlands in their Group B match.
The Germans, having started off by beating Portugal, made it two wins in two as they consolidated their status as group leaders while the Dutch are reeling and almost out having already lost to Denmark.
Gomez gave the Germans the lead after 24 minutes with a fine goal to add to his winner against Portugal. The Bayern Munich forward spun brilliantly onto a finely-weighted through ball from clubmate Bastian Schweinsteiger and fired low past Maarten Stekelenburg in the Dutch goal.
And 13 minutes later he delivered a crushing blow to the Dutch with a rising drive after another Schweinsteiger assist.Robin van Persie crashed home a drive on the turn for the Dutch as they shrugged off a poor first-half performance but they were unable to conjure anything more even as the Germans began to tire.
Germany now need only a point in their final group match against the Danes to guarantee their passage as group winners while the previously favoured Dutch, champions in 1988, must beat Portugal to have any hope of advancing.
Loew’s joy of six Germany coach Joachim Loew said he was delighted to have six points after two games from the so-called “Group of Death” at Euro 2012 as Mario Gomez scored twice in the 2-1 win over the Netherlands.
Having opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Portugal on Saturday, Gomez scored both Germany’s first-half goals before the Netherlands’ star Robin van Persie pulled one back for the Dutch at Kharkiv’s Metalist Stadium on Wednesday.
The win put the Germans top of Group B, ahead of Portugal, who earlier beat Denmark 3-2, with the Netherlands last in the table after their second defeat following last Saturday’s shock loss to Denmark. Now just a point against the Danes on Sunday in Lviv will put the Germans in the quarter-finals.
“We have six points from the so-called Group of Death, which is very good and we have opened the door to the quarter-finals,” said Loew.He wants to finish group winners to set up a quarter-final against Group A runner-up in Gdansk, where the Germans have their Euro base in Poland.