Euro 2012: Group B Wrap-Up
The Dutch Masters were sent packing by a dominant Portuguese performance, one where star Christiano Ronaldo finally showed up, while Germany scored late to finish with three wins out of three.
Dutch fans will be wondering how everything went so horribly wrong, their team a heavy favourite and crashing out without so much as a point to show for it.
Portugal 2 – 1 Netherlands
Silencing his critics and putting his team through to the next round, Christiano Ronaldo delivered an inspired performance and scored twice to beat the Dutch 2-1.
Rafael van deer Vaart scored early and gave his team hope, knowing that a win was their only way through to the quarterfinals.
Despite the high-stakes, the Dutch failed to impress themselves upon the match and were second best to a high-intensity Portugal.
Ronaldo was all over the pitch for much of the 90 minutes and showed the pace and keen scoring instinct that has made him a star.
He slotted home Joao Pereira’s pinpoint pass late in the first half, before scoring a sensational goal with 15 minutes left in the game; a dagger to the hearts of the Dutch.
The win sets up a quarterfinal matchup with the Czech Republic, the unlikely winners of Group A.
Man of the Match: Christiano Ronaldo
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Germany 2 – 1 Denmark
While being pegged as the ultimate underdogs in the “Group of Death,” Denmark were able to battle through the group stage and it was a late goal in the 80th minute from defender Lars Bender who sent the Danes out.
Germany took the lead off a Lukas Podolski strike, but the plucky Danish equalized off the boot of Michael Krohn-Dehli just six minutes later.
A dominant German performance from start to finish was almost ruined by Nicklas Bendtner who had a chance wasted late in the game, before Bender broke down the wing and scored a brilliant goal.
The Germans will match up with Greece in the next round, heavily favoured to reach the semi-finals.
Man of the Match: Lars Bender
Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , he’ll be bringing daily updates throughout the entire European Championships.