Denmark 1-0 Holland: Krohn-Dehli goal provides the first surprise of the tournament

June 10, 2012


Michael Krohn-Dehli
“Holland had the majority of possession and chances, but Denmark snatched the three points. Morten Olsen chose the XI that was widely expected to start the game, in a rough 4-2-3-1 formation. Bert van Marwijk’s starting selection was also as predicted, with Ron Vlaar in the side to replace the injured Joris Mathijsen. Jetro Willems became the youngest player in European Championship history at left-back.” Zonal Marking

Three Thoughts: Denmark gives the Netherlands more to worry about
“1. The defensive worries for the Dutch were not overstated. The Netherlands created enough chances to win this game twice over. But at the back, things were actually worse than the pessimists had anticipated. Every time Denmark ventured forward in wide positions, the Oranje fullbacks looked vulnerable. The problem was partly due to the two “controllers” — Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong — being too slow to come out to center to cover. But that didn’t excuse the utter sluggishness from Gregory van der Wiel and Jetro Willems in the one-v.-ones against decent, but not exactly stellar, opposition.” SI

Dutch face uphill battle in Group B
“All week long the Dutch have said that nothing less than winning the European Championships will do. If they’re to end a 24-year drought at major tournaments, a drought that belies their immense talent, it’ll have to happen the hard way. After losing 1-0 to Denmark in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Saturday, simply advancing from the Group of Death will take some doing. The mighty Germans are up next and Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk knows it’s a must-win game.” ESPN (Video)

Euro 2012 Day 2: Dutch loss a big story, but don’t overlook the Danes
“There were two things that the managers of Netherlands and Denmark agreed on before the teams met on a clammy Saturday evening in Kharkiv, Ukraine: The Dutch were the favorites, and their players are ‘arrogant in a good way.'” SI

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Germany 1-0 Portugal: Gomez gets the nod upfront, and nods in the only goal

June 10, 2012

“The quietest of Euro 2012’s four games so far ended with a narrow German victory. Jogi Löw had a few decisions to make – Mario Gomez, rather than Miroslav Klose, started upfront and Mats Hummels was picked over Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence. At right-back, Jerome Boateng played up against Cristiano Ronaldo, despite rumours that Lars Bender would be played out of position there.” Zonal Marking

Three Thoughts: Germany holds off Portugal 1-0, but could be better
“1. Germany has room to grow, but adjustments may be needed. His 2010 World Cup side was devastating on the counterattack, but this time around Germany manager Joachim Loew has opted for a far more possession-oriented approach. The thing is, he’s been working on tweaking the philosophy without changing the personnel. But here’s the reality: Against a team that defends well and denies the space behind, Germany is going to struggle with a trio of Thomas Mueller, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski.” SI

Euro 2012: Mario Gomez goal gives Germany victory over Portugal
“It took a long time coming but there was a sense of inevitability that Germany would eventually wear Portugal down. Their slow, methodical approach had failed to deliver reward and Mario Gomez was close to being withdrawn when one more patient buildup yielded a precious goal for the Bayern Munich striker and the breakthrough Germany so badly needed. Miroslav Klose, who was ready to replace Gomez, returned to the bench and Germany’s Euro 2012 campaign was up and running.” Guardian