Portugal 2-1 Holland: van Marwijk makes changes, but Holland crash out with zero points

June 18, 2012


“Portugal suffered an early setback, but played better football and fully deserved their win. Paulo Bento kept the same starting XI for the third game in a row. Bert van Marwijk made three changes. In defence, Ron Vlaar replaced Johnny Heitinga in a straight swap. It was further forward where he made significant alterations – Rafael van der Vaart came in for Mark van Bommel in order to add some creativity to the midfield, while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar started upfront, meaning Robin van Persie played just behind a and Wesley Sneijder went to the left, the system Holland used at the end of the Germany match. There was a huge contrast in styles here – Holland were a bunch of individuals without any cohesive structure, while Portugal were disciplined, organised and clear with their attacking intentions.” Zonal Marking

Ronaldo answers critics in victory
“The mark of a great player is responding in the face of criticism. An irritated and annoyed Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t hit a barn door against Denmark on Wednesday, but the Ronaldo who vies with Lionel Messi for the tag of best player in the world showed up Sunday in Portugal’s pivotal Group of Death clash with the Netherlands.” ESPN (Video)

Three thoughts: Ronaldo finds form in Portugal’s win over Netherlands
“Here are my three thoughts on Portugal’s 2-1 win over the Netherlands in Group B… 1. The Dutch midfield: Finally Bert van Marwijk gave the Dutch public what it wanted, dropped Mark van Bommel and played a holding pair of Nigel De Jong and Rafael van der Vaart. And finally we saw just why Van Marwijk has been so reluctant to go into games without his two dogs of war. It all started extremely well for the Dutch, Van der Vaart showing the positive side of his game as he ran on to an Arjen Robben pass and whipped a finish around Rui Patricio. That showed the advantage of playing him: not only would Van Bommel probably not have been able to produce such an instant, accurate finish, but he wouldn’t even have been that high up the pitch. The two halves of the broken team from the first two matches were suddenly linked. That gave the Dutch a flow and a rhythm but it also left it with a desperately soft center.” SI – Jonathan Wilson

Euro 2012: Holland are sent home by Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo
“After all the speculation about the tortured arithmetic that might decide this group, the sums were simple. Germany and Portugal advance. Hope had arrived for Holland in the shape of Rafael van der Vaart’s opening goal, but Cristiano Ronaldo first equalised and then struck the winner in the second half to send his side into a quarter-final meeting with the Czech Republic.” Guardian

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Denmark 1 – 2 Germany

June 18, 2012

“Denmark were knocked out of Euro 2012 as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Germany. Needing a win over the group favourites to progress, as Portugal beat Netherlands, the Danes went behind to a Lukas Podolski strike early on but equalised through Michael Krohn-Dehli’s header. However, defender Lars Bender popped up with ten minutes to go to end their hopes of qualification and left the Germans top of the group.” ESPN

Germany disposes of Denmark to win Group B, advance to quarters
“Germany advanced to a quarterfinal against Greece after beating Denmark 2-1 on Sunday in their last Group B match at the European Championship. The Danes were eliminated. Lukas Podolski opened the scoring for Germany in the 19th minute and Lars Bender slotted home the winner in the 80th after Michael Krohn-Dehli had equalized for Denmark in the first half.” SI

Euro 2012: Lars Bender takes Germany through and dumps out Denmark
“Germany, it turns out, do not do group stage nail-biters after all. On a clear, mild night in suburban Lviv a 2-1 defeat of Denmark that was not without alarms ensured it would indeed be Joachim Löw’s fluent and excitingly youthful Nationalmannschaft who escaped Group B without the indignity of last-ditch convulsions. Germany will now play Greece, who may feel – in every sense – they owe them one.” Guardian