Euro 2012 Liveblog: Group B Final Day

So here we are. Germany sit atop the group on six points, Portugal and Denmark sit joint-second on three, and Holland sits last having been beaten by both Germany and Denmark. But! Should the Dutch win by two and Denmark lose, the Oranje will go through. For Denmark, it’s quite simple. Win with Portugal drawing, or draw with Portugal losing, and they’re through. Portugal goes through on a win or a draw and a German win. And the Germans would have to suddenly turn into England to not go through.

I’m coming to you live from the Queen Vic in scenic Northeast DC, to give you the events from Metallist Stadium (Portugal-Holland) and Arena Lviv (Germany-Denmark)

The Lineups and the rest of the liveblog are after the jump.  

Germany: Neuer; Bender, Badstuber, Hummels, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Muller, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez 

Denmark: Andersen; Jacobsen, Agger, Kjaer, S. Poulsen; Zimling, Kvist; Poulsen, Eriksen, Krohn-Dehli; Bendtner

——————————————————

Portugal: Patricio; Pereira, Alves, Pepe, Coentrao; Veloso, Moutinho, Meireles; Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo.

Holland: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Mathijsen, Vlaar, Willems; De Jong, Sneijder; Robben, Van der Vaart, Van Persie; Huntelaar

No surprises from the Germany/Denmark tilt. for the Netherlands, however, Sneijder moves back to accomodate Rafa Van der Vaart’s inclusion (with Mark Van Bommel dropped), while Van Persie moves wide to accomodate Huntelaar and Jon Vlaar replaces John Heitinga in central defense.  Other than the personnel, though, Holland will line up as usual.

Coverage note: As the games are going on simultaneously, I’ll try my best to report on both, but will, at least for the first half, be focusing my efforts on the Portugal-Holland tie. If the Group A final day was any indication, I will be shifting back and forth quite a bit.  We should be in for some fireworks.

Anthem time!  The Dutch look a little nervous, whole the Germans are belting out De Liede der Deustchen.  And we have a pair of “Dutch Lions” in the crowd!  For the red-shirted, it looks fairly standard.

Also, of all the changes Bert van Marwijk made, I’m shocked he didn’t draft in Bouma or Boularhouz to play left back in place of Jetro Willems, who’s had a nightmare tournament thus far.

And we’re off, in both matches!

1′: The Dutch waste their opening possession, and Rafa Van der Vaart is called for a foul as the Portuguese attempt a break.

And Thomas Muller has a go for Germany from the right corner of the area, but it is over the bar.

2′: A German chance for Khedira is blocked by Kjaer.

Van Persie’s cross-cum-shot takes a deflection, and bounces tamely into the hands of Rui Patricio.

4′: Arjen Robben with a tricky pull back to release van der Wiel, whose cross eludes Huntelaar and falls to Sneijder in the area, but the Dutch #10 screws wide.

A Danish set piece gets headed by Bendtner and is saved by Neuer.  Down the other end, Muller is in clear, but Andersen is well up to the chance.  Great save to keep the Germans out.

6′: Postiga earns a foul about 30 yards out from the Dutch goal.  Ronaldo will take. . . . and it’s off the Dutch wall for a corner.

8′: The corner results in header tennis, and Postiga and Stekelenberg colliding .  The ball works to Alves, who chips onto the roof of the net.  But it was a foul anyway

10′: Van Persie hits a cross-field ball into the left channel that just eludes Sneijder.

11′: GOAL HOLLAND! The Dutch work the ball nicely around the right flank.  VDV gets it on the right of the D in ACRES of space, and lets fly with his left, right across goal.  Game on for the Dutch.  One more, and a German win, and they’ll progress.

12′: Bendtner fires wide for the Danes.

and Vlaar cuts out a Portuguese break quite nicely.

15′: Back and forth possession in the midfield in both matches.

16′: Ronaldo on the break skips past Vlaar, and fires just wide of the near post.  Think Stekelenberg had that if it was on target, mind.

17′: Ozil curls a free kick way wide for Germany.  Ronaldo in the clear for a break, but he was too far in front of the Dutch line.

18′: Ronaldo releases Postiga, who fires his one-on-one across goal and wide at the right post.  Somehow that got a corner, but the Dutch are able to clear.  and on the entry ball back in, Meireles smashes it into the side netting from the right channel.

19′:GOAL GERMANY!!!!! Podolski gets the cross off of a short corner.  Muller did extremely well to control there before popping it across the frame.

And Ronaldo almost pops in a cross for Postiga, but no one can latch on.

20′: Postiga again had the ball deep in the Dutch area, but couldn’t get a good final move, and Holland clear.

21′: Willems is fouled deep down the left by Pereira.  Sneijder to take. .  . and his ball just eludes Huntelaar, but Moutinho gets the final touch for a corner.

22′: Which de Jong heads far over at the back post.

23′: GREAT SAVE!!!!!! Nani whips in a cross to the back post that Ronaldo rises up to meet.  But Stekelenberg easily palms away.

24′: GOAL DENMARK!!!!!! KROHN-DEHLI!!! 1-1!!!!!!  Bendtner rises to head a corner across from the back post, and Krohn-Dehli meets it to apply the finish inside the six.  Nice setpiece work to get the Danes now in pole position to progress.

26′: Cron does his stepover dance, and has to cut the ball back for a cross that goes way over the Dutch goal.

27′: Sniejder has a pop from range, but it’s into Patricio’s chest.

28′: GOAL PORTUGAL!!! Ronaldo!!!  Pereira carries in from the right wing after the Portuguese wrest possession back, and plays a beautiful through-ball into Ronaldo down the right side of the area.  Cron maintains composure with Nigel De Jong on his back, and fires home to equalize.  As it stands, Portugal and Germany will move on.

30′: Ronaldo works it to Nani on the right side of the area, but Nani’s shot is wide.

32′: Agger is blown up for a foul on Muller in the right channel.  Ozil to take. . . a tasty ball in that Andersen beats Hummels to, and it’s a German corner. Which Gomez heads down and wide from a central position.

33′: The Dutch defense is all over the shop right now.  Portugal, since a few minutes before the goal, have been totally bossing it.

35′: Ronaldo hits from about 30, and Stekelenburg palms over for the corner.  Ronaldo gets a head to it, but it’s wide.

36′: Kjaer is called for a foul on Muller right inside the D.  Podolski LEATHERS it into Row Z.

and Van der Vaart has fouled Nani down the right channel. Veloso hits a curling bar just onto the roof of the net.

39′: Robben’s ball into the channel for van der Wiel is easily cut out.

41′: VDV to take a free kick from about 30 on the right channel, but hits right into Patricio’s hands.

and Khedira takes advantage of an error by Poulsen in the Danish area, but hits well wide.

42′: CHANCE Germany! Gomez tries to skip through the Danish defense, but Kjaer gets a last minute touch in and Andersen can get to it, getting a kick on the hand for his troubles.

44′: The Danes have a corner, but Zimling hits it into the first man, and can’t get a proper chance sorted after that.  The best bit came from Krohn-Dehli heading to Bendtner, who headed back to Agger.  But all for naught.

And we’re at Halftime at Metallist, with the score 1-1.  

And the ref blows for the same in the Germany-Denmark match a minute later.  1-1.

At Metallist, the Dutch started well, but faded after their goal.  Portugal, meanwhile, has really grown into the game, and their possession has been just too much for Holland to bear.  Hard to see any changes coming other than maybe Affelay on for de Jong to push to a 4-4-2, but that would leave the already creaky Dutch defense completely unprotected.

Second half at Metallist, where the only change is Ronaldo going from faux-hawk to slicked-back quiff.

46′: And the Dutch kick off.  Some slight tactical changes after all from the Dutch, with Robben out left, Sneijder moving to a central position, and Van Persie shifting to the right.

47′: Ronaldo get worked into the area wide open, but Vlaar recovers to block.  And Cron wins a foul from Vlaar down the left.

49′: Lahm curls a cross into Andersen’s arms from range.

Moutinho blasts over from the D after the free kick is cleared and then passed around the area.

50′: Robben wins a corner after skipping past Pereira and Alves.  The corner is taken short and eventually cleared out, before Robben drills a cross in that Mathijsen can only head to Patricio.

Willems is booked for a horrendous challenge on Moutinho. As I sorted that out, the Danes hit the post.

51′: Sneijder wins a corner off Pereira down the left.   Taken short, Sniejder ends up crossing, and Vlaar heads over.

54′: Ozil slips over the ball after some lovely German interplay in the Danish box.

55′: Moutinho fires wide from about 20 yards out on the right.

56′: Robben wins a dubious foul down the right channel.  Sneijder scoops the free kick in, and Contreao heads wide, but it looked like de Jong, so it’s a goal kick.

57′: Ronaldo with nifty footwork on the left of the area, and his dipping cross is into Stekelenburg’s hands.

60′: Van der Wiel  puts it behind for a Portuguese corner.  Mereiles takes, and Vlaar heads clear.  Ronaldo plays Postiga through, but the latter is offside, and the goal does not count.  Holland go right back and win a corner, which is ballooned for Patricio to easily punch clear.

62′: Alves cuts out a long raking through ball from de Jong after some sustained Dutch possession.

63′: Portuguese change: Postiga off, Oliveira on.

German change: Podolski off, Schurrle on.

65′: Van Persie with a pop from range that’s blocked.

66′: GREAT SAVE!!!!   Ronaldo engineers a break with Contreao, the latter receiving the former’s low cross on the D, and Stekelenburg does extremely well to palm it around.  All of this happening with Merieles on the ground; he’s now receiving treatment.

Dutch change: Affelay on, Willems off.

68′: After the Portuguese corner is easily cleared, the Dutch gain some possession in the Portuguese half, but lack the final ball.

Van Persie is into the books for barely grazing Alves with his hand when both went up for a header.  Rather weak foul.

71′: The Danes work a chance, but Zimling’s drive is well wide.

Portuguese change: Custodio on, Mereiles off.

72′: GREAT SAVE!!!!! Ronaldo is released on the break, cuts into the area and hits a low cross to Nani, but Stekelenburg played it PERFECTLY to push it wide.  And the resultant corner is cleared rather easily.

73′: GOAL!   PORTUGAL!  RONALDO! Nani is played through and cuts the low cross on for Ronaldo, who stops the ball, waits for Van der Wiel to over run him, and then lashes it low and to the near post.  What a goal, and it’s 2-1 to Portugal, who look nailed on to advance.

German change: Klose on, Gomez off

76′: Sneijder has a shot from 30 in an attempt to recreate van Bronckhorst’s strike in the World Cup semis, but it bounces tamely into Patricio’s hands.

77′: Nani’s low cross eludes both Pereira and Ronaldo, and Stekelenburg claims.

78′: Danish change: Zimling on, Christian Poulsen on.

80′: GOAL!!!! GERMANY!  BENDER!!! 2-1!!!  Muller’s through ball eludes Klose, but runs all the way through to Bender at the right post, and he hits across the keeper and in.  Surely, it’s Germany and Portugal from group B.

81′: POST!  Van der Vaart almost recreated his opener, hitting across goal from the D.  He had Patricio beat again, but it thumped off of the upright.

Danish: Mikkelsen on, Poulsen off.

83′: Bendtner ushers it out for a corner; Agger heads just over.

Dutch corner is played to the edge of the area and easily cut out.

German change: Muller off, Kroos on.

85′: Nani works it to the edge of the D, but fires over.

86′: Robben’s freekick is headed by Contreao to Mathijsen, who fires wide across goal.

Portuguese change: Nani off, Rolando on.  Thanks, Portugal, for entertaining my occasional dyslexia.

88′: Van Persie fires wide after Robben, Van der Vaart and Sneidjer combine to play the Arsenal man through.  Nice move, which deserved a better finish.

89′: Both matches are kind of limping toward their finishes.  As I say that, Ronaldo clangs one off the post.  Four added minutes at Metallist, three at Lviv.

90′ + 2:  Germany have a free kick just outside the area, which Schweinsteiger hits into the wall.

90′ + 3: ESPN taunting the Dutch with a facepalm montage.  And Pereira goes into the books for fouling Robben.  The FK is dealt with, and Affelay’s low cross is rather tame stuff.

90′ + 3: Danes with a last minute chance, but Bendtner is offside.

90′ +3: AND GERMANY ARE THROUGH.  2-1 FULLTIME.

90’+ 4: Portugal knocking it around AND THAT’S FULL TIME.  PORTUGAL WIN 2-1.

So Final standings, are Germany on 9, Portugal on 7, Denmark on 3 and The Netherlands on 0 for the first time in their history.

Germany will play Greece, and Portugal will play the Czech Republic.

Thanks for joining us on your Sunday afternoon.

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