Euro 2012: Danes shock Dutch, Germany tops Portugal

DenmarkDutch (Getty)

The toughest group in the European Championships just got even more interesting after the team considered the weakest in Group B pulled off a stunning upset that has shaken up the tournament.

Denmark shocked the Netherlands on Sunday, playing excellent defense and benefiting from sloppy attacking play from the Dutch to post a 1-0 victory. Danish midfielder Michael Krohs- Dehli stunned the favorites when he ran onto a loose ball and raced into the penalty area before slotting a shot between the legs of Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenberg.

The Netherlands attack controlled possession for much of the match, but struggled to put together the final pass and take chances well. Danish goalkeeper Stephan Anderson was the Man of the Match for Denmark, making several key saves to preserve the shutout.

It was a frustrating day for Dutch stars Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben, who squandered multiple opportunities on a day that saw Wesley Sneijder create countless chances for his teammates.

In the other Group B match:

GERMANY 1, PORTUGAL 0

When German national team manager Joachim Loew chose to start Mario Gomez over Miroslav Klose, the decision looked like it might not have been the right one as the Germans struggled to find the net against Portugal on Saturday. Gomez rewarded his manager's trust late, however, scoring on a header in the 72n minute to give Germany a vital 1-0 victory.

Portugal failed to impress in this match-up of Group B powers, settling for a more defensive-minded approach that left stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani providing little impact on the match.

The Portuguese almost scored in the first half on a Pepe shot that hit the crossbar and bounced near the goal line and out, and also found some chances late, but German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stepped up with some vital saves to keep the cleansheet and help Germany start off with a victory. None of the saves was bigger than a late intervention to block a clear look from Portuguese substitute Silvestre Varela.

GROUP B STANDINGS

T-1. Denmark (1-0, +1 goal difference)

T-1. Germany (1-0, +1 goal difference)

T-3. Netherlands (0-1, -1 goal difference)

T-3. Portugal (0-1, -1 goal difference)

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What did you think of the Group B matches? Impressed with Denmark's performance? Stunned at the Dutch team's struggles? See German winning the group as expected?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to Euro 2012: Danes shock Dutch, Germany tops Portugal

  1. Mike says:

    Denmark has a real opportunity to advance. You would not have expected that prior to the start of the tournament.

    Germany and Denmark are looking like the potential top 2 at 9 points and 6 points.

  2. Georg says:

    To early to call this group, but great teams find ways to win and Germany did just that today.

  3. Artie says:

    More like the Group of Dearth, amirite?

  4. BrianK says:

    Was Alexi Lalas smoking crack when he said that the Danes had no chance of getting out of their group AFTER they had just beaten one of the pre-tournament favorites? They have three points, they are playing Portugal next,….a team they finished ahead of in qualifying and even if they lose,…may end up playing a German team that could have 6 points and passage booked to the quarter-finals. I could understand if he qualified his comments,….but to flat out say that they have no chance is absurd.

    The Germany v. Holland game is going to be amazing.

  5. Slowreno says:

    Ives – Have you (or anyone) heard an update on Jose Torres status after last nights injury?

  6. Slowreno says:

    annnnd that’s what US Soccer’s Twitter is for. Pumped its only a bruise!!!

  7. PD says:

    Seriously? Thank the baby hey-seus…

  8. pd says:

    Oh wow, you missed a very long thread about that on the match day commentary… Apparently criticizing him about that makes one anti-American… Fun stuff!

  9. Brett says:

    A bruise on the ankle with no ligament tears or severe stretching would be a big relief, but he still would miss the next match more than likely. I guess it was more the stomp on the ankle and not the twist that knocked him out.

  10. al17 says:

    LMAO!!
    Surreal