Holland 1 Germany 2: Glorious Gomez goals leave Dutch on brink of Euro exit
21:04 GMT, 13 June 2012
Mario Gomez's superb first-half double put Germany on the verge of the UEFA Euro 2012 knockout stages while Holland's hopes of reaching the last eight now hang by a thread.
Gomez, who had scored the winner in Germany's opening win over Portugal, opened the scoring in the 24th minute and added his second in the 38th before Robin van Persie reduced the deficit 17 minutes from time.
The result means Germany need just a point from their final Group B game against Denmark to guarantee progression, while Holland need to beat Portugal and hope for both a Germany win and a swing in goal difference.
Balletic: Mario Gomez's superb spin and finish put Germany into the lead
Congrats: Mesut Ozil with Gomez
Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems, Nigel De Jong, Van Bommel (Van der Vaart 46), Robben (Kuyt 83), Sneijder, Afellay (Huntelaar 46), Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Vorm, Bouma, Vlaar, Schaars, Strootman, Luuk De Jong,
Narsingh, Boulahrouz, Krul.
Booked: Nigel De Jong, Willems.
Goals: Van Persie 73.
Germany: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller (Bender 90), Ozil (Kroos 81), Podolski, Gomez (Klose 72).
Subs Not Used: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Schurrle, Mertesacker, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.
Goals: Gomez 24, 38.
Ref: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).
Bert van Marwijk's men had shaded the opening exchanges, with Van Persie shooting straight at Manuel Neuer as he sought to atone for a series of missed chances in the Dutch defeat to Denmark.
Mesut Ozil responded for Germany with a ninth minute volley which struck the base of Maarten Stekelenburg's left-hand post before the ball was gathered by the grateful Dutch keeper.
Arsenal ace Van Persie was looking lively but still lacking killer instinct, and another opportunity went begging when Ibrahim Afellay's cross towards the striker was crucially intercepted by Mats Hummels.
Gomez put Germany ahead in the 24th minute with an excellent finish after Bastian Schweinsteiger's through-ball cut the Dutch defence in two. Gomez turned and fired the opener low to Stekelenburg's right.
Arjen Robben slammed a long-range effort straight at Neuer as Dutch frustration began to tell, although they were secure in the knowledge they could not face elimination due to Portugal's earlier win over Denmark.
It was just as well, as the Germans continued to exploit glaring weaknesses in the Dutch defence, particularly down the right flank, and Holger Badstuber should have made it 2-0 in the 37th minute when he headed straight at Stekelenburg from point-blank range.,
But one minute later Germany did have their second from another move originating on the right, Schweinsteiger playing in Gomez who looked up and slammed an unstoppable shot across the keeper from a tight angle.
Not much consolation: Robin van Persie pulled one back
Tip top save: Maarten Stekelenburg in action
Lovin' it: Germany enjoyed going 2-0 up
Germany almost made it 3-0 on the
stroke of half-time when Schweinsteiger's free-kick struck Robben and
looked set to loop into the top corner only to be brilliantly tipped
over by Stekelenburg.
Van Marwijk introduced both Klaus-Jan
Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart at the break but the Germans
continued to press, with Hummels denied by Stekelenburg twice in a
matter of seconds seven minutes after the re-start.
With the Dutch forced to push forward
they also had chances with Robben seeing his drive deflected over by
Philipp Lahm, then Robben crossing from the left to Van Persie whose
powerful low drive was well saved by Neuer.
Grudge match: Marc van Bommel (left) in pain after a tackle from Thomas Mueller
Changes: Bert van Marwijk made some bold decisions at the break
Shhhh: Van Persie celebrates his strike – but it could not help Holland salvage a point
Holland came even closer to reducing
the deficit in the 62nd minute when Wesley Sneijder left fly from
outside the box and saw his drive flash inches wide of Neuer's left-hand
post with the keeper beaten.
Another Schneijder effort was blocked
in the box by Jerome Boateng with a suspicion of handball, before the
Dutch pressure paid off with Van Persie finally breaking his Euro 2012
deadlock in style.
Take that: Gomez lashes in the second goal
Smug: Mats Hummels smirks while Dutch players are in disarray
The striker turned and drifted across
from the left flank before drilling a brilliant finish past Neuer from
the edge of the box to give his side hope with 17 minutes of the match
still to play.
The Dutch were suddenly dominant, with
Van Persie having a penalty appeal waved away before Robben expressed
his frustration at being substituted by exiting the pitch on the far
side of the field in front of the Dutch fans.
But their push for an equaliser was
almost undone in the 89th minute when Stekelenburg made a mighty hash of
a back-pass and almost presented German substitute Miroslav Klose with
the simplest of chances to wrap things up.
Creator: Bastian Schweinsteiger fashioned both of Gomez's goals