Germany top Group B with win over Danes in Lviv
Germany 2-1 Denmark
Sunday 17 June 2012
Germany topped the group of death with a victory that spelled the end of Denmark’s Euro 2012 adventure.
Lukas Podolski, who became the youngest ever European player to reach 100 caps for his country, set Germany on their way with a fierce drive in the first half.
The 27-year-old struck on 18 minutes and after Michael Krohn-Delhi equalised, it was left to Lars Bender to win it late on.
Germany may have impressed with their flair and clinical dispatch of Holland in their previous match but even with two wins from two ahead of the clash with Denmark, they were not assured of progressing.
Joachim Loew’s side needed a point to be sure of qualifying against a side they last played at the European Championships in 1992 - when Denmark stunned everybody by beating them in the final of the tournament. In the end, they claimed the victory but it was hard fought.
Germany began the brighter, with Mesut Ozil find Thomas Muller but his effort just sailed over the bar.
Muller then had an even better chance to open the scoring but he could only fire straight at Stephan Andersen.
Podolski then smashed home from close range on 18 minutes to break Denmark resistance and deal their Euro hopes a blow. With the goal to mark his landmark cap, it meant Portugal were going through instead of Denmark as things stood.
Krohn-Delhi then nodded home Nicklas Bendtner’s cross to give Denmark hope but their optimism would have been dampened with news of Cristiano Ronaldo’s equaliser for Portugal against Holland in the other match.
Jakob Poulsen then hit the post after the interval as Germany - still not guaranteed to make the Quarter Finals by this stage - escaped.
Ronaldo’s second goal for Portugal made it even nervier for the Germans, with a Denmark goal enough to dump them out. And the Danes were seething when Holger Badstuber appeared to bring down Bendtner in the box but despite protests, no penalty was given.
Germany looked on the rocks but Bender’s goal 11 minutes from time erased any doubts and was enough for Loew’s men to top the group - and into the Quarter Finals, where they will face Greece.
Denmark: Andersen, Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Simon Poulsen, Kvist Jorgensen, Eriksen, Jakob Poulsen (Mikkelsen 82), Zimling (Christian Poulsen 78), Krohn-Delhi, Bendtner.
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Rommedahl, Bjelland, Okore, Schone, Silberbauer, Pedersen, Wass, Kahlenberg, Schmeichel.
Goals: Michael Krohn-Delhi 25
Germany: Neuer, Bender, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller (Kroos 84), Ozil, Podolski (Schurrle 64), Gomez (Klose 74).
Subs not used: Wiese, Gundogan, Schmelzer, Howedes, Mertesacker, Kroos, Gotze, Reus, Zieler.
Goals: Lukas Podolski 18, Bender 79
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)