Euro 2012: Denmark Shocks Netherlands; Germany Edges Portugal
Denmark scored the first major upset at the European Championship 2012, shocking heavy favorites Netherlands, 1-0 Saturday in the opening match of Group B or otherwise known as "Group of Death".
In another Group B match, a header by Mario Gomez in the 72nd minute lifted Germany past Portugal, 1-0 at the Lviv Arena in Ukraine. Gomez was about to be substituted when he planted Sami Khedira's cross past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
Denmark's Michael Krohn-Dehli scored the lone goal of the game, lashing a fierce angled drive in the 24th minute at the Metalist Stadium.
Krohn-Deli received the ball from Simon Paulen, dribbled inside the box and fired from the left through the legs of Maarten Stekelenburg.
The goal came as shock as the Dutch looked totally in control in the early part of the game. They tried to equalize but failed to break down a well-organized Denmark defense, despite enjoying majority of possession and chances in the second half.
Denmark squares off with Portugal while Netherlands will have a difficult task getting its campaign back on track against a tough German side. Both games will be played Wednesday.
"We must now beat Germany. You have to get over this, it's all part of it. I would have preferred it otherwise, but I refuse to give up," Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk told goal.com.
"We created plenty of chances in the first 20-25 minutes. Our build-up was good and we played well, but you need to score to win," he said. "We applied a lot of pressure, and when you do that holes begin to appear."
The coach refused to blame the loss on Robin van Persie's performance, despite the 28-year-old missing a number of chances against Denmark.
Van Persie had seven total attempts - three shots on goal - but failed to find the back of the net. Before this game, he scored two goals in Netherlands 6-0 romp over Northern Ireland in a tune-up match June 2.
Germany and Denmark share the lead in Group B with three points apiece.
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