Euro 2012: Portugal Edges Denmark; Germany Tops Netherlands
KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 13: Mario Gomez of Germany is blocked off by John Heitinga of Netherlands during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Germany at Metalist Stadium on June 13, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Substitute forward Silvestre Varela entered the game just in time, scoring the game-winning goal in the 87th minute that gave Portugal a crucial 3-2 win over Denmark in Group B of the European Championship 2012 at the Lviv Arena.
Varela, who came in four minutes earlier for Raul Meireles, took a pass from defender Fabio Coentrao and smashed home the game winner with his right foot.
Later, Germany defeated Netherlands, 2-1, behind two first-half goals from striker Mario Gomez at the Metalist Stadium to close in on a quarterfinal spot.
Germany leads the pack in Group B with six points but remains unsure of a quarterfinal berth ahead of its clash with Denmark Sunday.
Portugal and Denmark are tied in second place with three points apiece and both need a victory to advance. Netherlands has no points to show but could still qualify.
Portugal stormed ahead by 2-0 in the first half as Pepe and Helder Postiga scored in the 24th and 36th minute.
Pepe headed home a Joao Moutinho's front-post corner kick past goalkeeper Stephan Andersen while Postiga scored from Nani's low cross.
Denmark came alive behind two goals from Nicklas Bendtner four minutes before halftime and another in the 80th minute before Varela scored the game winner.
"This result is very important. Netherlands are going through a difficult moment right now, with a bad atmosphere inside the team. We will see how they play against Germany. But we only depend on ourselves and we will step onto the pitch to win that game," Pepe later told goal.com.
"I could have done better with the chances I had, but the important thing is that we are still in the race. Now we have to win our next match," said Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed some opportunities to put Portugal ahead after Denmark tied the count at two goals apiece.
Meanwhile, Gomez continued his hot streak with a goal in the 24th minute from an assist by Bastian Schweinsteiger.
In the 38th minute, Gomez delivered another goal from yet another assist by Schweinsteiger. Gomez also scored the lone goal in Germany's win over Portugal.
The Dutch, beaten 1-0 by Denmark in their opener, hit back with a superb 20-meter shot by forward Robin van Persie in the 73rd minute.
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