Denmark stunned tournament favorites Holland on Saturday, winning 1-0 and throwing the “Group of Death” wide. In the group’s other match, an unimpressive Germany side beat Portugal 1-0 as Portugal failed to take advantage of their scoring opportunities late.
Michael Krohn-Dehli scored against the run of play when he picked up a loose ball close to the penalty area in the 24th minute, left two defenders standing and shot through the legs of Maarten Stekelenburg from a tight angle.
Holland had a lot of possession but were inexplicably let down by by a couple of bad misses by the Premier League’s top scorer Robin van Persie.
The closest Holland came to a goal was when Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen gave away the ball to Arjen Robben just outside the area in the 36th minute, but the Bayern Munich winger curled his left-footer onto the far post and out of danger.
The win was Denarmk’s first over the Netherlands since since the Euro 1992 semifinals and leaves Holland with a must-win game against Germany on Wednesday’s. The Dutch need a win, or they could be out of of the Euros inside the first week.
In the second game a second-half header from striker Mario Gomez was enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over Portugal.
The Portugal game plan had been to stifle and frustrate the Germans and for 71 minutes they managed to do that.
The best chance in the first-half had actually fallen to Portugal when Madrid star Pepe saw his shot from a corner beat Neuer, but hit the crossbar deflected back onto the goal-line before being cleared by the Germans.
Then the Klose getting ready to come on for Gomez, the Bayern Munich striker got free in the box and headed home Sami Khedira’s past the reach of the diving Patricio with 18 minutes left in the game.
Portugal had a great opportunity to tie the game up in added time when Silvestre Valera who had the goal at his mercy, but his shot was blocked by Germany keeper Manuel Neuer. Big miss for Portugal who play Denmark on Wednesday in a must-win game.
Once again in a big game Portugal’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo could not bring his Real Madrid club form with him onto the international stage. It is really strange that the two best footballers in the world, Messi and Ronaldo, have both failed to shine on the big stage for their country, despite dominating at club level.