Two first half goals by Mario Gomez have all but assured Germany’s place in the quarter-finals and left Holland needing to be Portugal by three clear goals if they are to have any hope of progressing in the competition.
Holland’s camp has been torn apart by infighting between players and the duo at the centre of the Dutch storm, Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar were once again left on the bench.
Once again Dutch coach Bert Van Marwijk went with Robin van Persie up front instead of Huntelaar and while van Persie scored Holland’s goal in the 73rd minute, it was his two first half misses when the game was still scoreless that really hurt the Netherlands. Maybe it is the atmosphere within the Dutch camp, or all the conversation about where he will be playing next season, but RVP has been shadow of the player in this tournament that played for Arsenal last season.
But it is not just van Persie that can be blamed for their poor performance so far. It has been a collective failure.
Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder have been ineffective while the two Dutch central defenders look like they have never seen each other before. It is hard to win at any level when five or six players are not playing well.
As for Germany, they are doing what the Germans do, and that is get better with every game.Gomez did not always look the most convincing of strikers during last season’s Champions League campaign but he has been deadly in the Euros with three goals in the first two games.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is doing what he wants in the middle of the park while Thomas Mueller is discovering the form that made him a star in South Africa two years ago.
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