Surprising losses for Portugal and the Netherlands on the last day of Euro 2012 qualifiers provided an unexpected end to a campaign. Portugal lost 2-1 away to Denmark while the Netherlands were beaten 3-2 by Sweden.
Although, the Netherlands lost, they had already qualified for the tournament and they were only looking to cement their perfect record in Group E by not losing a single game.
The Netherlands goals came from Klass Jan Huntelaar and Dirk Kuyt. Huntelaar’s 31st minute goal took his tally for the entire campaign to an unassailable 12 goals in 10 matches, an impressive tally by any standards taking his international tally to 31 goals in 48 appearances.
On the other hand, it was doom and gloom for Portugal as they 2-1 defeat to Denmark condemned them to settle for a play off position that will decide their fate.
Going into the match, both teams had 16 points from 9 matches and a win was necessary for either side if they wanted a direct qualification to the tournament. Truth be said, Denmark was the better of the two sides as their lightning quick start saw them have a goal disallowed in the 4th minute under very questionable circumstances.
However, their pressure paid off in the 13th minute when a deflected Krohn-Dehli shot hit Rolando and snaked its way into the back of the net. The match was ultimately decided when Niklas Bendtner’s 63rd minute strike.
Still it took the Portuguese another 20 minutes to find a goal with Ronaldo scoring an impressive free kick that unfortunately did not help to save their chances.
This leaves Portugal’s chances off qualifying to the prestigious tournament hanging by a thread. Meanwhile, Germany laboured to an effortless 3-1 win over Belgium in Düsseldorf.
Goals from Mesut ozil, Andre Schurrle and Mario Gomez were enough to see the Germans finish top of Group A and maintain their perfect record through out the entire qualifying process.
The draw for the play off will be held on the 13th of this month with pot 1 consisting of: Croatia, Portugal, Republic of Ireland and Czech Republic. Pot 2 includes: Turkey, Boznia and Herzogovina, Estonia and Montenegro.
The play off dates are slated for 11th and 12th of November and the final leg is set for the 15th of the same month. The final draw for the tournament will be done towards the end of the year.
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