Game in a sentence
Denmark once again put up a fight until the very end, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the crafty Germans, who advance to the quarter finals as Group B winners with nine points while the Danes will be going home despite valiant efforts in every one of their fixtures.
- Germany spread the ball across the pitch effectively in the first half and they had variety in terms of where their attempts at goal were from, but they lacked finishing.
- Denmark was holding their own and while they did get lucky with some of Die Nationalmannschaft’s poorly executed shooting, they held up the fort and remained in the game.
- Despite the fight and intelligence of the Danes, they didn’t expose the left flank where youngster Lars Bender was situated. Whenever Simon Poulsen got the ball and moved forward, he had a bit of space to cross or cut in.
- The Germans did very well whenever they lost possession. They hustled back, swarmed the ball carrier and won back the football then moved their way back into the attacking third.
- Whenever Germany slowed down their attack, it gave Denmark time to get bodies in defense meaning players like Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller were marked tightly giving Mesut Özil no options.
- However, when Germany counter attacked quickly, they found holes in the Danish defense. In fact, almost all of their shots within the penalty area were created thanks to some speedy work from the German attackers.
- It was that pace that got Deutschland the lead. Off of a throw-in, Thomas Muller showed some nice footwork after some lazy, slow Danish defending, then found Mario Gomez who back heeled it to Lukas Podolski in the box and he made no mistake to put DFB ahead 1-0.
- Give all the credit in the world to Denmark, though. Instead of putting their heads down, they stuck to their game plan, got a corner and capitalized through a Michael Krohn-Delhi header.
- It was a sloppy goal for Germany to concede as one of Bastian Schweinsteiger or Lars Bender could’ve won the first time header if they were more alert. There’s also no reason for a man of Krohn-Delhi’s size to beat Mario Gomez and Mats Hummels on the second header.
- After being the hero in Germany’s first two games, Mario Gomez looked fatigued and individualistic. It could be the workload he’s had to deal with over the last eight days, but it was a disappointing night for the Bayern Munich talisman.
- The second half was significantly dour compared to the first forty-five minutes. Germany seemed to be playing more cautiously, yet despite the implications, Denmark was playing for a draw. It was shocking because in their position, they should be going for the win.
- Finally, a breakthrough arrived. Lars Bender, replacing the suspended Jerome Boateng, got on the end of a Mesut Özil pass and powered it home. It was a terrific moment for the youngster, who performed admirably at right back.
- Denmark eventually picked up the pace on their end in the final ten minutes of the match by sending a flurry of chances towards the German goal, but it was all for not.
- Even though they lost, Denmark can be proud of what they have accomplished at Euro 2012. Many wrote them off and chose them to finish bottom of the group. They were a breath of fresh air and they’ll be missed, but their performances will never be forgotten.
- Germany, like in their opener against Portugal, showed that even though they may not have their best showing, they can still win. That will be important, especially when morale is a tedious trait in knockout tournaments. With some rest and relaxation, every player should be chomping at the bit come June 22nd against Greece.
1. Lars Bender
2. Daniel Agger
3. Mats Hummels