The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, is now two days old and there has been at least one upset and a lot fo good exciting football . I will be writing a daily blog article with the salient features of all the games. Please send us your thoughts and comments on the form below. – Filip v d Plas-
NETHERLANDS – DENMARK 0-1
Denmark supplied the first shock of Tournament with a win over an often supine and flaccid Dutch offence that will need to sort out their finishing skills if they are to have any chance at all to beat either Portugal or Germany, never mind about living up to their billing as one of the favourites for the tournament.
The game often reminded me of Bayern Munich against Chelsea when Bayern also missed numerous chances against a mostly defensive Chelsea. The Dutch team seemed almost dysfunctional and was most certainly ineffective.
With some great defending and a well-planned out game plan devised by Coach Morton Olsen, Denmark was victorious over the Netherlands.
The Danes did not dominate the play – the Dutch did that but the Danes did just enough to deserve this win in this ‘group of death’ – Group ‘B’.
They scored a great goal midway into the first half ‘nut-megging’ the Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg and then the Danes defended well afterwards and even occasionally threatening at least once in the 2nd half.
See the picture that the Dutch goalie will want to keep out of the Stekelenburg Family Album and hide from his grandchildren in years to come – from the UK Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/oranje-crushed-by-dogged-danes-7834191.html
Morten Olsen, the Denmark manager is to be congratulated for doing his homework who said he was surprised how much room he was allowed to play the game he wanted to. Both he and other Danish players either play or have played in Holland and perhaps this helped in their victory.
Much has been made of Holland’s defensive problems but the problems yesterday were to be found upfront in numerous missed chances- the shooting of the usually more accurate offensive disappointed with no less than 23 missed chances.
If you want to take this as a criticism of Robin van Persie than that may be accurate. The longer Van Persie fails to score, the call for top scorer of the Bundesliga Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will increase in intensity. Dutch fans were chanting his name at the beginning of the second half of the game and Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk no doubt heard the chants.
While Ibrahim Afellay and Arjen Robben [who did hit the post ] also missed chances it was van Persie who missed the most opportunity to score. Wesley Sneijder and Mark van Bommel and others did well to provide the many opportunities but if the finishing is so poor then there is not much left to be said.
Van Marwijk did strengthen his attack bringing in Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for the final 20 minutes – a correct move but one which many would think should have been made much earlier.
The Dutch coach is a very sympathetic and popular figure – and I feel somehow uncomfortable to criticize him - however he seems to be fixed in a rather fixed system which he seems to be imposing on a group of players who have changed. Football is above all a dynamic game and things change all the time especially the other teams.
Joachim Löw, the German coach ,says he would have preferred to see Holland tie Danmark, because he thinks they will be so much more motivated against them in their game which he feels Holland must win in order to get out of the pool.
Let’s see what happens against Germany – this Wednesday’s game don’ t miss it!
Van Bommel: “Wir sind noch nicht fertig” -http://www.kicker.de/news/fussball/em/startseite/570282/artikel_van-bommel_wir-sind-noch-nicht-fertig.html
If you happen to read Danish …… Eriksen: Utroligt, at de ikke scorer ’Amazing that they did’nt score!’ http://www.sporten.dk/em-2012/eriksen-utroligt-at-de-ikke-scorer
GERMANY – PORTUGAL 1-0
While the German team controlled most of the game, they looked nothing more than average in front of the Portuguese goal until late in the game when Gomez rose to head in Sami Khedira’s cross with just 75 minutes remaining.
Joachim Löw should be congratulated for a stimulating game – but he cannot be completely happy about the many missed chances and the stolid and static midfield.
Portugal played well throughout the game remained positive and never let up even though a goal down. Football can be a cruel game and I think Portugal deserved at least a goal for their great fast counters and wonderful technique.
Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was held in check and denied late in the game by an excellent defending Jerome Boateng.
Thomas Müller and Lukas Podolski both had great but missed chances in the first half but Portugal came closest when the German defense failed to deal with a Meireles’s corner. Pepe swept in a shot from 10 meters that struck the crossbar, with Neuer well beaten.
The game increased in intensity – perhaps even a bit scrappy – in the 2nd half until Gomez finally did what he should have done before and what all German fans knew he would do. With a great deal of class he headed in an absolutely wonderful cross from Sami Khedira and that was to be the decider.
The best chance in the first-half came from Portuguese defender Pepe, but his powerful volley crashed against the crossbar and then bouncing clear. Later in the 2nd half Ronaldo’s chance was blocked by an otherwise up til this time under employed Manuel Neuer.
Portuguese substitute Silvestre Varela came close again for Portugal in the last minutes but was denied by Neuer, perhaps the best goalie in the world at the moment.
In Berlin there are many places to watch the games – one is ARENA – http://www.arena-berlin.de/event.aspx?eventId=392832
Filip v d P
And from the BBC who know a lot about football if not a lot about politics – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18091750
and from the US ………a very educated article from ESPN – http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/7306134/euro-2012-draw-favorites-underdogs-long
This blog is brought to you by …..OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog’ is part of OTA-Berlin ‘……the intelligent Apartment-Alternative to Hotels in Berlin’. The views of the article are those of the writer Mr Filip v d Plas and not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin.
EURO 2012 – Daily Report – DAY 2 – Denmark & Germany win…Netherlands and Portugal start doing the maths…..2nd day highlights – report on Poland vs Greece & Russia vs Czech Republic – Later Today Denmark/Holland + Germany/Portugal – by contributor Mr Filip van der Plas from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
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