Germany Takes Lead, Portugal Climbs Back

Day two for Group B promised another day of great football, and once again this group has provided us with some very exciting matches. The dynamic of this group was nearly thrown into chaos. Had Netherlands beaten Germany, all four teams would have been tied with three points. Instead, the Germans dominated the Dutch and have taken a commanding lead in this group.

Germany has taken the commanding lead with six points. A draw with Denmark on Sunday will put the Germans through to the knockout stage with the top seed from Group B. Portugal and Denmark are tied with three points, while Netherlands is in last with zero. With this loss, the Dutch have a slight chance, but not much, to advance to the knockout stage.

Denmark played an excellent game against a stronger Portugal side, but put themselves into a hole that was just too deep to climb out of. Two first half goals put the Portuguese up 2-0 quickly, but a goal just before the break pulled Denmark to 2-1. Another goal after the break pulled it level at 2, but Silvestre Varela would make sure Portugal secured all three points on one of the best goals of the tournament so far.

In the second game, Mario Gomez led the Germans to a 2-1 victory over their neighboring rivals Netherlands. Gomez had two first half goals on beautiful passes from Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Gomez would make sure they would not be wasted. The Dutch climbed back into the game in the 73rd minute when Robin van Persie beat Manuel Neuer, but the Dutch threat afterwards would be thwarted by Neuer.

Looking ahead, the final games are very intriguing. Germany will play Denmark needed just a single point to clinch their advancement. A loss to Denmark would mean they still advance, though as the number two seed. Portugal is hoping that the Germans defeat the Danish, while they beat Netherlands. If that were to happen, the Germans would advance as the number one seed and Portugal the number two. However, if Portugal and Denmark both won, goal differential would come into play. If both Portugal and Denmark won by 1, then all three teams would be at +1. The second tie breaker would then be goals scored in common matches, which Germany would have 1 plus whatever they score versus Denmark, Denmark would have 2 plus how many versus Germany, and Portugal 3. So though the Germans have not officially advanced, they are most likely to advance. In the crazy situation that Germany and Netherlands won, goal differentials would determine the second place team.

At this rate, Portugal must win to advance, or hope that both games end in a draw. Day 3 promises to be another great day. We shall find out on Sunday what happens. Be sure to tuned to RantSports.com for the latest Euro 2012 news.

Paul Troupe is the lead writer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and San Antonio Spurs, while covering many major sports for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter @gamin4HIM

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