KHARKIV - Mario Gomez was at it again, making people reminisce of Miroslav Klose scoring goals in bunches for Germany. Super Mario scored twice for Germany, leading them to a 2-1 victory over their rival neighbors, Netherlands. Gomez displayed excellent timing and touch on both of his goals, beating Maarten Stekelenburg with great shots.
Robin van Persie got the Dutch going on a goal in the 73rd minute, but it would not be enough as goalie Manuel Neuer was excellent again tonight. Germany was decent on defense tonight, but it was the lack of urgency by Netherlands that was most shocking. After attacking early in the game, the Dutch help possession but did nothing with it.
The Germans, however, used their counter to attack quickly, catching the Dutch out of position. Quick, short passes led to matchups that the Germans exploited, while the Dutch defense got caught napping and Gomez was sent through on some beautifully timed passes from Bastian Schweinsteiger. On an interesting note, Schweingsteiger and Gomez are both teams for FC Bayern München and roommates for Euro 2012 at accommodations for Germany.
Defensively, the Germans were good for most of the game, but there were a couple of times that there were openings that the Dutch could not take advantage of. In the opening minutes, van Persie broke free on an over ball but fired right at Neuer. After that, the Dutch seemed worried about a fast, free-flowing attack by the Germans and were contempt to keep the ball without pushing forward to a threatening position.
After the Germans were ahead 2-0, the Dutch had no choice but to go on the attack. Their fortunes started to turn towards the middle of the second half when Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, and van Persie all had attempts miss just wide or saved by Neuer. Then, in the 73rd minute, their hope was restored on a shot by van Persie beat Neuer. After that, though, the Dutch seemed to start napping again.
In final minutes, a lazy backpass to Stekelenburg and a brilliant play by Klose nearly resulted in a very easy goal, only to see it go just wide. The Germans took a commanding lead in Group B, now having six points, while Portugal and Denmark are tied for second with three. The Dutch have zero points and are not yet eliminated, but will need a lot of help to advance to the knockout stage.