Euro 2012: Day two report
- Sun 10 Jun 2012, 12:00PM
- Posted by Chris Eccles
Denmark shocked Nigel De Jong’s Holland and Germany narrowly beat a defensive Portugal as the 'Group of Death' began Euro 2012 action.
After an exciting opening day featuring some of the competition’s less fancied nations, Day Two of Euro 2012 saw the arrival of the galacticos, the first upset and the first appearance of a current City player.
Ronaldo, Van Persie, Schweinsteiger and Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong were now on centre stage, hoping to breathe life into the group of death. Group B had undoubtedly acquired the obligatory terminal moniker due to the presence of giants Holland, Germany and Portugal, but it proved to be Denmark who made the biggest impact
Netherlands v Denmark
The Dutch had scored the most goals in qualifying for Euro 2012. Denmark had scored the second least, but a well struck shot from Michael Krohn-Dehli halfway through the first half proved to be enough for a famous Danish 1-0 victory.
Nigel De Jong, wearing number eight, started the game in a tough-tackling Dutch midfield also containing Mark Van Bommel.
Holland dominated long spells of the game, the goal on 24 minutes coming very much against the run of play. As chance after half chance went begging for Holland, the Danish defence held firm, greatly helped by wasteful finishing from Van Persie.
The statistics show that Holland had 29 attempts at goal and maybe on another day could have won comfortably. But it was a disjointed and lacklustre performance from the Dutch who now need to pick up points from their next games.
City Euro Watch: Nigel De Jong. A solid, if unspectacular, performance in a Dutch midfield dominant in possession and dictating the tempo of the game. Replaced by Van der Vaart on 71 minutes as the Netherlands looked for an equaliser.
Classic NDJ moment: Conceded a free kick after 43 seconds for a foul on Lars Jacobsen.
Germany v Portugal
Mario Gomez scored with a header on 72 minutes to give Germany an opening victory against Portugal.
Joachim Loew's Germany side contained seven Bayern Munich players and the club understanding was evident as the Germans dominated possession with fluent, controlled passing.
Portugal seemed happy to defend and, strangely for a team containing both Ronaldo and Nani, did little to make the most of their attacking talents.
Gomez broke the deadlock just as he was about to be substituted and althougth Portugal produced a late rally, they were unable to get back into game.