Joachim Low's men delivered a professional performance to see off the threat of their opponents and comfortably finish top of Group B of the European championshipGermany have booked a Euro 2012 quarter-final date against Greece with a 2-1 victory over Denmark at the Lviv Arena on Sunday.
Joachim Low's men have progressed as winners of Group B and will be joined in the next stage of the competition by Portugal, who defeated the Netherlands 2-1 in the concurrent fixture in Kharkiv.
Lukas Podolski marked his 100th cap with the opener after 19 minutes, but Denmark hit back within moments through Michael Krohn-Dehli, who nodded home from close range to send the match into the break all square.
A lackluster second half saw neither side in any hurry to snatch the initiative, but Lars Bender settled matters with the winner in the 81st minute to confirm the Germans' place in the next round.
|MATCH FACTS | Denmark 1-2 Germany
Both coaches were forced to make changes to their starting lineups, with Bender replacing the suspended Jerome Boateng for Germany, while Dennis Rommedahl’s injury saw Jakob Poulsen begin for Denmark.
Joachim Low’s men raced out of the blocks, and saw two chances go begging early, both at the feet of Thomas Muller. The Bayern Munich man’s indifferent form in front of goal continued, first firing over the bar from 15 yards out before somehow failing to put away a cross by Podolski from point-blank range.
However, Muller would make his presence felt in other ways later on as he played a key part in helping Mario Gomez find Podolski in the penalty area, who in turn smashed home to give Germany the lead after 19 minutes.
But Denmark would respond just before the half-hour mark. Lars Jacobsen’s deep corner was powered towards goal by Nicklas Bendtner, where Krohn-Dehli was waiting to head home the equaliser.
The match remained finely poised as the half wore on, though Germany’s greater enterprise in the attacking third meant that they always appeared the more likely to score again. Podolski crashed a 20-yard free-kick inches over the bar before Sami Khedira poked inches wide after attacking his own blocked shot.
Denmark had managed to escape the first half on terms, but then created a fantastic opportunity to take the lead five minutes after the restart.
Simon Poulsen’s pace on the left saw him slide towards Bendtner, who in turn teed up Jakob Poulsen, but the Midtjylland midfielder could only brush his shot off the outside of post.
The match settled into lull as the half progressed, with both sides alternating spells of possession without really displaying a cutting edge. Substitute Andre Schurrle attempted to break the monotony just past the hour mark after sneaking in on the left flank, but saw his finish parried comfortably by Andersen.
Manuel Neuer then caused a few German hearts to flutter with a fumbling piece of handling on a seemingly routine effort from distance by Niki Zimling.
Chances remained hard to come by, with Germany perhaps secure in the knowledge that a draw would take them through as group winners. That permutation would be confirmed with nine minutes to go, as Bender was quickest to react to Mesut Ozil’s pass to slot the Germans into the lead for good.
Bendtner sent a late header over the bar, but there was to be no recovery for Denmark whose exit from the tournament was confirmed with the news of Cristiano Ronaldo's winner against the Netherlands.