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European Championship

  • 13 June 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist, Kharkiv
  • Referee: J. Eriksson
  • • Attendance: 37750
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Live Commentary

  • 90' + 3'
    And that's the match! A late goal from Robin Van Persie couldn't set up the Netherlands to overturn two Mario Gomez strikes, and now Germany are all but out of the Group of Death- and the chances of the Netherlands progressing is looking quite slim. I'm Julian De Martinis and I'd like to thank you for joining me tonight!
  • 90' + 2'
    Substitution Thomas Müller Lars Bender
  • 90' + 1'
    Muller off for Bender as Low looks to introduce fresh legs and take a few seconds off the clock as well.
  • 90'
    Yellow Card Jetro Willems
  • 90'
    Willems booked for pushing Muller out of bounds. Three minutes of extra time has been added- can the Netherlands get together a solid chance on goal?
  • 89'
    What a howler from Stekelenburg! On a backpass, he fails to clear the ball at first and instead tries to dribble, but his first touch nearly let Klose sneak in! Luckily for him, nothing comes of it, but it was nearly a disaster!
  • 88'
    Textbook time wasting tactics from the Germans who play the corner short, pass it back and forth a bit, and win yet another corner. Boateng was booked a minute ago for time-wasting as well- taking too long to throw the ball in.
  • 87'
    Yellow Card Jerome Boateng
  • 87'
    The Netherlands on the back-foot now as they have to defend a late corner.
  • 85'
    Van der Vaart tries a long range effort that goes wide of the near post. Five minutes left plus injury time for the Netherlands to scrape something out of this now!
  • 84'
    Our German expert Cristian Nyari on how the feeling on the pitch for Germany has changed: "Germany are nervous now. Their play out of the back has become sloppy and they are causing many turnovers in their own half. Fatigue is also beginning to show, especially in midfield. Schweinsteiger's injury still apparent as he has slowed down a bit."
  • 83'
    Substitution Arjen Robben Dirk Kuyt
  • 82'
    Huntelaar wacks Schweinsteiger on the back of the head, and he's lucky not to be booked there. Robben off for Kuyt and the Bayern winger heads immediately hops over the scoreboard instead of walking off normally! All the talk after the game will be about this behavior- he's clearly not happy!
  • 81'
    Substitution Mesut Özil Toni Kroos
  • 81'
    De Jong booked for taking down Lahm in the midfield, shortly after the fullback had taken the ball away from Robben. Ozil coming off for Kroos as Low makes another change.
  • 80'
    Yellow Card Nigel De Jong
  • 80'
    End-to-end stuff now. Both teams truly believe and both are fully going for another goal.
  • 78'
    Van Persie down in the box under a tackle from Hummels and the referee waves play on! As Martin Langer reports, the Dutch fans are no longer quiet: "And the Dutch fans have come to life! They remained silent for too long so they are using their intact throats to cheer for their team, finally overshadowing the more numerous German attendance."
  • 77'
    Van Persie and Huntelaar nearly team up to drive through the heart of the German defence, but the former's return pass to the latter hits him on the back of his leg. Germany not looking so strong anymore!
  • 75'
    And suddenly the game has changed, as goals have a tendency to influence- the Netherlands are no longer looking out of this, but equal to the Germans. De Jong puts in a fantastic tackle to clear Ozil of the ball in the box and not give away a penalty!
  • 73'
    Assist Wesley Sneijder
  • 73'
    Goal Robin van Persie
    GAME ON! ROBIN VAN PERSIE SILENCES THE CRITICS WITH A FANTASTIC STRIKE! From just outside the box, the Arsenal man gets the ball, spins, takes a dribble, and fires with his right foot to find the back of the net beyond Neuer! 2-1 and the last 17 minutes are set up to be nothing short of thrilling!
  • 72'
    Substitution Mario Gomez Miroslav Klose
  • 72'
    The ball from the corner bounces in the box a bit before it's cleared and Germany counter. Nothing comes of it and Gomez comes off for Klose, to rapturous applause.
  • 71'
    An absolutely SUPERB play! Robben goes on a mazy run, cutting inside and picking a pass out for the open Sneijder at the other edge of the box. The Inter man unleashes a terrific shot that Boateng flings his body in front of! Corner to the Netherlands.
  • 70'
    Gomez muscles his way past the Dutch defence to get on the end of a ball that was just rolling out of bounds; from a very narrow angle on the left, he fires towards goal, but it sails harmlessly across the box. Stekelenburg had that covered all the way.
  • 69'
    Sneijder sends a perfect chip to find Robben in the box, who chests the ball down and shoots to the far post on the fly. Neuer scrambles but watches the shot go wide!
  • 67'
    With Germany looking quite comfortable and the Netherlands still failing to truly test Neuer, Martin Langer notes that the fans in the stands are react to the on-pitch happenings: "Timid whistles by the Dutch fans when Neuer takes his time to take a free kick, they seem completely flabbergasted by what's happening on the pitch. On the other hand, German fans grow noisier by the minute. There will be an impromptu Oktoberfest in the Kharkiv fan zone I'm sure!"
  • 66'
    Robben nearly onto the end of a loose ball in the box and Stekelenburg rushes to catch that.
  • 65'
    Ozil sends in a solid cross that find Gomez in the box, but the striker just fails to nod it towards goal.
  • 64'
    Ozil leads a fantastic attack and sprays the ball wide to Muller, who gets dispossed by Willems. Corner to Germany now.
  • 62'
    Heitinga blocks Lahm's shot on goal, which fails to trouble Stekelenburg. On the other end of the pitch, Sneijder fancies a shot on goal that agonizingly dips wide of the far post. That wasn't a bad effort, and looked like it would just sneak in, but to no avail.
  • 61'
    Stefan Coerts, Goal.com's Dutch expert, chimes in with his view on the substitutes' lack of influence thus far: "Despite all Oranje's attacking changes at half-time, nothing's really changed on the pitch. Germany continue to dominate as their midfield trio continually find themselves unmarked. Holland look impotent and a third German goal is more realistic than the Dutch pegging one back. There's no passion, no chemistry, nothing!"
  • 59'
    Analysis from Cristian Nyari on how the Netherlands still don't have it figured out: "Germany still finding space and time in the middle. Just not enough of a Dutch presence in front of their goal- their fullbacks also not stepping up to put pressure on Germany's attackers as they advance. 7-8 players in your own half is not how you chase a game when you're 2 goals down."
  • 58'
    Neuer pulls out a superb stop to keep Van Persie's shot from going in! Robben had found the striker just outside the box and the Arsenal man lashed at the ball without stopping it, nearly sending it in- but the Bayern goalie was well up to the task.
  • 57'
    Sneijder's delivery finds Mathijsen in the box, whose header goes far over the bar. The Netherlands may look at the chance as a sign of life; Germany won't yet be bothered much.
  • 56'
    The offside flag is doing more than the Netherlands' defence at the moment to keep Germany from scoring! The Netherlands earn a corner after a solid foray into the box which ends with Lahm deflecting Robben's shot.
  • 55'
    The Netherlands doing so little now to suggest a goal is in them. The subs have not yet done anything, really, to help the side score a goal.
  • 53'
    Germany's incisive passing cutting up the Netherlands at the moment. The corner comes to nothing but the side regain the ball and send a hugely dangerous pass through the box, which is just cut out.
  • 52'
    What a chance from Hummels of all people! He dribbles up the entire half of the field and fires at Stekelenburg right outside the box- Stekelenburg parries, and Hummels gets on the end of the loose ball, which the Roma goalie pushes out for a corner!
  • 50'
    Germany very comfortable on the ball now, having done their job for the match. They're still attacking but look like they're under no pressure at all.
  • 49'
    A series of fouls from the Netherlands disrupts play for a bit, and Schweinsteiger is limping a bit after the latest one.
  • 47'
    The free-kick is deflected and the next time the Germans gain possession, the flag is up for offside. Germany beginning this half much as the last one ended.
  • 46'
    Substitution Ibrahim Afellay Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
  • 46'
    Substitution Mark van Bommel Rafael van der Vaart
  • 46'
    Germany begin with the ball from kick-off; Podolski wins a free-kick deep in the Netherlands' half after he's taken down by Van der Weil.
  • Official: Van der Vaart and Huntelaar on, Van Bommel and Afellay off. The only half-time changes.
  • A funny note from Martin Langer, at the stadium- during halftime, the sprinklers on the pitch have been turned on, soaking not only the Ukranian gymnastic students performing the half-time show, but all of the German subs who were warming up!
  • Word from the stadium is that Huntelaar and Van der Vaart are coming on for the second half- the latter wearing the armband, so it seems that Van Bommel and Van Persie are being taken off at half-time. Will confirm as soon as it's official.
  • Our Dutch expert Stefan Coerts thinks the Netherlands have no one to blame but themselves: "Unsurprisingly, the Germans make Netherlands pay for their shocking defending. Stekelenburg managed to prevent the 2-0 with a fantastic save, but then Mathijsen once again lets Gomez escape, who makes no mistake with a superb finish. Makes you wonder whether Mathijsen is indeed fit enough to take part in such an important game."
  • The stats to the right of this LIVE coverage reveal that despite the Netherlands having an overwhelming advantage in possession and corners, the side have been unable to convert these into genuine chances.
  • Greg Stobart reveals that the Dutch fans at the stadium are far from happy: "The Netherlands players will know how poor they were in the first-half but the Oranje fans made their feelings equally clear as they whistled the team off the pitch at the break."
  • 45' + 2'
    Schweinsteiger delivers a superb free-kick from outside the box that Stekelnburg is forced to tip over the bar, and the whistle is blown for half-time. The Netherlands have looked truly inept and Germany are taking full advantage of that with a great clinical display. 2-0 to Germany thanks to two finishes from Gomez.
  • 45' + 1'
    As Germany stand over a free-kick, Martin Langer reveals what the German fans are saying in the stadium:" And now the Germans start chanting to their Dutch counterparts "Auf Wiedersehen, alles ist vorbei" "Goodbye, it's all finished". Harsh words for the Oranje contingent."
  • 45'
    Van Persie continues his terrible game by sending a pass to Sneijder directly into nowhere. Huntelaar seems near certain to come on after this terribly poor showing from a man who usually does so much more.
  • 43'
    With halftime mere minutes away, Greg Stobart thinks changes are absolutely necessary for the Netherlands. "Rafael Van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - who many thought should have started tonight’s game - are both warming up on the touchline. Bert Van Marwijk will surely have to make at least one change at half-time to turn this around."
  • 42'
    Goal.com's Cristian Nyari thinks that Germany's plan is working to perfection: "Germany much more assured and confident now. Happy to let Netherlands have the brunt of possession because they are winning the majority of the duels so far (52%) and are closing the space in front of goal down very well. Khedira and Schweinsteiger are forcing Netherlands to go out wide very effectively."
  • 41'
    Sneijder tries to find Robben on the edge of the box but gives possession away immediately from the corner! Awful stuff from the Inter trequartista and the Netherlands dodge a bullet as the resulting shot from the ensuing corner is well off target.
  • 40'
    The Netherlands looking very disjointed now, and are in serious danger of an early exit from the tournament if something doesn't improve. Huntelaar is warming up and Sneijder has earned his side a corner.
  • 38'
    Assist Bastian Schweinsteiger
  • 38'
    Goal Mario Gomez
  • 38'
    GOALLLL GOMEZ! AND HE DOES IT AGAIN! Neuer sends a great goal-kick to the box. Germany have a few quick passes, before Schweinsteiger once again sends Gomez through the defence. Stekelenburg goes down early and Gomez slots it home. Another great finish and Germany in cruise control! 2-0!!
  • 37'
    The free-kick finds Badstuber alone in front of net; he smashes the ball towards goal and it somehow hits Stekelenburg and bounces away! The Netherlands are hanging on by a thread at the moment!
  • 36'
    Muller goes down as Willems chases him onto a loose ball- it looks like the German got his feet tangled together, and a free-kick is awarded to Germany. Ozil stands over it.
  • 35'
    Another Netherlands attack comes to nothing. They simply have not found a way to break into the box as of yet.
  • 34'
    Van Persie tries to find Sneijder in the box, but his pass is overhit and sails directly out- as Sneijder is flagged offside anyway! That about sums up the Oranje attack so far.
  • 33'
    Ozil hustles Van Bommel off the ball and releases a quick through pass for Gomez, who gets flagged offside. The Netherlands are looking quite soft in attack and the tide has truly shifted to the side of the Germans.
  • 32'
    Muller gets the ball with acres of space to exploit right near the box. He sends a low cross across the face of goal for Gomez and it's slightly out of the reach of the striker. Good move nevertheless; Germany look threatening nearly every time they have the ball.
  • 31'
    Martin Langer describes the superb reaction from both sets of fans following the goal: "What a duel in the stands!!! The fans from two countries are cheering as loud as the name of their countries! You could have thought Russia and Ukraine are playing."
  • 30'
    Robben takes a shot on the edge of the box that gets deflected by the German defence and collected by Neuer.
  • 29'
    Schweignsteiger sends a near-perfect pass for Podolski to latch onto in the left channel, but it's just overhit and goes out of bounds. Incisive passing from Germany has made the difference so far tonight.
  • 28'
    Analysis on the goal from our German expert, Cristian Nyari: "Schweinsteiger finds space in the middle for the first time and makes the Netherlands pay for it. So far they have gone wide and with little result; Germany need to try and move it through the middle more as former international Olaf Thon suggested before the match. Van Bommel and De Jong are not applying a lot of pressure and the room is there to exploit."
  • 27'
    Robben just found offside as he cut in behind the defence from the right. The Netherlands are creating decent chances but need to convert these into shots on target.
  • 26'
    A few of the Goal.com reporters at the stadium noting that Stekelenburg had gotten a leg to Gomez's shot, but the ball took a minor deflection and still ended up in the back of the net. A bit unlucky, perhaps, for the Roma goalie.
  • 24'
    Assist Bastian Schweinsteiger
  • 24'
    Goal Mario Gomez
    GOALLLLLL GOMEZ! A FANTASTIC FINISH! Schweinsteiger found the striker with a superb through ball after a great team move. Just onside, the striker spins around Heitinga before slotting it past Stekelenburg! 1-0 to Germany!!
  • 23'
    Robben is back on the pitch and fully ready to play. Greg Stobart reports that Dirk Kuyt was among the first to rush off the bench and pour water on his teammates' head when he was injured.
  • 22'
    The two teams are wisely using the time given to Robben, notes Martin Langer: "Both teams drinking lots of water, taking advantage of a head injury by Robben. It is very hot and humid in Kharkiv tonight. Not the best conditions for a game with this high tempo."
  • 21'
    Robben is bleeding from the head following a collision in the air with Badstuber. While not malicious in nature, the physical challenge has left the forward needing medical attention.
  • 19'
    The Germans are doing a solid job overall of keeping the Netherlands from playing as they like, which is drawing ire from the crowd, as Martin Langer reports: "Whistles for Holland as they pass laterally on their own side of the pitch. No Barcelona stuff allowed tonight, people don't want the teams to lower the tempo."
  • 18'
    Nearly- nearly!- a gorgeous Germany move in the box. A flowing team move failed to find Podolski in the box, and the Ducth counter immediately, forcing Boateng to cut out Affelay's killer pass for Van Persie in the box! Breathless at the moment!
  • 17'
    Goal.com's Dutch expert Stefan Coerts is far from impressed with the Arsenal number 10 tonight: "That won't do Van Persie's confidence any good! The under-fire strike is sent clear through on Neuer after a brilliant pass from midfield, but fails to trouble Neuer. Huntelaar must be biting his nails on the bench."
  • 16'
    Van Persie again on the end of another great lofted pass and Boateng recovers in time to send it out for a corner, which goes out for a goal-kick.
  • 15'
    Greg from Goal.com describes how the German fans are doing at the moment: "It's the Germany section of the stadium, behind the goal to my right, that's bouncing at the moment. If the first 10 minutes are anything to go by, we are going to have a real ebb and flow both on the pitch and in the stands."
  • 14'
    A Netherlands corner is won by Affelay, which ends up resulting in a deep throw-in. Little comes of either and the Dutch are forced to give the ball back to their defenders.
  • 13'
    The ball is being flung about at a rapid rate as both sides are looking more and more threatening. A goal isn't far off at this rate! Ozil goes down in the box after Mathijsen gets in his way but the referee is not interested in awarding a penalty, to the German's dismay.
  • 11'
    Another poor effort from Van Persie! Robben slips a fantastic through ball in between Lahm and Hummels for the striker to run onto; he takes a first time shot and slices it wide of the far post.
  • 10'
    The Dutch counter, four of them against five Germans, and before Sneijder can pick out the open Robben on the right, he's forced to play it back to Van Bommel. Excellent covering from Germany.
  • 9'
    A solid volley from Ozil, who smashed the ball on the fly for Stekelenburg to dive and save- but not before it hit the post! Immediately Affelay drives a low cross through the German box that Neuer smothers. The game is beginning to liven up!
  • 8'
    That Van Persie chance will give the Netherlands hope that Germany's defence is not as strong as it may seem, but conversely, it also raises more questions about the Arsenal striker starting over Huntelaar.
  • 6'
    What a chance! Van Bommel plays a gorgeous lofted ball over the heart of the German defence for Van Persie to run onto. He squeaks past the centre-backs, gets in the box, and just gets his foot onto it, but he directs it right at Neuer!
  • 5'
    Goal.com's Martin Langer, currently at the stadium, has some insider information about the fantastic atmosphere at the stadium: "Full capacity crowd and probably the best ambiance in a match in the whole tournament. This is as good as any European rivalty could get with the crowd split between green/white and orange."
  • 4'
    Lahm cuts out Robben's dribble perfectly but the Netherlands regain possession immediately. A very good start for the Oranje so far.
  • 3'
    A solid foray forward ends as Schweinsteiger, in an advanced role up the pitch, passes directly to Van Der Wiel.
  • 2'
    Sneijder and Van Persie play a solid one-two on the edge of the German box but the return pass is over-hit. Neuer collects and for the first time, Germany have the ball. Gomez is dispossessed in the box.
  • 1'
    And we have kick-off! Netherlands have the kick-off and find themselves immediately under pressure from the Germans. It takes a bit of maneuvering to get the ball out of the defence but the side do well to keep the ball.
  • Robben is singing particularly passionately out there. Van Bommel is the only Dutch player booked from last game; Badstuber and Boateng similarly for Germany. We'll have kick-off momentarily.
  • The players are walking out of the tunnel and onto the pitch for pre-match proceedings. Next up: national anthems!
  • At the very least, the game should be an open and entertaining affair between two teams that love to attack. They've played each other seven times at major tournaments, and in all seven matches, both sides have scored at least once.
  • One of the key match-ups tonight will be how the two 4-2-3-1s stack up against each other. Germany tend to use part of their bank of "2" to help build attacks via Schweinsteiger, whereas the Netherlands' duo is a little more of a destroyer pairing.
  • Speaking to Uefa following the Denmark defeat, Dutch goalie Maarten Stekelenburg says he felt his side was "unlucky" to lose but must focus on winning against rivals Germany- who he warns are incredibly potent when they counter-attack.
  • The teams are out on the pitch warming up. Just 20 more minutes until kick-off now!
  • Word from the stadium is that both Dutch and German fans are there in full force, though it seems that there are quite a few more Netherlands supporters there tonight.
  • For the Netherlands to keep themselves in contention tonight, they'll need to be at their best not only at the back to shut out a flowing Germany attack, but they'll need to be much more clinical up front than they were against Denmark. Robben, Van Persie and Huntelaar all missed fantastic chances to take a point for their team
  • Tonight's match is taking place at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The temperature is quite hot at the stadium, which could easily affect the play of the match.
  • Not a single change for Germany from last game as Joachim Low picks the same eleven that triumphed over Portugal. Neuer, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Boateng, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Özil, Müller, Podolski, Gomez. Subs: Wiese, Zieler, Schmelzer, Höwedes, Mertesacker, Gündoğan, Schürrle, Bender, Kroos, Götze, Reus, Klose.
  • Now for the lineups. The Netherlands make a singe change from the side that lost last matchday- and no, it isn't a swap of Huntelaar in for Van Persie, but the newly fit Joris Mathijsen in for Ron Vlaar as a centre-back. Van der Vaart, Kuyt, Huntelaar and De Jong all find themselves on the bench. Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems, Van Bommel, N. De Jong, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie, Afellay Subs: Vorm, Krul, Bouma, Vlaar, Boulahrouz, Schaars, Strootman, Van der Vaart, Kuyt, Huntelaar, L. De Jong, Narsingh.
  • The Netherlands can take solace in this bit of trivia: since winning the Euros in 1988, they've always progressed out of the groups at the very least. Germany will be doing their best to ruin that for them and take command of the tightest of groups.
  • The big controversy for both teams that day dealt with striker conundrums: Klose or Gomez? Huntelaar or Van Persie? Needless to say, Joachim Low walked away vindicated with him preference of the Bayern Munich player, whereas Bert van Marwijk was left to contemplate his choice of starting the Arsenal player instead of Schalke's. Both have stuck with the same choice for tonight's match.
  • Both were assigned to the Group of Death, and their fortunes could not have been more different. Germany put on a clinical showing to snatch a 1-0 win over Portugal in their first game, courtesy of a Mario Gomez header. The Netherlands fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to Denmark after MIchael Krohn-Dehli's first half goal.
  • To begin coverage tonight, let's look at how both sides got here. Germany strolled through qualifying, winning all 10 matches, scoring 34, and conceding only 7. Netherlands ha only a slightly tougher time: won nine, lost one, scored 37, conceded eight.
  • Throughout tonight's coverage I'll be adding in colour commentary from members of the Goal.com team who are at the match, giving us insider scoop on how the stadium, pitch, and players are doing!
  • Denmark-Portugal just ended in a thrilling 2-3 scoreline, which means the group is far from decided now. Germany, Denmark, and Portugal are all currently tied with three points, and Netherlands have none. A win here would be massive for the latter and blow the group wide open!
  • Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE match coverage of Netherlands-Germany! This mouth-watering Group B fixture kicks off in little more than an hour, with massive stakes on the line- not only for both sides, but for the group as a whole!