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June 17, 2012
• L'viv Arena, L'viv
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
• Attendance: 32990
M. Krohn-Dehli 24'
L. Podolski 19'
L. Bender 80'
In truth, it was a subdued second half, but a first international goal for Lars Bender was enough to give Germany the win, and take them through to the quart-finals to face Greece. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 3'
And that's it! The referee blows for full time, with the scoreline: Denmark 1-2 Germany.
90' + 3'
Cristian Nyari is mightily impressed: " The goal changed the players mentally completely. Full of confidence, fewer turnovers and more secure defensively. The goal was decisive in more ways than one in shoring up this result. It will also be the first time in EURO history that Germany win all three group stage games."
90' + 2'
Ozil skips past Kvist, and wins a free kick 30 yards from goal after a foul from the Stuttgart man. Schweinsteiger takes it, but his shot hits the wall, and the ball runs away from danger.
We'll have three added minutes here in Lviv.
That is lovely stuff from Manuel Neuer. The Bayern keeper comes way out of his area to receive the ball, shimmies past Bendtner, and releases it to Hummels. The check of it.
Ozil and Klose team up down the right-hand side with a one-two. The 33-year-old forward though, can't quite release the Real Madrid man with a final pass, and Andersen comes out to collect the loose ball.
Denmark, who have to go for this game now, come forward down the right. Mikkelsen wins a corner, that's whipped in by Eriksen. It's aimed towards the head of Bendtner, but his effort goes over the bar from 12 yards.
Michael Hansen on the goal that could send his side home: "Denmark caught on the break. The defenders were nowhere to be seen and the few players who managed to get back defending, looked very tired chasing the Germans."
Tobias Pilegaard Mikkelsen
Clark Whitney, pitchside: "After Bender's goal, the German fans have lit red flares in their end. They'd behaved themselves until now..."
GOALL! And that's the strike that should take Germany through to the quarter-finals. A ball from the left-hand side by Ozil is aimed towards Klose inside the area. The pass is overhit though, but luckily Lars Bender is there behind the Lazio forward, to slot into the bottom left-hand corner from 12 yards. 2-1.
It's Ozil now for Germany. On the edge of the area, he flicks Khedira in, but the Real Madrid can't get his effort on target.
Analysis from Mr Nyari: "Unbeknownst to them, Germany cannot lose the match now which will make for a nervy finish. Germany have had 77 passes in the attacking third compared to just 7 from Denmark yet the Danes are still dangerous with every pass past the halfway line. The final pass is always missing from Germany and are playing with fire with their high backline.
A great chance for Denmark there, as a cross comes in to be attacked by Bendtner. The Sunderland man strectches to get to the ball, which he does, but the effort is weak and goes into the arms of Neuer. A somewhat lucky escape for Germany there.
It's S. Poulsen now for Denmark. Down the left-hand side, he tries to lay Bendtner in down the line, but the pass is poor and goes out for a throw in.
And in the other game, a second goal from Ronaldo is taking Portugal through from Group B.
Some analysis from Michael Hansen: "The game has slowed down. The Danes have managed to take the pace off the Germans but knowing, as it stands now, they need to win Denmark must consider making a substitution. Tobias Mikkelsen, who did so well against Portugal, must come on, preferably replacing J. Poulsen, bringing Eriksen onto the middle and Mikkelsen on the right wing."
The corner goes short, but the opportunity is completely wasted by Denmark. Set pieces have been there only real threat tonight, and they've just squandered a golden one.
And for the first time, in a long time, Denmark have a shot at goal. Zimling, 35 yards from goal, tries his luck, but Neuer is there to tip it around the post for a corner.
Clark Whitney is on fan watch again: "The majority of the fans are quiet now, but for the boisterous Germany end, where supporters are clapping and singing. The Danes must be biting their nails now."
OH! And Schurrle almost scored with virtually his first touch! Khedira, 25 yards from goal, slid the Leverkusen man in on the left-hand side of the area. The 21-year-old decided to hit it first time across the goal, but Andersen was there to tip it away.
Cristian Nyari on that substitution: "Much needed substitution for Germany. There is a distinct lack of energy in the team, whether it is the heat or just tired legs. There was not enough movement from Podolski. Schurrle brings an element of pace and surprise."
Muller, inside the Danish area, goes down, but the referee waves away any claims for a penalty.
Schweinsteiger has it now for Germany. He comes forward, and from 25 yards, decides to have a shot at goal. The effort though, is blocked by Agger, and the ball runs away.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, Germany win a corner on the right-hand side. Ozil whips it in, but Andersen comes out and punches clear.
It loosk like Germany are about to unleash some youthful attacking options. And Miroslav klose. Clark Whitney with a pitchside update: "Several substitutes are warming up now - for Germany, Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose are readying themselves. Tobias Mikkelsen was the only Dane until a moment ago, when Christian Poulsen joined him. Should the latter enter the fray, he would be the third Poulsen on the pitch!"
Michael Hansen: "Germany look subdued. Denmark have seen most of the ball in the second half and now it is the German players who are retreating when Denmark have the ball. The Danish defenders are very much in control now, not allowing the Germans to get to goal scoring opportunities."
Mr Nyari on Ozil's contribution so far: "A playmaker is only as good as his outlets and so far Ozil has lacked the necessary movement and runs from his teammates."
Germany are being shut out by Denmark here. Some intricate play outside the area between Podolski and Muller could have led to an opening, but Kjaer and Agger stayed strong and managed to clear away any danger.
Oh, that was nearly brilliant from Ozil. Receiving the ball on the edge of the area from Schweinsteiger, he tried to backheel it first time to Gomez. The pass though, was a tad underhit, and Kjaer was there to just tidy up.
Like Clark told us earlier, there are a few divots in the pitch, and Ozil felt the full effect of one there. He tried to glide past Agger on the edge of the Denmark area, but the ball just bobbled up, and the Real Madrid feel flat on his back.
Cristian Nyari with his take on how Germany should attack in this half: "Low is not one to change early in games or at half time for that matter. No changes in personnel or in their approach. Rather than going wide so often Germany would do better to play more through the center like they did against the Netherlands."
Michael Hansen is approving of that Danish move: "Denmark looking much better in the second half. As usual play comes from the left flank, this time from Agger and S. Poulsen. J. Poulsen was unlucky not to find the net."
Denmark have it now, trying to play out from the back. Agger plays it to S. Poulsen, who bombs down the left-hand side. The AZ man gives it inside to Bendtner, who lays the ball off to J. Poulsen. The 28-year-old decides to strike first time from 20 yards out, and his shot goes just inches wide of Neuer's right-hand post. That was by far and away Denmark's best move of the match. Lovely stuff.
And just when I say it's all Denmark, Germany have a great chance to go 2-1 up. A cross deep from the left by Bender, was played into the box towards Muller, but the Bayern man couldn't quite get on the end of it, and Andersen gratefully received the ball.
It's been all Denmark since the second half started. Kvist plays the ball square inside the centre cirlce to Zimling, and the Club Brugge man wins a free kick after a tug from Muller.
The ball is played back to Agger from kick off. He tries to play a long ball out to Krohn-Dehli on the right-hand side, but the pass is overhit and goes out for a throw in.
Here we go then. We're back, and it's Denmark who will get us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
For all you fact fans out there: that Lukas Podolski goal was the first with his right foot for almost four years. The last coming in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.
Don't forget, I want to hear your comments on that half. And you can do so via the chat box, there on the right-hand side. Also, while you're there, why don't you check out our detailed match stats section? It's full of gems, like this: Total passes: Denmark 215 - Germany 278.
Denmark expert Michael Hansen, meanwhile: "The half time whistle was a blessing for Denmark. Olsen has to tell his players, especially the defenders to challenge the Germans and not give them so much time on the ball as they have been most part of the first half. Time for the hair dryer, but maybe also to make a tactical change. Most of Denmark’s play has come from the left side. What is the sense of having Christian Eriksen playing on the right flank if he is not brought into play? Jakob Poulsen cannot play on the right side in an attacking position. If Olsen chooses not to make any substitutions at the break how about switching places for Michael Krohn-Dehli (who has had a good game and seen much of the ball) and Eriksen? This will confuse the German full-backs as they will each have a new player to mark."
Mr Nyari again: "Germany's wasteful finishing could come back to haunt them against a very energetic Denmark. They look vulnerable whenever the Danish get forward and leave a lot of space for them to counter attack."
Germany expert Cristian Nyari has his take on that half: "Germany look vulnerable whenever Denmark get forward. Neuer and Lahm were arguing on Denmark's last corner; not a sign of confidence, and again look sloppy and disorganised on another set piece."
What did you think of that half? Let me know via the chat box.
Well, what a strange half. Germany looked completely dominant, and showed that on 19 minutes when Podolski fired home. They continued to create chances and have the monopoly of possession, but turned off for a spilt-second at a corner, and the Danes equalised.
And that's it. Half time here in Lviv, and the scoreline is: Denmark 1-1 Germany.
Once last throw of the dice for Denmark in this half. S. Poulsen comes bombing down the left, and wins a corner off of Badstuber. Christian Eriksen puts it in, but Hummels is there to head away.
OH GOMEZ! Inside the Denmark area, he took a touch to get away a clean strike on goal; the touch though, was too strong, and ended in the hands of Andersen. A better touch, and the Bayern man scores there.
Sami Khedira just had a great chance there. From the edge of the area, the Real Madrid man had a shot blocked, but luckily had the rebound fall right into his path. With his second bite of the cherry, he struck it from just inside the area, but into the side-netting of Andersen's net.
Clark Whitney again: "Thomas Muller just slipped, pulling up a big divot. The pitch isn't exactly in pristine condition tonight. In other news, Gundogan, Mertesacker and Howedes are already warming up on the touchline. Perhaps Low is considering a substitution to add size to his back four? Bendtner has terrorised his smaller opponents in the air thus far..."
Eriksen, who's been exceptionally quiet tonight, comes forward now. He brings the ball inside from the left-hand flank, and looks to play in Bendtner. The pass though, is a poor one, and Hummels just stands still and watches as the ball ends right at his feet.
If you're a Germany fan, you might not want to read this snippet from Cristian Nyari: "Flashback to 2010, last meeting between Germany and Denmark. Germany opened the scoring, were wasteful with their finishing and allowed Denmark back into the game and conceded two goals."
WOOOFFF! Podolski fired it in, but the shot just skimmed the top of the crossbar, much to the delight of Stephan Andersen.
A free kick in a dangerous position for Germany! Muller skipped past Agger on the edge of the area, but Kjaer was there to bring him down inside the D.
Michael Hansen's scathing attack on Morten Olsen's gameplan "Morten Olsen’s game plan to play Christian Eriksen on the outside right and Jakob Poulsen in Eriksen’s regular position is not paying off. Eriksen is not a threat to the German defenders and Poulsen loses possession too often. If this continues, Eriksen most move back to his regular position and Tobias Mikkelsen must replace Poulsen and play at the right flank.
Germany are just piling men forward now. Muller again, attacks down the right, and again knocks the ball around S. Poulsen. This time though, the defender tackles him legally, but at the expense of a corner. Ozil whips in the set piece, but Agger is there to head away.
Ozil whips it in, but Kvist is back to just head it behind for a corner. The subsequent corner is played short to Podolski, who curls it in from the left. The ball goes towards Gomez, but the Bayern man can't execute his volley well enough, and the shot goes both wide and over.
Muller has it now for the Germans. On the right-hand side, he tries to knock the ball around S. Poulsen, but the AZ man tugs him back, and Low's side win a free kick.
Podolski brings the ball forward now for Germany. On the left-hand side, he crosses the halfway line, but as he tries to release Ozil inside, Zimling is there to knock the ball away.
An equaliser from Cristiano Ronaldo in the other game means, Portugal have now leap-frogged Denmark into second place. Remeber, that's AS IT STANDS.
Germany come forward now with Lars Bender. He puts a cross in from the right-hand sie, but Agger is inside the six yard box to head away.
Clark Whitney on fan watch: "Danish fans are chanting Bendtner's name! He's come up aces at Euro 2012, but had a lot of help from Krohn-Dehli, who has scored or assisted in every game thus far."
Michael Hansen is back. And he's happier this time: "Seems like the Danes are not the only ones who can’t defend properly. Germany left Bendtner and goal scorer Krohn-Dehli unmarked allowing free headers for both. Three of Denmark’s four goals have come from headers. Makes you think if this was part of Olsen’s plan?"
Germany expert Cristian Nyari: "Germany undone on set pieces yet again. This has been their Achilles heel for years now under Low, who admits to not emphasising set pieces in training. It isn't the first and won't be the last time Germany concede on set pieces.
GOALL! And can you believe it? Denmark have equalised! A corner from the right-hand side was whipped in by Jacobsen. He aimed towards Bendtner, who, at the far post, headed back across goal, for Krohn-Dehli to flick the ball home. 1-1.
And as it stands, Netherlands will be going through along with Germany. As it stands.
Denmark expert Michael Hansen is not happy: "Denmark have not done their homework properly. The plan was to tighten up their defense but to leave the Germans unmarked inside the penalty area allowing them to score so easily is not acceptable."
GOALL! And on his 100th appearance for Germany, Lukas Podolski scores for Die Mannschaft! Muller from the right-hand byline, cuts the ball back to Mario Gomez. The Bayern man misses the ball, but Podolski is there to smash it home from 12 yards to make it 1-0.
Germany expert Christian Nyari again: "Netherlands are doing their part, now they just need Germany to do theirs. Apparently Robben asked Lahm to beat Denmark after the Netherlands game and some players promised they would. Muller is trying to do Germany's part but wasted two clear chances already. "
Ozil wins a free kick for Germany, 30 yards from goal. Running at the Danishh defence, he his tripped from behind by Zimling, and brushes himself off to take it. The Real Madrid man whips it in, but the ball is too long, and goes all the way through for a goal kick.
In the other game tonight, Netherlands have taken the lead, and Clark Whitney is here to report on the fans reaction: "A roar of applause from the Danish fans as the video screens here revealed Netherlands had taken the lead against Portugal. If the current results hold, Germany will win Group B and the Danes will progress as runners-up - something both sides can be pleased with."
Bendtner has his first effort of the night, but it goes wide. From outside the area, the Sunderland man takes a touch, and fires a shot wide of Neuer's right-hand post.
Clark Whitney on manager watch: "Joachim Low just entered his technical area for a second time; as he returned to the bench, he did not look pleased. Still no signs from Morten Olsen."
Some analysis from Michael Hansen: "Germany have it far too easy. The Danes are retreating every time the Germans are on the ball instead of challenging them before they reach the Danish goal-line. This gives the Germans too much time on the ball enabling them to find unmarked players to pass the ball to."
And as I say that, the German pressing brings a chance. Ozil closed down Zimling inside his own half, nicked the ball off him, and then slipped in Gomez inside the area. Agger read the pass though, and made a sliding challenge just in time.
A sustained period of possession from the Danes. They're passing it happily in the centre circle, but can't penetrate because of the pressing being done by the Germans.
It's Denmark now, down the left. Eriksen comes inside, and tries to feed through Bendtner in on goal, but Badstuber comes across and blocks the pass.
HOW HAS HE MISSED? Germany pile forward on the counter. A cross from the left by Podolski goes towards Gomez, but the Bayern man can't get his head on it. Instead, the ball runs towards Muller at the far post, but, from about three yards out, he fires a shot into the arms of Andersen. Unbelievable.
Unperturbed, Simon Poulsen brings the ball forward for Denmark, and wins a corner on the left-hand side off Lahm. it's whipped in from Kvist, and goes towards the head of Bendtner at the far post. The Sunderland man gets his head on it, but it's tame and is collected easily by Neuer.
Denmark attempt to come forward now. Niki Zimling has it on the halfway line, but Schweinsteiger is quick to close him down, and puts the ball out of play for a Danish throw.
OFFFFF! Germany have their first strike on goal, and it's Thomas Muller with the effort. A cross from the left by Khedira went all the way through to the Bayern man, who took a touch 15 yards out, and fired it over the bar. A great start for Low's side.
And Germany pass it along their backline from kick off. Lahm gets it at right-back, and tries to play a ball down the line to Muller. The pass is a tad too long though, and goes through to Andersen in goal.
And we're off. Germany get us underway, kicking from right-to-left in their traditional white shirts.
The Danish anthem now, and Daniel Agger is quite the singer you know?
As the German national anthem rimgs out, Clark Whitney gives his take on Ukraine as a host nation: "I've watched the pre-match ceremony three times now, and each time it's just as captivating as the last. Every time the dancers break from the centre circle to reveal the message: "Lviv: Open to the World," I think back of all the great experiences I've had here in Ukraine. The locals here have been incredibly warm - an unforgettable and eye-opening experience."
If Germany are to win tonight, they will do so with their youngest ever starting line up at a Euro tournament, averaging 25 years and 107 days.
The players are lining up inside the tunnel, with kick off just minutes away. Remember, we want to hear all your comments on both tonight's games, and you can do so via the chat box on the right-hand side.
15 minutes to go until kick off here in Lviv, and the atmosphere is already electric. Like Clark said, it's almost entirely German flags that adorn the stadium. And surely that can only help Die Mannschaft?
A quick note on those players who, if booked, will miss their nations next game. Should they qualify: "Simon Poulsen, William Kvist, Lars Jacobsen and Jacob Poulsen for Denmark. And Holger Badstuber for Germany.
If you didn't already think that Germany had the best fans in Europe, get a load of this: 100,000 people will pack into the Fan Zone in Berlin to watch tonight's game. That's the largest fan park audience anywhere on the continent.
Germany expert Christian Nyari has pulled out the ultimate in fact bombs: "Carlos Velasco Carballo, tonight's referee, has handed out 125 yellow cards and 16 reds in his 20 La Liga matches this season." BOOM.
With Lukas Podolski's confirmed start, he becomes only the seventh German to make a century of appearances for the national team. At 27, that is frankly amazing.
Clark Whitney again, on the harsh forfeits the Denmark team are going through: "Following an apparent challenge from a few of his team-mates, Denmark substitute Andreas Bjelland just dropped and performed explosive press-ups, passing the ball from hand to hand, until he could do no more. Team-mate Jores Okore had quite a laugh as Nordsjaelland defender collapsed afterward."
More fan analysis from Clark Whitney: "It really is incredible how fans have managed to make Arena Lviv look like a home stadium for the Mannschaft. Only about a third of the stadium's capacity is expected to be supporting the Group B leaders, yet looking around at the banners, almost all represent German clubs, big and small: from Hamburg and Hannover to Altenseelbach and Lokomotive Leipzig."
Our Germany expert Christian Nyari has his say on the Mannschaft's starting XI: "No real surprises in Joachim Low's starting line up. As most expected, Bender is replacing the suspended Boateng at right back despite not having played in that position at all before for the national team or for Bayer Leverkusen this season. That aside, Low has stressed continuity and consistency throughout their preparation and wants to maintain the momentum they picked up in their big win against the Netherlands. He is expecting players like Podolski, Ozil and Muller to get better as the tournament progresses and wants to keep his core group of players playing consistently. Also, no time to rest as they want maximum points and guarantee of staying in Danzig for preparations for the quarterfinals."
Who do you think will be going through Group B? Are Germany the best team at Euro 2012? Have Denmark surprised any of you with their results so far? Let me know via the chat box.
Our man on the ground in Lviv, Clark Whitney, is just recovering from burst ear drums: "Fans here in Arena Lviv just set a new stadium record for noise - at the prompt of the announcer, they reached a volume of 117 decibels, one more than the previous high. It's no surprise, as even with 45 minutes left before kick-off, the seats are filling."
Our Denmark expert Michael Hansen has had his say on the lineup: "So it is Christian Eriksen who will replace Dennis Rommedahl on the right flank. Eriksen will play in an unusual position for him. Jakob Poulsen will play in Eriksen’s position and Niki Zimling is fit to play. Morten Olsen has indeed sprung a surprise, but I expect that we will see Eriksen move from the right flank into the middle rather than going to the goal-line trying to get past Philipp Lahm from the inside and making space for right-back Lars Jacobsen."
Denmark have confirmed their starting XI, and they're going all out attack with a front three of Eriksen, Bendtner and Krohn-Dehli - Denmark (4-3-3): Andersen; Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, S. Poulsen; Kvist, Zimling, J. Poulsen; Eriksen, Bendtner, Krohn-Dehli.
The Germany starting XI is in, and the big news is that Lars Bender will start in place of Jerome Boateng, as the Bayern Munich man is suspended - Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; L. Bender, Badstuber, Hummels, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Podolski, Ozil, Muller; Gomez
Don't forget, as always, if you want to get in touch with us here at Goal.com, you can always tweet us @goal_intl or use our Facebook page. There's also the chat box, just there on the right-hand side.
A quick note on Lukas Podolski. If he starts tonight, the new Arsenal man will become only the seventh German to win 100 caps for his country, joinig a list that includes: Thomas Hassler, Franz Beckenbauer, Jurgen Kohler, Jurgen Klinsmann, Lothar Mathaus and Miroslav Klose. Not bad, eh?
The permutations then, are: Denmark will be guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals if they beat Germany. A draw though, will be sufficient as long as Netherlands beat Portugal. If the Seleccao beat Bert van Marijwik's side however, the Danes will be out with anything less than three points. Germany, on the other hand, only need a point to progress. A loss though, could see all three of Germany, Denmark and Portugal level on six points. In that instance, a mini league will be scrutinised, where goal difference is taken into account. And if that's level, goals scored, head-to-head and co-efficient are all pitted against each other. Got that?
The last competitive meeting between these two though, didn't end too well for the Germans. The final of Euro '92 in Sweden saw Denmark win 2-1, and secure their only major tournament trophy to date.
Germany meanwhile, looked imperious in their last game against Netherlands. Two superbly taken Mario Gomez goals gave them a 2-1 win over their bitter rivals, and has left them on six points; the only team to win their first two group games. And their record over Denmark isn't too shabby either: in 25 previous meetings, Die Mannschaft have won 14, drawn three and lost just eight.
It's first vs second in the Group of Death, but it's by no means a cosy affair between two certainties to go through. Everyone one in Group B can still qualify for the quarter-finals; and in the same breath, everyone can be on the next plane home. Motren Olsen's side were a tad unlucky not to get all three points in their last game against Portugal. Two Nicklas Bendtner headers looked to have got them a well-earned point. But a late Silvestre Varela goal broke Danish hearts, and has left them realistically needing a result tonight to go through.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Denmark vs Germany all the way from Lviv in Ukraine. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for today's crucial Group B clash.
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