Gomez double downs Dutch

Netherlands 1 Germany 2

Mario Gomez's first-half double sent Germany to the brink of the UEFA Euro 2012 knockout stages with a 2-1 win over Netherlands, whose own hopes of reaching the last eight now hang by a thread.

Gomez, who had scored the winner in Germany's opening win over Portugal, opened the scoring in the 24th minute and added his second in the 38th before Robin van Persie reduced the deficit 17 minutes from time.

The result means Germany need just a point from their final Group B game against Denmark to guarantee progression, while Netherlands need to beat Portugal and hope for both a Germany win and a swing in goal difference.

Bert van Marwijk's men had shaded the opening exchanges, with Van Persie shooting straight at Manuel Neuer as he sought to atone for a series of missed chances in the Dutch defeat to Denmark.

Mesut Ozil responded for Germany with a ninth minute volley which struck the base of Maarten Stekelenburg's left-hand post before the ball was gathered by the grateful Dutch keeper.

Arsenal ace Van Persie was looking lively but still lacking killer instinct, and another opportunity went begging when Ibrahim Afellay's cross towards the striker was crucially intercepted by Mats Hummels.

Gomez put Germany ahead in the 24th minute with an excellent finish after Bastian Schweinsteiger's through-ball cut the Dutch defence in two. Gomez turned and fired the opener low to Stekelenburg's right.

Arjen Robben slammed a long-range effort straight at Neuer as Dutch frustration began to tell, although they were secure in the knowledge they could not face elimination due to Portugal's earlier win over Denmark.

It was just as well, as the Germans continued to exploit glaring weaknesses in the Dutch defence, particularly down the right flank, and Holger Badstuber should have made it 2-0 in the 37th minute when he headed straight at Stekelenburg from point-blank range.,

But one minute later Germany did have their second from another move originating on the right, Schweinsteiger playing in Gomez who looked up and slammed an unstoppable shot across the keeper from a tight angle.

Germany almost made it 3-0 on the stroke of half-time when Schweinsteiger's free-kick struck Robben and looked set to loop into the top corner only to be brilliantly tipped over by Stekelenburg.

Van Marwijk introduced both Klaus-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart at the break but the Germans continued to press, with Hummels denied by Stekelenburg twice in a matter of seconds seven minutes after the re-start.

With the Dutch forced to push forward they also had chances with Robben seeing his drive deflected over by Philipp Lahm, then Robben crossing from the left to Van Persie whose powerful low drive was well saved by Neuer.

Netherlands came even closer to reducing the deficit in the 62nd minute when Wesley Sneijder left fly from outside the box and saw his drive flash inches wide of Neuer's left-hand post with the keeper beaten.

Another Schneijder effort was blocked in the box by Jerome Boateng with a suspicion of handball, before the Dutch pressure paid off with Van Persie finally breaking his Euro 2012 deadlock in style.

The striker turned and drifted across from the left flank before drilling a brilliant finish past Neuer from the edge of the box to give his side hope with 17 minutes of the match still to play.

The Dutch were suddenly dominant, with Van Persie having a penalty appeal waved away before Robben expressed his frustration at being substituted by exiting the pitch on the far side of the field in front of the Dutch fans.

But their push for an equaliser was almost undone in the 89th minute when Stekelenburg made a mighty hash of a back-pass and almost presented German substitute Miroslav Klose with the simplest of chances to wrap things up.

Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments