Holland 1-2 Germany – Match Review
Germany continued their perfect start to the tournament with an impressive win in Kharkiv, against a Dutch team who are now in serious danger of elimination
Germany started the game well and when Mario Gomez scored his second and third goal of the tournament before half time to give the Germans a 2 goal lead, the game looked as good as over for the Dutch.
Offensive changes were made by Van Marwijk during the break but this did not stop Germany controlling much of the game at the start of the half. With around a quarter of the game remaining and everything to play for, the Dutch started to press and finally 15 minutes from time, Robin Van Persie introduced himself to the tournament in style to reduce the deficit to a single goal. The game finished 2-1 in a highly enthralling encounter between two European heavyweights.
The most anticipated game of the tournament thus far got underway in Kharkiv, as Holland and Germany both started brightly. A Robin Van Persie shot was saved easily by ‘keeper Neuer early on, before an ambitious volley from Özil at the other end hit the post with 9 minutes gone. Germany settle into the game well and took the lead on 24 minutes through Mario Gomez. Schweinsteiger received the ball in the centre of the park before passing a brilliant defence splitting ball to Gomez. the striker turn on the ball and shot past a helpless Stekelenburg. The Bayern man was on fine form and it did not take him long to double his personal tally.
On 38 minutes, the same player combination linked up again for Germany as Schweinsteiger knocked another deadly ball into the feet of Gomez. The hotly rated striker dribbled into the box before unleashing a vicious shot into the far right of the net. As the half-time whistle blew, Holland were shellshocked and were running the risk of being eliminated early from a tournament that many expected them to win.
Bert Van Marwijk rang the changes at half-time, clearly eager to claim some points from the game. Mark van Bommel and Ibrahim Afellay departed and were replaced by Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Rafael Van der Vaart. Despite their offensive substitutions, the second half started similarly to the first, with Germany controlling the possession and creating the chances. Centre back Mats Hummels nearly made the score 3-0 but his shot and rebound were well saved by Stekelenburg.
It took 60 minutes before the Dutch really asserted themselves on the game. A long shot by Robben was blocked and a chance for Van Persie was well saved by Neuer. Finally on 74 minutes, the star man for the Dutch gave them a lifeline. Robin Van Persie ran the ball forward and cut in from the right hand side, before unleashing a fierce drive with his least favoured foot past Neuer and into the right hand corner. It was a classic goal from Van Persie and created a tense finish to the match.
Although, the Dutch had some minor chances towards the end of the game, Germany were disciplined and organised enough to eat up the remaining time. The final whistle blew and Germany claimed another 3 points and look set to qualify as winners of Group B. Holland are now in a dire state, relying on other results to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the latter stages.