Germany top Group B after winning all Euro 2012 matches

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Germany advanced to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 on Sunday as defender Lars Bender scored his first international goal to seal their 2-1 win over Denmark which put the Danes out.

After Portugal’s 2-1 win over Holland in Kharkiv, another three points at Arena Lviv confirmed Germany as Group B winners with three victories while Portugal progress as runners-up from the so-called “Group of Death”.

The Germans will now play Friday’s quarter-final against Group A runners-up Greece in Gdansk, their Euro 2012 base, while Portugal will play the Group A winners the Czech Republic in Warsaw on Thursday.

Lukas Podolski, who was making his 100th appearance for Germany, celebrated his century with the opening goal on 19 minutes which was cancelled out by a Michael Krohn-Dehli header just five minutes later before Bender’s late winner.

Having made his debut in the 2-2 friendly draw with Poland last September, the 23-year-old Bender was making only his ninth appearance for Germany.

Both coaches made only essential changes to their start line-ups.

Germany’s Joachim Loew opted for Bayer Leverkusen’s Bender at right-back for Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, who was suspended after picking up a yellow card in their 2-1 win over Holland last Wednesday.

Likewise, Denmark’s Morten Olsen brought Jakob Poulsen into the midfield for veteran forward Dennis Rommedahl, who damaged his hamstring in their 3-2 defeat to Portugal.

The Germans started at pace and only a superb block by Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen from a Thomas Mueller low drive on six minutes denied the Germans.

Germany got the break through when Mueller fired his pass across the Denmark goal and Gomez let the ball roll for man-of-the-match Podolski to drill his shot home on for his 44th international goal.

The Germans held the lead for five minutes before Bendtner headed back from a corner and Krohn-Dehli, who also scored in the Danes’ shock 1-0 win over Holland, got his head to the ball before the German defence.

It was 1-1 at the break, but midfielder Jakub Poulson, in for hamstring injury-victim Rommedahl, clipped the post with his shot on 51 minutes.

The game’s tempo dropped noticeably in the second-half with Germany’s midfield star Mesut Ozil looking flat as the Danish defenders constantly thwarted the Germans.

Podolski was brought off with 25 minutes left as Leverkusen’s Andre Schuerrle was given his chance and he soon tested Andersen with a shot.

With ten minutes to go, Germany counter-attacked at pace and Ozil squared for the grateful Bender to score his first international goal and the right-back calmly slotted past Andersen to seal victory.

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