Germany beat Dutch‚ Portugal strike late
KIEV: Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 on Wednesday to move within touching distance of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals and Portugal kept their chances alive with a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Denmark.
Mario Gomez scored twice for Germany, taking his tally to three goals in two games and leaving the Dutch needing victory over Portugal in their last Group B match to have any chance of progressing.
They are also dependent on Germany beating Denmark. The Danes came back from 2-0 down against Portugal thanks to two close-range headers by Nicklas Bendtner, before substitute Silvestre Varela smashed in the 87th-minute winner.
Germany have six points from two games, Denmark and Portugal have three and the Netherlands none.
Off the pitch, tension was growing between Russia and co-hosts Poland over fighting in which police fired rubber bullets and tear gas and detained 184 people before the countries' Group A match in Warsaw on Tuesday.
The Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin had told Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk by telephone that Warsaw bore "full responsibility" for fans' safety and Russia's Foreign Ministry accused Polish fans of provoking the violence.
Ukraine, co-hosting the month-long tournament with Poland, also faced controversy when Germany's foreign minister urged fans not to forget the plight of the former Soviet republic's jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.
"I hope that amid all the enthusiasm focused on the leather ball, the destiny of Yulia Tymoshenko and of all other Ukrainian opposition activists sitting in jail will not be forgotten," the minister, Guido Westerwelle, said.
Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year sentence in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv where Germany played the Netherlands. Like some other European Union countries, Germany is boycotting matches in Ukraine in protest at a case they say is politically motivated.
DUTCH FACE EXIT
Gomez fired the Germans into a 24th-minute lead after turning in the area and firing past keeper Maarten Stekelenburg following a superb Bastian Schweinsteiger pass.
The pair combined again 14 minutes later, with Gomez scoring from a narrow angle on the right before Robin Van Persie cut the deficit with a sweet right-foot shot 17 minutes from time for his team's first goal of the tournament.
Portugal went ahead in Lviv when defender Pepe lost his marker from a corner by Joao Moutinho and headed powerfully past Danish goalkeeper Stephan Andersen.
Portugal doubled their lead in the 36th minute when striker Helder Postiga got in front of defender Simon Kjaer and shot past Anderson from close range after a pass by Nani.
But it looked initially like Portugal, beaten 1-0 by Germany in their opening match, had let the Danes off the hook.
Bendtner scored from almost on the goalline in the 41st minute after Michael Krohn-Dehli looped a header over keeper Rui Patricio, and he nodded powerfully home in the 80th minute.
But three minutes after coming off the bench, Varela took full advantage when he was given time and space and scored from eight meters at the second attempt after fluffing his first shot.
<< previous||next >>
"Their equalizer was unfair at that stage of the matc