Thu, 14 Jun 2012 07:42:03 GMT | By AP

Germany put the Netherlands on the brink

Kharkiv: : Mario Gomez left the Netherlands on the brink of elimination from the European Championship, scoring both goals in Germany's 2-1 win Wednesday over one of its historic rivals.

Germany put the Netherlands on the brink

Gomez scored both in the first half of one of the most anticipated showdowns of the tournament.

Robin van Persie pulled one back for the Netherlands in the second half but the defeat leaves the 2010 World Cup runner-up dangerously close to going home.

"Early on we had decent chances but the German goals came out of nowhere,'' Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said. "We defended badly. Our offense and defense did not connect.

"Germany really has an excellent team. It has power, creativity and scoring.''

Germany, a three-time European champion, has six points from two wins but is still not sure of advancing from Group B, where three teams could end up with six points. Earlier, Portugal beat Denmark 3-2.

"We've taken a major step and opened the door to the quarterfinals,'' Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "Now we have our destiny in our own hands against Denmark.''

The Netherlands, along with Germany considered one of the favorites but drawn into a tough group, now has lost both group games and needs to beat Portugal to have a hope. Germany will need only a draw against Denmark to win the group.
The time just wouldn't pass, it remained standing (at the end of match),'' said Gomez, who also scored the only goal in Germany's opening 1-0 win over Portugal. "They were pressing. It was close until the end but with Manuel Neuer in goal we can be a bit more relaxed.

"The expectations were great from our team even before the tournament and we've won six points against two classy teams, but it's a long way to the final.''