A labouring Dutch outfit fell two goals behind Germany by half-time thanks to a pair of lethal finishes from Mario Gomez, who took his tournament tally up to three, in their Group B encounter at the Metalist Stadium last night.
The Dutch though,did pulled one back through a breathtaking strike from Robin van Persie in the 73rd minute of play.
Although he got his name on the scoresheet, Van Persie’s woes in front of goal seemed set to continue, and were further highlighted on 24 minutes when his German counterpart Mario Gomez gave a lesson in clinical finishing.
Bastian Schweinsteiger’s through pass perfectly picked out the run of his Bayern Munich team-mate, whose exquisite turn allowed him the space to slot into the corner despite a slight touch by Stekelenburg. The in-from Munich striker doubled his tally of the match when he latched on to another fine pass from his Munich teammate,and this time lofted the ball over the keeper for an exquisite finish.
But as the second half wore on, Netherlands began to inch their way back towards contention. Robben sliced a volley off target, before Sneijder saw his shot blocked full on the face by Jerome Boateng.
With 73 minutes gone, they found a way back into the game. Van Persie took a pass on the edge of the box on the turn, and smashed an unstoppable shot with his weaker right foot past the despairing Neuer.
Robben was substituted to be replaced by Dirk Kuyt, and he appeared livid with the decision, throwing a look of disgust towards the bench before exiting at the opposite side of the pitch.
Netherlands’ hopes of advancing to the Euro 2012 quarter-finals are hanging by a thread after a 2-1 loss to the Germans,and are on the brink of elimination, depending on the Group’s other teams’ results of their final matches.