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Posted at 02:28 PM ET, 06/12/2012

Euro 2012: Germany defeats Netherlands, 2-1, take step closer to quarterfinals in muddled Group B

Germany took one giant step toward advancing to the quarterfinals of the European Championships on Wednesday with a 2-1 defeat of the Netherlands.

The Dutch, meanwhile, are not yet eliminated but need help to become the first-ever team to emerge from the group stage after losing its first two games. They will be part of a scrum along with their final game opponent, Portugal, which defeated Denmark earlier today.

The Netherlands opened the game showing pace and energy, but it was Germany that struck first. A fantastic through ball by Bastian Schweinsteiger released Mario Gomez, who spun on the turn and slotted the ball to his left to give the Germans a 1-0 lead.

Gomez then scored his third goal of the tournament on his third shot in two games in the 38th minute to double the lead. Once again it was Schweinsteiger pulling the strings, playing Gomez in on the right side, and his finish soared easily over Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who committed to the ground too early.

Robin Van Persie, who had challenged German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer earlier in the second half, pulled the Netherlands to within 2-1 in the 73rd minute, striding toward the middle of the field and burying a shot to the lower right corner.

But Germany held on, displaying a confidence that surely has them mentioned among the favorites to take the tournament. With the possibility of a three-way tie atop Group B, Germany (six points) has not yet advanced out of the group of death.

Earlier today, Portugal (three points) picked up its first win with a 3-2 result over Denmark (three points). A muddled group will be sorted on Sunday.


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By  |  02:28 PM ET, 06/12/2012

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