A first-half double from Mario Gomez all but assured Germany’s place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 and left Netherlands on the brink of elimination at the group stages.
Burt Van Marwijk’s side suffered a shock opening game defeat against Denmark on Saturday night, and now sit bottom of Group B after Robin Van Persie’s strike served as nothing but a consolation.
Following Portugal’s 3-2 victory over the Danish earlier in the day, both sides were well aware of the implications of tonight's clash in Kharkiv.
Holland started well, but it wasn’t to last, with Joachim Loew’s men gradually coming into the game and finding holes in the opposition’s defence.
Van Persie fired straight at Manuel Neuer with an early chance, but Gomez made no mistake with his first opportunity on 24 minutes, with the Bayern Munich striker turning on Bastian Schweinsteiger’s through-ball and firing past Maarten Stekelenburg.
14 minutes later, the lead was doubled when the same duo combined and Gomez fired high into the far right corner across the despairing Roma keeper.
A double change gave the Dutch a chance in the second-half, with Rafael Van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar introduced in an effort to get back in the game.
Germany remained in control for large spells though, and Mats Hummels had the best chance to add the killer third after a long run from defence through a tiring back line. He couldn't beat the keeper, however.
Long-range efforts from Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder suggested the Oranje were getting back into the game, and the Arsenal striker sparked the game back into life on 73 minutes with a wonderful right-foot strike past Neuer.
Opportunities were at a premium after that though, and it was Germany who came closest to scoring again after substitute Miroslav Klose blocked a Stekelenburg clearance, only for the ball to dribble wide.
Victory means Germany need just a point against Denmark to finish top of ‘the group of death’, whilst Holland need a win by two goals or more and things to go their way to stand a chance of progressing.
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