Dutch out to down Germany at Euro 2012
By Ryland James | AFP – Holland take on Germany in Wednesday’s Group B key clash with the World Cup finalists knowing another defeat could threaten an early exit from Euro 2012 following their shock loss to Denmark.
In one of the key matches of the group stages, the Dutch have to pick themselves up from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to the Danes as Michael Krohn-Dehli’s first-half strike decided a match the Dutch had largely dominated.
Bert van Marwijk’s team now have to beat both Germany at Kharkiv’s Metalist Stadium, then Portugal on Sunday to be sure of qualifying from the pool, which has been dubbed ‘The Group of Death’.
“We have to win (the remaining two games). We have no other choice,” said Dutch captain Mark van Bommel.
After wasting a string of chances against Denmark, the mis-firing Dutch have vowed to put that right in what promises to be a heated contest with daytime temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) forecast in Kharkiv.
However, all does not appear to be well in the Dutch camp with reports that several players including last season’s Bundesliga leading scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart are in dispute with coach Bert van Marwijk.
Huntelaar has already expressed his anger at Robin van Persie being selected ahead of him for the Denmark match and pointedly he was the only player who did not face the domestic press on Monday.
However, Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder said that there was nothing to be read into the reports of disunity.
“It is not obligatory that we should all be friends in order to play together and win games.
“And I don’t have the impression that there are clans, or small cliques that are opposing each other.
“If that was the case I would react, because I am here to become champion of Europe.”
While the Dutch will be fighting for survival, Germany arrive in Ukraine knowing another win will put them in the quarter-finals following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Portugal.
“Clearly, the challenge is huge for the Netherlands,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew.
“When you’ve lost the first game, you can no longer afford another defeat.
“They allowed themselves to be rushed against Denmark and they will not let that happen again.”
The Germans have a habit of crashing to defeat in their second game at major tournaments, despite starting with an impressive win, and team manager Oliver Bierhoff has said they must break the habitual second-game slump.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, having opened with a 4-0 rout of Australia, Germany crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat to Serbia, five days later.
Likewise, at Euro 2008, an impressive 2-0 victory over Poland was backed up by a shock 2-1 defeat to Croatia en route to the final and Bierhoff is hoping his team will brush off the second-game slump to beat the Dutch.
“I hope that after the second game this time it will be different and that we come out as winners,” Bierhoff told reporters before the team’s departure.
Having hammered Holland 3-0 in Hamburg in a friendly last November, when both teams were missing several first-choice players, Bierhoff said any assumptions of a repeat result in Kharkiv would be ‘crazy’.
“It was a good yardstick at the time and a great game for us, but that was a different Dutch team to the one we’ll face,” said Bierhoff.
“This is a tournament situation and we would be crazy to think the game will go the same way.
“It will be much harder, they were missing a few players and the Dutch will be stronger.
“If everything comes together for us we can win this game. We have said we want to beat the Dutch and that has not changed.”
Germany play their final group game against Denmark in Lviv on Sunday, the same day Holland play Portugal again in Kharkiv.
Published Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 | 12:02 AM