Germany's Miroslav Klose embraces Lars Bender (bottom) as they celebrate after scoring a goal against Denmark during their Euro 2012 Group B soccer match at the new stadium in Lviv June 17, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Darren Staples)
With its victory of Denmark on Sunday, Germany became the only side to win all three of its group matches in the 2012 UEFA Euro Cup.
The 2-1 victory capped three straight wins for the Germans, who won the infamous "Group of Death" with nine points. They defeated Portugal 1-0, Netherlands 2-1, and Denmark 2-1. With a tie, the Germans would easily have claimed the top seed in the Group, but instead fought for a hard earned win.
Like Us on Facebook
The Germans came out ready to seize control with a few chances that came up short in the opening minutes. They would finally connect on a broken play in the 19th minute. The ball was thrown in from the sidelines to Thomas Muller who crossed the ball to Mario Gomez. Gomez could not shake off the Danish defenseman and tapped the ball behind him and toward the center of the penalty area. Fortunately, the Danish defense did not anticipate the play and Germany's Lukas Podolski ran in and blasted the ball into the Danish net to give the Germans a 1-0 win.
However, the Danes would not be so easily defeated and as was proven throughout this Euro Cup, they found a way to stay alive in the match. In the 24th minute, a corner kick found Nicklas Bendtner, who headed the shot toward the German goal. Michael Krohn-Dehli then redirected the shot with a header of his own into the back of the net to tie the game and return hope of a berth to the Danish. The goal was reminiscent of the double header this same pair of players pulled off against Portugal.
The contest remained tentative by both sides, but eventually Lars Bender found the back of the net in the 80th minute to give the Germans a victory.
The Germans dominated possession 57% to 43% and outshot Denmark 12-10. Both teams had six shots on target a piece.
This is the first time that Germany has ever won all of its group stage games in a Euro Cup. The Germans will now have a date with the Greeks who came off an impressive win over Russia and will look to repeat their surprising run from 2004 when they were crowned European champions. Germany is the heavy favorite in this match however. The contest will be played on Friday June 22.
Portugal also qualified for the second round from Group B with its victory over Netherlands and will face-off against the Czech Republic.
The match was the first ever competitive match between the two sides, since Denmark defeated Germany in the 1992 Euro Cup.