Sunday, 17 June 2012

Games 19 & 20: Group B deciders

This promised to be an absolute feast of footy, and it delivered. Fully set up with multiscreen simul-watching, I sat down to this convinced that Holland and Germany would prevail. And so it seemed to be, when both took early leads, Podolski smashing home for Germany and Van der Vaart with a goal of the tournament contender for the Dutch.

But then things went weird. The Portuguese woke up, Ronaldo in particular seemed to suddenly realise that he was drifting aimlessly through the tournament and suddenly sparked to life - full of energy and life and much more composure. He equalised just as Denmark did likewise (Krone-Delhi nodding home from Bendtner's towering header.

When Portugal scored again (Ronaldo) there emerged the ridiculous possibility that the Germans could be knocked out entirely with just one more Danish goal. It was a very real prospect for 5-10 minutes until the Germans squashed the possibility as only they could, with the ludicrously named Bender poking home to make things safe and see the Germans come through the group of death with a stunning maximum nine point haul. They truly are something else.

So Holland, like Russia have blown it; only far more ingloriously.

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