The German national team fought to a 2-1 victory over Denmark today, topping Group B with a perfect record of 3 wins in 3 matches. There were a few nervous moments, as Denmark played well and didn't give anything away, but a second half goal from Lars Bender led Germany to the win. Along with Portugal's win over Netherlands, this result sets the left side of the bracket after 10 days of play.
It wasn't a vintage performance from Die Nationalelf, as a few chances were missed and Denmark did enough to worry us. There were at least 2 Danish chances in the second half that could have put us down by a goal. But, unlike the ESPN announcers, I don't think it was a terrible performance; really, it was just a good defensive performance from Denmark and a couple of mistakes from our midfield that kept it close.
Podolski, who came in for some criticism over the past 2 games (including form me) got the party started in the first half:
I guess we'll be generous and say Gomez deliberately let that one through. Either way, it put Germany in a good frame of mind. But a few minutes later, Denmark answered from a set piece to level the match at a goal apiece. And Portugal's second goal meant that Germany was on the knife's edge: another Denmark goal would have sent us home. It wasn't until late in the second half when Bender put the match away:
The TV guys were making a big deal of Badstuber's foul that wasn't called. And it did look like he got a piece of the shirt. But, Müller had a run through a long ball in the area that was stopped by a cynical shoulder-check only 2 minutes later. And I don't hear anyone complaining about that.
With the result, Germany will take on Greece in the quarter-final. Before that, though, Groups C and D still have to clean everything up. Also, I think (even with a couple days left) Germany is the only side to get a perfect 9 points from the group stage. So maybe everyone on TV should quiet down about Germany's "slow" and "disjointed" performance.
Back with more later. Thanks for reading.