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Gomez double sees Germany beat Dutch

By Stuart Roach, CNN
June 14, 2012 -- Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)
Germany striker Mario Gomez is congratulated by midfielder Mesut Oezil after scoring the first of his two goals
Germany striker Mario Gomez is congratulated by midfielder Mesut Oezil after scoring the first of his two goals
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Germany beat Netherlands 2-0 in latest renewal of one of football's great rivalries
  • Mario Gomez scores twice to take his tournament tally to three goals
  • Portugal seal 3-2 win over Denmark in Group B
  • Substitute Silvestre Varela hits stunning late winner after Nicklas Bendtner double

(CNN) -- Germany inflicted a second successive Euro 2012 defeat on the Netherlands when one of football's great rivalries was renewed on Wednesday.

These two nations have a fierce history, punctuated by on-field battles that the legendary German captain Franz Beckenbauer claimed had cost him "years of my life."

This latest encounter was no classic, largely because Joachim Low's Germany dominated for the vast majority.

Two superb first-half goals from Mario Gomez took his tally for the tournament to three and put the Germans in complete control.

Robin Van Persie pulled a goal back as Netherlands improved in the second half, but Germany comfortably held on for a second successive victory at this tournament.

Portugal's earlier last-gasp win over Denmark means that nothing is yet decided in Group B. However, Germany need only a point against Denmark to reach the quarterfinals, while the Netherlands need something of a miracle to progress.

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Netherlands 1-2 Germany

Striker Gomez scored two stunning goals to earn Germany a deserved win and heighten expectation that Low's side can win this European Championship.

The Germans took control of a crucial game when Gomez brilliantly collected Bastian Schweinsteiger's pass and spun to slide home a clinical finish.

It was 2-0 before the break as Gomez scored an even better goal. Again Schweinsteiger was the provider, his pass allowing Bayern Munich clubmate Gomez to escape rookie defender Jetro Willems and fire across goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and into the far corner for his 14th goal in his last 16 international games.

The Dutch were, briefly, ranked the number one team in the world as recently as August but they looked a poor imitation of the side that reached the World Cup final in South Africa two years ago.

But a game between the two highest scoring teams in the qualifying campaign was always set to see goals and Van Persie's brilliant strike 17 minutes from time breathed life into an ailing game.

The Arsenal striker's touch had previously deserted him at this tournament, but he suddenly looked deadly as he spun away from Sami Khedira and smashed a superb shot past Manuel Neuer with his weaker right foot.

Germany's young side suddenly looked vulnerable, but limited the Dutch to long-range efforts that failed to trouble Neuer again.

Portugal 3-2 Denmark

Substitute Silvestre Varela rescued Portugal with a stunning late winner to give Paulo Bento's side real hope of reaching the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.

Forward Nicklas Bendtner appeared to have denied Portugal a crucial victory as he struck twice to wipe out a 2-0 lead.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a glorious chance to restore Portugal's advantage but substitute Varela had the final say with a remarkable winner.

Fabio Coentrao's left-wing cross invited a volley but Varela swung wildly with his left foot and completely missed, only to spin and smash home the loose ball with his right.

It was a remarkable finish to a remarkable game and it left Portugal and Denmark locked together on three points each after two Group B games.

Bento's side urgently needed a win after losing their opening game to Germany, one of the tournament favorites, and they swept into a two-goal lead to take control of the tie.

Real Madrid defender Pepe, who had hit the bar against Germany, had a change of luck to open the scoring, timing his run to perfection to flick home a near-post header from Joao Moutinho's corner.

Striker Helder Postiga doubled the lead when he steered home Nani's low center, but Bendtner's close-range header gave Denmark hope before halftime.

The Arsenal striker pounced again 10 minutes from time when he headed home Lars Jacobsen's cross -- his sixth international goal in just five appearances against Portugal.

Those are the sort of statistics more usually associated with Ronaldo, but the Portugal captain had an off-day, missing two clear chances before substitute Varela spared his blushes.

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