Divided Dutch face early Euro 2012 exit after Germany loss
Mario Gomez scores twice as Germany leave Netherlands rooted to the foot of Group B
Germany 2 Netherlands 1. World Cup finalists in 2010, the Netherlands are now on the brink of elimination from Euro 2012 at the group stage after defeat to their bitter rivals Germany.
Mario Gomez (pictured) scored both German goals as they beat the Dutch 2-1, leaving Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and co rooted to the bottom of Group B with no points.
The BBC outlined the situation for the Netherlands. "While the Germans just need a point from their last game to reach the last eight, the Dutch face a monumental task.
"They must beat Portugal on Sunday, hope Germany beat Denmark, and ensure they finish with a better goal difference than Portugal and the Danes."
Holland started brightly, knowing that they could not afford any more slip-ups after their shock defeat to Denmark in the opening game of their campaign. But Van Persie wasted a good early chance and midway through the first half they were made to pay when Gomez put Germany ahead with a cool finish past Maarten Stekelenburg after a precise move.
The German striker doubled his team's lead before half time to leave the Dutch with a mountain to climb.
Bert van Marwijk brought on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart in the second half but although Van Persie pulled one back after 73 minutes a second goal was beyond them.
The reaction of Arjen Robben to being substituted suggested all was not well in what The Guardian described as the "eternally fissiparous" Dutch camp. He vaulted the advertising hoardings on the far side of the pitch rather than run over to the bench.
"This time the divide seems to be between those enjoying the favour of Bert van Marwijk, the head coach, and those left to kick their heels on the bench," said the paper.
In the other game in Group B, Portugal sub Silvestre Varela dashed Denmark's hopes of a point. The Danes had gone 2-0 down inside 40 minutes, but Nicklas Bendtner scored twice to level the scores before Varela broke their hearts in the 87th minute.