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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Euro 2012 Day Six Round Up - Varela Rescues Portugal, Holland on the Brink

Manuel Neuer leaves Van Persie flat-footed
One of the bookmakers’ favourites to win the 2012 European Championships, Germany, all but sealed their qualification to the quarter-finals with an emphatic 2-0 win over Holland. 

Mario Gomez’s first half double gave Joachim Low’s side their second straight win in the competition but which put Bert van Marwijk’s men on the brink of elimination.

Robin Van Persie opened his and the Dutch’s account in Euro 2012 with a consolation goal in the 73rd minute but it was too little too late as the Oranje crashed to a 2-1 defeat, their second in as many matches after falling 1-0 to Denmark in the opening match.

Meanwhile, Silvestre Varela spared Portugal the blushes of an early exit from the competition with a late winner against Denmark. With 86 minutes on the clock, the two teams were drawing 2-2 with Pepe and Helder Postiga on target for A Seleccao and Nicklas Bendtner with a double for the Danes.

With time running out, both teams went all out for the winner but it was Varela who nicked it for the Euro 2004 losing finalists. Connecting to Fabio Coentrao’s cross from the left flank, the FC Porto winger, who had come in as a substitute, miscued his first shot with his left foot. The Danes were nowhere near to close him up though and he swiftly hit a stunning half volley, this time with his right foot past Stephan Andersen between the Danish goalposts. 

The win secured Portugal all the three points, but most importantly ensured they still have a say in Group B.

The next round of Group B matches will be played this Sunday the 17th with Holland needing a win against Portugal and hoping that Germany beat Denmark to qualify for the knockout stages. 

Day Seven of the Championships takes place Thursday June 14. Defending champions Spain takes on Ireland in a must-win encounter if they are to put their campaign back on the right track after the 1-1 draw with Italy in the first match. The other Group C encounter will see the Italians clash with group leaders Croatia who will seal their qualification with a win.

You can catch all the scores and updates from Day 7 here. 

My Predictions

Spain 3-1 Ireland

Italy 2-1 Croatia

And That's thesteifmastertake!!