Low expected tough test
Germany boss Joachim Low said he was unsurprised that Denmark had frustrated his team after securing a late 2-1 victory.
Germany maintained their 100% record to finish top of Group B, but with ten minutes remaining they had been drawing 1-1 in their final game and, had the Danes scored a winner, Low’s men would have exited the tournament.
Nonetheless, they finally made their dominance count in the 80th minute through Lars Bender and Low was just pleased to have secured the three points.
“We knew it would be a difficult game and we had said that before the game,” he told the post-match press conference. “They put men behind the ball and defended."
He added: “I had a plan. Of course I had considered what would have happened if Denmark had in some way suddenly scored a goal but I never had that feeling. I was pretty relaxed because it doesn't get you anywhere when you panic. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira were always in control and I just had the feeling we would score.
“Denmark played with a stoic calmness and it seemed like they could not care less. I never had the feeling that Denmark were playing to win it. They wanted to keep the result, were happy with the draw and then maybe they would get a free-kick or corner that they could take advantage of, but they did not attack much.
“They sat back a lot, even though they had to win. They had one or two good chances, but no more than that, and I think in the second half we did a decent job given the pressure. Maybe had we played Holland or Portugal (in the final group game), they would have done more for a win than Denmark did.”
Lukas Podolski, making his 100th Germany appearance, scored the opening goal of the game and said he was delighted the team had booked their place in the quarter-finals, where they will play Group A runners-up Greece.
“I am happy to have scored on my 100th appearance,” Podolski said. “It is great that we’ve qualified for the quarter-finals. Now we have to play Greece, and they are specialists at battling for results. I think it will be difficult, just as it was against Denmark today.”