• FT

    Denmark

    2

    Portugal

    3

  • FT

    Netherlands

    1

    Germany

    2

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Metalist Stadium, Ukraine

Attendance: 38633

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Netherlands

  • Robin Van Persie 73'

1 - 2

FT

Germany

  • Mario Gomez 24'
  • Mario Gomez 38'
Watch Live on: ESPN, ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thanks for nothing, Holland.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: We are. That will help.

  •  

    James Tyler: Hey now... we're splitting the doubleheader, aren't we?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thanks, JT.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Provided I haven't given up on life.

  •  

    James Tyler: And thanks to Roger, our Stats team, and Ravi in Kharkiv

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And do come back tomorrow for a double-header, narrated by little me.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Netherland could advance if they beat Portugal by 2+ goals and Germany beats Denmark

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks, Leander!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Thanks for joining us!

  •  

    James Tyler: So I believe the Dutch must beat Portugal by more than two goals and hope Denmark loses to Germany.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Alright, folks. I've gotta run and write a column off this. Check back for that and Ravi's thoughts on this game in the coming hours on ESPNFC.com.

  •  

    [Comment from Nate]
    Holland isn't dead yet...

  •  

    [Comment from Brett]
    I did :(

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    ...me. D:

  •  

    James Tyler: Not I, Rog. But then again, I arguably know better.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Didn't you say they were going to win it, Rog?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: WHO HAD HOLLAND IN THEIR BRACKET ALL THE WAY TO THE FINAL?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Bother.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm speechless. Listless Netherlands close to being the first victims in Group B.

  •  

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: The Netherlands have now lost back-to-back internationals for the first time since 1998 World Cup

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Final whistle.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Khedira wins it, Germany on the ball.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Klose getting ready for a Germany Poland showdown

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Stekelenburg smashes it upfield.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Seconds remaining.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Goal kick.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben and van Bommel look disconsolate.

  •  

    James Tyler: Germans with a lesson in clock-sapping composure.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 30 seconds.

  •  

    James Tyler: Get the ball HUPFIELD!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Weak clearance from Willems.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: If you have ever seen Oliver Twist and witnessed the Fagin pickpocket scenes you have the gist

  •  

    James Tyler: HUP HOLLAND HUP

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Final minute here.

  •  

    James Tyler: It is, Leander. We're on the school's version of Mount Rushmore.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Kuyt has only scored 1 goal past the 92nd minute

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That school must be proud.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Tyler. I walked into that one.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Mueller now off for Lars Bender.

  •  

    James Tyler: We're fine, Leander. We went to the same school. Small world!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 91st minute. Two minutes of added time left.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Easy on the Scouse-on-Scouse violence, guys.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Willems gets a long-overdue yellow.

  •  

    James Tyler: Most against Everton, right Rog?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder appears hurt, somehow, he was just fitted with a wrap on his right hamstring.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Kuyt has a history of late, great, clutch goals

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 90th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: He took his time clearing a ball and Klose almost took it off him!

  •  

    James Tyler: Almost a Stekelenfrango...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Oh dear! Stekelenburg almost gifts Klose a goal!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Germany regains the ball.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: De Jong wins ball, lets himself be fouled.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Taken short. Tapped around.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Germany with the corner.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Dumb*ss.

  •  

    James Tyler: Before this one wraps, I'll note that we're hosting TWO live chats tomorrow: Italy v. Croatia beginning at 11.30am ET, and then Spain v. Ireland beginning at 2.15pm ET

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: He misses his next match.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Boateng gets a yellow for taking about a week to take his throwin.

  •  

    [Comment from Kevin (NY)]
    tick tock tick tock

  •  

    [Comment from TottBot]
    We need a Van Bronckhorst special!

  •  

    [Comment from ToddInTheShadows]
    Statsie is feeling optimistic: Also a good sign.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: The Netherlands scored 4 goals after the 86th minute in qualifiers

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 86th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van der Vaart tries from afar but bounces it wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Dutch circulating ball now.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    That was a precision nerve strike, Leander. Schweinsteiger is lucky to be able to walk after that!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 85th minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Germany doing their damnedest to take the speed out of this game and the sting out of a revived Holland.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben is annoyed, taking off jersey, walking all the way around pitch.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 83rd minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben is off for Kuyt.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Schweinsteiger writhes around in unbearable agony after getting a little slap to the neck from Huntelaar.

  •  

    [Comment from Paul]
    Tired but smart legs. Keep them out there.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A long season of never finishing games, though.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Phenomenal shift by Ozil. Had a long, long season with Real. Those are some tired legs.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ozil is off for Kroos. 81 minutes gone.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    De Jong gets a yellow card. The Dutch are definitely focused.

  •  

    [Comment from JA]
    Cannot underestimate how key that goal could end up being in terms of GD.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: De Jong turns over Lahm and incurs a yellow.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: van Persie scored 1 goal with his right foot and 5 with his left in the qualifying stage of this tournament

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Persie took a fancy tumble in the box, but the ref was rightly unconvinced.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder into van Persie in the box, who can't worm his way through traffic.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Getting a lot of comments about Ozil. Total character. if you have not seen this commercial, you should http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVsxBrO-NmI

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Robin Van Persie / somehow scored with his right foot / Will the Duttch come back?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 77 minutes gone.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Huntelaar and van Persie try to pry open some room but lose the ball.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Suddenly they appear confident and, well, competent.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The narrative of this game, of this tournament, has been turned upside down for the Netherlands.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch are lifeless no longer.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ozil combines his way into the box, de Jong stuck with him and tackled him well and... cleanly! No penalty.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Just like my NY Jets. Build me up, just to make the let down worse.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Hummels did really well to clear away in front of van Persie in the box.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: But van Persie is knocked off the ball.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Important goal. Means that Shaqeel van Persie will not drop his last name to further his career. going to be a magic last 15

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Holland break out again!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder into van Persie, takes three strides across the field and smashes it into the far low corner from just outside the box!

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: What's that they say about two-goal leads?

  •  

    James Tyler: Woof. Vintage RvP.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: With his right foot, of all limbs!

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    WELLL HELLO THERE!!!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Persie for Holland!!!

  •  

    [Comment from Kevin]
    Sensational from RVP. What a strike

  •  

    [Comment from DW]
    here we go!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL!

  •  

    James Tyler: Great shift by Mario Gomez. Had to wait a long time to really get a run in the German side -- Klose favored in 2010 WC -- but has been coldly efficient today.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Gomez is off for Miro Klose.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Didn't use his arm, guys. It definitely got him in the ribs.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Corner is cleared and Germany breaks out. Barely able to stop it are the Dutch.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Just trying to get you all foaming at the mouth

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Boateng doing a Steven Taylor, me thinks, and pretends he's hurt to take away from the fact he used his arm.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: No, it was to his side.

  •  

    James Tyler: Heroic block by Boateng, there.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Hit Boateng right in the kidney. He's down for a bit.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: penalty that

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Finally! Some life!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben with a lovely run, square ball to Sneijder, whose shot is blocked by Boateng!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Have learned to wear shatter-proof glasses from previous tournaments. And have been pretty negative any time I've been asked for a prediction, thankfully.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Leander: Was this a punch you saw coming? did you even have time to take off your glasses?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Gomez with a chance from a tough angle, slides it wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: McManaman, on song: "van Marwijk is looking like a disheartened traffic warden, waving his arms."

  •  

    James Tyler: Sneijder's trying his best.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben in the box, but slides it wide. Nice service by Sneijder.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 69th minute of misery.

  •  

    [Comment from James]
    Both...Netherlands is playing terrible, but I can't see anyone outside Spain beating Germany

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Could be worth putting on Kuyt, just to have somebody who actually cares.

  •  

    [Comment from oranje]
    I can't believe I'm asking this but who should the Dutch bring on as a sub for Robben? Kuyt?

  •  

    [Comment from Jwalk]
    Sneijder atleast shows he cares the rest look ready to go to a beach

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder is getting seriously riled up here, winning the ball off Khedira, who sort of tumbled over, getting called for the foul and then barking at the ref.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sneijder letting the Red Mist descend slowly

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Netherlands comes in at 5th with attack rating 2.6 and defense rating .7

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Currently SPI ranks Germany as #1 with an attack rating of 2.9 and a defense rating of .7

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Dutch Shocker. I mean Portugal did hold up against Germany, and I still feel like a team like Spain could beat Germany.

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    Willems: "If you can't stop them, hurt them!"

  •  

    [Comment from Mista]
    This is just embarrassing... So much talent and this is what you produce? I'm disgusted.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Hopeless Dutch cross cleared. Sneijder ball to van Persie finds him in too much traffic to do anything with it.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Question. How good are Germany? Or is this just a Dutch shocker?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: De Jong with a little extra (as usual) when he attempted to brush aside Ozil.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ozil's delivery is cleared.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ozil bounds through the Dutch half, Mueller wins a corner off Willems.

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    How bad is it when you need De Jong to change the tempo?

  •  

    James Tyler: I agree, Leander. Let's see the Dutch start taking out German players. If they're sinking, bring 'em all down too!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Macca sounds a little bored. Would love it if the Dutch scored, just for his benefit

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder with a good shot, but it sails wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Playground stuff now.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Khedira and Gomez tap it back and forth into the Dutch box. Khedira combines with Gomez, but can't get to his lob.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I wouldn't mind some vicarious kicks right now.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: McManaman: "At least somebody try to go kick him or something, just to change the tempo of the game."

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 60 minutes gone.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Leander, the Netherlands are winning the possession battle. So according to Barcelona, they're winning the game!

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    I'm waiting on Robben to steal the ball from a teammate

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ahead of the next game, even, Rog.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    So the dutch have decided not to move when Germany has the ball, just watch the ball

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This campaign should make it ok to dust off all the old Dutch "ego-driven, argument prone, arrogant" cliches ahead of next World Cup then...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Then Lahm ventures in for a shot, but Heitinga blocks it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arjen Robben has apparently eaten the Rubik's Cube.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Germany picking the wings off the Dutch fly now, just tapping it around, showing off the acres of space they can create.

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    JT. If one of those men (Robben) keeps throwing the Cube across the room.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Leander, this is your doctor... your test results came back.

  •  

    James Tyler: This is absurd. Like watching 11 men trying to co-solve a Rubik's Cube.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ozil, at the other hand, hits a cross into box, Willems deflects it, seemingly with his arm, but it's all harmless.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben with a good run up the left, cross to van Persie whose strong shot was pushed wide by Neuer.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I blew a raspberry as they took that corner. Getting petulant now. And my laptop screen is wet. Could this day get any worse?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Headed over by Mathijsen.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder to take it.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: In the qualifying stage Germany allowed 6 goals, 4 of which occured past the 56' mark

  •  

    James Tyler: Arjen Robben: why pass or cross when a hopeful, likely-off-target shot from long range would do?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben's shot is deflected for a corner.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Podolski has ball in box but, attempting to pull of two pirouettes before shooting, gets a bit dizzy and plays it back to Ozil, who is offside.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    This is dire, most of the time everyone is walking

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Huntelaar chases down a ball and gives German defense some trouble, but Neuer cleans it up.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder nice ball to Huntelaar, who loses it. And back in the Dutch half.

  •  

    [Comment from J.C.]
    If the Germans get another, can Nigel de Jong treat us all to one of those flying karate kicks (like in the WC Final)?

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Darke "It's like the parting of the orange sea"

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Oh, there it goes.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch can't even seem to get the ball out of their own half at the moment.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Yeah, it was Hummels - the rest of us are as shocked as you

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Twice did Hummels -- I believe -- come through the middle of the box and get a shot off.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This is like watching a bar fight between a have-a-go hero and a professional boxer

  •  

    James Tyler: Stekelenburg has earned his pay today.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Stekelenburg with a double save!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Portugal win, Ronaldo not so much. game report
    http://espnfc.com/us/en/news/1099242/bennettronaldo-struggles-portugal-wins-.html

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Well, yes, there's that.

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Leander, there haven't been any fat streakers wearing only orange bodypaint yet...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 40 minutes until Holland's humiliation is complete.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: VDV then takes down Mueller.

  •  

    James Tyler: 'Twas a joke, Steven.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van der Vaart with a nice ball wide to Sneijder, but his cross is caught out.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Holland can't play a 4-4-2. You dont expect VDV to go out wide do you? Cause we will hear his complaining from here if he is forced to.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Huntelaar leads Netherlands with 19 shots on goal in the second half this Euro campaign

  •  

    [Comment from Mista]
    Made a meal of it though.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Did give him a bit of an elbowing.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: No one gives words more menacingly than Jonny Heitinga

  •  

    James Tyler: Holland should play a 4-4-2. Lump it in to the big fellas.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Gomez played in, leveled by Heitinga, who stands over him and adds insult to injury. Literally.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch at least are pushing forwards. Perhaps some new energy.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van der Vaart's cross in is cleared.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Why is van Persie not on the left with Hunter up top? More natural positions for both.

  •  

    [Comment from Rob (Chicago)]
    Afellay

  •  

    James Tyler: Huntelaar replaced Afellay.

  •  

    James Tyler: Look at that Schweinsteiger corner, well over-hit. He's rubbish, isn't he?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch finally clear.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Not sure yet who Huntelaar is on for.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van der Vaart came on for van Bommel.

  •  

    [Comment from Robert]
    Roger, I'm just glad that he hasn't injured himself yet...

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto]
    no faith Leander?!? you've been in the States far too long man...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Headed behind.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    I said it earlier Rog, I'm thrilled. There's no way City and Juventus are going to want him now

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Free kick then.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hey, Dutch fans, remember that Denmark came back from two down against Portugal. (Yes, they lost..)

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Oh, look. A long ball to Gomez finds him in acres of space and van der Wiel has to scurry back and foul Podolski...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Second half... whatever.

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Oh... a gun.

  •  

    [Comment from Ed]
    Working for ESPN commenting on football versus being a cop...it's a deal Leander!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Too little too late.

  •  

    James Tyler: It could have all been so different had RvP scored early in the Denmark game. This game is simple in theory; it's the players and their emotions that complicate. Could be seeing a very different Dutch team had they led in their opening game.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Huntelaar and van der Vaart coming on.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Don't fret Leander, 21 of Netherlands 37 goals in qualifying came in the second half

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Fun stat???!!!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Clearly there's something very wrong on the Dutch side. They've played without a shred of belief. And when a player comes out and says everybody needs to get on the same page and set their egos aside, all is usually already lost.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sorry to abut, Statsie.

  •  

    James Tyler: Here's a fun stat: No team has ever recovered from a two goal deficit at half-time to win a World Cup or European Championship match in 90 minutes #euro2012

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Good question, J.C. Nobody thought this was a possibility. It's not really been talked about.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arsenal fans... how are you feeling about RvP watching him play and wondering what is going on in his mind?

  •  

    [Comment from Paul]
    Total Football lives/In la furia roja/Tyler wants long ball

  •  

    [Comment from J.C.]
    Will Bert van Marwijk resign or get sacked if the Dutch have a disappointing finish? He just signed that extension, will be continue?

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    I don't want to pile on, Leander, but the USA has scored as many goals as the Dutch in these Euros.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Mike]
    Dodgy Flapper miss / Van Persie is falling down / Holland is a mess

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh, I know Rog. Just poking fun.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I reckon Jetro Willems is ready for his MiB internship.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT. Whatever leander is feeling... just wait till Friday...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Thanks Leander. We see ourselves more as the Jonny Heitinga and Mark Van Bommel. But whatever...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Switch places with me?

  •  

    James Tyler: You hold your tongue, CB! Woyball will bring us three draws and only partial humiliation!

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Dying here, I want to watch!

  •  

    [Comment from Le Poulet]
    Oncoming traffic is certainly more aggressive than the Dutch at this point.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Great. We're on a par with England now. Is there any more humbling realization?

  •  

    [Comment from CB]
    Leander, don't be sad. England will be sharing your pain in a few days' time.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I might just spend the second half running across Interstate 87, getting hit by car after car. It has to be better than this.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Roy Hodgson looking at this game thinking "two banks of four..."

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I'm glad somebody is.

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto]
    I must say, Im enjoying myself over here

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Men in Blazers are the van Persie and Robben of podcasting: a brilliant combination on paper but embarrassingly ineffectual in practice.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Half time plug: Our Euro 2012 Grantland podcast Men In Blazers
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/29533/grantland-network-podcast-men-in-blazers-28

    Deeply mediocre fare

  •  

    [Comment from Le Poulet]
    My dog howls when I cheer for goals. She's a soccer fan, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Iceberg Slim]
    I like ice cream cake/ cant watch game at work today/ might as well chat then

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: On the bright side, they're not playing total football. Haven't really since late '70s. So there's always that.

  •  

    [Comment from Scott]
    I've got a fever/the only prescription is/ Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm sorry that you're here and forced to endure.

  •  

    James Tyler: This is awful, leander. We knew the Germans would be good but the self-doubt on the Dutch side is baffling.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Haiku Time: Leander, JT / Rog, Ravi, and I witness / Total football's death.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Roberto Martinez: "Holland is not a team." Truth to power.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Dutch Problems On Pitch/Clutch German Engineering/Hippopotamus

  •  

    James Tyler: Gomez was born in Riedlingen, West Germany. Spanish parent.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: His has Spanish lineage. Tiki-Taka.

  •  

    James Tyler: This is real FAUXranje stuff from the Netherlands. Two holding midfielders that just hold their heads in their hands.

  •  

    [Comment from Tim (China)]
    Can anyone tell me what part of Germany the name Mario Gomez comes from?

  •  

    [Comment from Kevin (NY)]
    Only answer is / Van der Vaart and Huntelaar / Go big or go home.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: The last time two goals were scored and assisted by the same players in one Euros game was also by Germany in Euro 2008 (Podolski assisted by Klose)

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Dutch floundering now/Leander feeling depressed/still not out yet though

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    Germany command/ Gomez does the double Dutch/Orange change must come

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    Haiku TIme! --- A Swiss Cheese Defense. Their Goalkeeper Is a Sieve. Netherlands Can't Win.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I'm going to have a bathroom break (a little cry in the fetal position on the hallway rug).

    Haikus anybody?

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Germany denied the corner. Half-time whistle instead.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Takes a bad deflection and almost carombs over Stekelenburg! But he manages to recover and tip it over.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wow, Stekelenberg avoids getting David Seaman-in-2002'd right before half-time.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Prepare yourself for some Ballack

  •  

    Roger Bennett: A first half which proves what makes international football so wonderful to watch. Team always beat talent. Schweini imperious. Would love to her what is going on in the Dutch changing room at half time.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Podolski would have been through on the left. Instead, another Schweini free kick.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Now van Bommel takes out his man, incapable of stopping him otherwise.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Schweinsteiger's free kick is cleared.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 46th minute.

  •  

    James Tyler: Leander, there's still time to get behind the English push for Euro 2012. As secretary of the Three Lions campaign, I can still get you tickets.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Another German ball into the Dutch box catches out Willems. Hardly noteworthy now.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Willems having a torrid time with Muller.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: *wimpers*

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    I believe that our haiku topic will need to be "try to cheer up Leander".

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: As Sir Ian Darke points out, the Dutch are now in bad shape where goal difference is concerned too.

  •  

    [Comment from Sputnik]
    Holland will be relegated to CONCACAF

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That means piling on the Dutch is no longer bias. Just fact.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Statsie starting to pile on the Dutch too. That is when you know it is bad.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Netherlands is the only team at Euro 2012 that has yet to score

  •  

    [Comment from Adrian:The Poet]
    Leander, if you were the manager of the Dutch, who would you put in, as substitutes, in the game for the Orange to keep them from getting crushed?

  •  

    [Comment from a.s.]
    hmmm, the counters are starting, this might get painful now

  •  

    [Comment from Portugal]
    Suddenly feeling much better about our chances

  •  

    [Comment from Heitinga is awesome!]
    Is Heitinga the worst defender of the tournament? No doubt.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I think that would have been a good choice. He has a better engine and he's more of a two-way player.

  •  

    [Comment from Kaustubh]
    Schweinsteiger continues to prove that he's the most complete midfielder in the world. BTW am I the only one who thinks that they should have played Kevin Strootman instead of Van Bommel?

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Mario Gomez has 2 goals on 11 touches this game

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder rolls it to the edge of the box, where Robben wasn't paying attention and can't get to it in time. Sneijder, pissed off, just strolls back as Germany breaks away. Boateg, emboldened, blasts it over.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: 41st minute.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder tries to wriggle free in the German box. He loses the ball but wins a corner.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What in the world is the point of having two holding midfielders when they leave the opposing playmakers unmarked?

  •  

    [Comment from Kaustubh]
    *hugs Leander* It happens, mate,

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This is like watching Blackpool against Bolton

  •  

    [Comment from GreatGooglyMoogly]
    22 Men run around a field chasing a ball, and in the end Germany wins.

  •  

    James Tyler: Halftime for the Dutch: a warm bath and a CD of The Smiths' Greatest Hits

  •  

    [Comment from Mista]
    The whole back end for the Netherlands is just frighteningly bad... Like I think even San Marino is better.

  •  

    [Comment from Ed]
    Was the Dutch plan to let Schweinsteiger free at the top of the box all match?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Leander. How do you feel. please summon words

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Badly, Jim.

  •  

    [Comment from Jim]
    Leander, need a hug?

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Very similar to the first goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    What a choke job the dutch have been this tourney

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Neuer with a long clearance. Ball goes to Schweinsteiger who is wiiiiide open again and again threads through to Gomez masterfully, who smacks it in the far top corner.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Did the keeper go down too early there?

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    That's German engineering.

  •  

    [Comment from Hijo]
    "Too much orange suggests frivolity and a lack of serious intellectual values." Yikes

  •  

    [Comment from Taco]
    Bye bye Oranje

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Gomez gets his second!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL! GERMANY!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Holland may have had 61 percent of possession here, but they're not in any danger of winning this game.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Rog, I think it's fair to say the entire Dutch team is having a shocker.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Badstuber with a WIDE OPEN header right in front of Stekelenburg. Point-blank, he heads it right at the goalkeeper.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: It's not easy slotting into a team not functioning real well.

  •  

    James Tyler: Note the positives and negatives of orange: on the plus side, it's a passionate, warm color. On the bad, it's immature and deprived. Sum up this squad much?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Willems caught out again and brings down Mueller.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Germany has now taken the lead in all 12 games of Euro 2012+qualifiers

  •  

    James Tyler: Something fun I found regarding the Dutch kits and their iconic orange color:
    http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Van Bommel having a shocker tonight.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: After scoring, Germany has closed ranks and are now making it mighty hard for Dutch to get through.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Podolski doing very good job tonight of tracking back to help Lahm deal with Robben.

  •  

    James Tyler: I would love for Bert van Marwijk to activate Total Voetbal. Is there a magic word? A catchphrase to summon it from beneath the Kharkiv turf like a quick-passing Kraken?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: *Slowly takes off his warmup jacket*

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I love that they keep showing Huntelaar...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Silver lining.

  •  

    James Tyler: Leander is the Huntelaar to my RvP. I spend all tournament fudging these chats, Mr. Schaerlaeckens patiently waiting for his call.

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    On the bright side for Arsenal fans, how could City or Juventus want van Persie now?

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    Or Tyler Durdin... I forget.

  •  

    [Comment from Robert]
    I am RvP's decreasing wage demand.

  •  

    [Comment from PeterG]
    James, you are also Arsenal's chance of advancing in the Champions League next year.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: You have a better right foot, JT.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Will be interesting if he goes Fernando Torres and loses all ability at club level too on back of poor tournament.

  •  

    James Tyler: I am Robin van Persie's rapidly-disappearing confidence.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Jetro Willems, all of 18 years old, is torched there.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Mueller with a run up the right, but his cross is too far out for Gomez to get to.

  •  

    [Comment from James]
    Sorry, I meant danish, not dutch

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Bommel with a totally needless little elbow to Ozil as he runs by him. Class.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Yes, I think that's true.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So, no matter what happens tonight, no team can advance if my brain is working (which is normally isn't).

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: You're right.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How many brackets will be busted if the score stays like this?

  •  

    [Comment from James]
    Not correct, Germany are not necessarily through with a win. If they lose to the Dutch, and portugal beats netherlands, germans would need goal differential to move on

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Then it would come down to goal difference as well, I think.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Also true, that's another scenario.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Denmark is even on goal difference and so is Portugal. But both have scored three goals. So between the two of them, Portugal advances.

    So, as things stand, Holland and Denmark ar eout.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I'm all confused. If this stays the way it is, and if Denmark beats Germany, they'd have 6. Germany would have 6. And if Portugal beats the Dutch they'd have six.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Gomez offside on a long ball.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: That's correct

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch are -2 in that department right now and have yet to score a goal.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: They'd then have to beat Portugal, obviously and with three teams on 3 points having all taken turns beating each other, it would come down to goal difference. Right, Statsie?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Let's do some math here. If this score holds, Germany is through with 6 points, Denmark and Portugal both have 3 points and Holland sits at the bottom with 0.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Bommel releases Robben but he's a fraction offside. Would have been a chance.

  •  

    [Comment from Charlie]
    OFFSIDE FLAG made the right decision again. Tournament MVP still...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Long shot from Robben, easily saved by Neuer.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Heitinga got turned. Gave away the foul for the FK. At fault in game vs. Den on goal. Not his tourney so far.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Great turn that from Gomez. What Bed Sores?

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    LOL @ the dutch defense

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from DDR]
    And thus, the dutch are no more.

  •  

    [Comment from Le Poulet]
    MULLER you crafty young thing you!!

  •  

    [Comment from Brian in Atlanta]
    beautiful through ball from Schweini

  •  

    [Comment from John "Johannes"]
    That was pretty.

  •  

    [Comment from Luke P]
    Gomez's first touch was simply immaculate.

  •  

    [Comment from Rory]
    Joke defending

  •  

    [Comment from cssounders]
    neat turn

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Mueller goes on a nice ramble through the Dutch defense, lays it off for Schweinsteiger whose through ball finds Gomez, who turns and sticks it under Stekelenburg.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: GOAL! GERMANY!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Their dog collars zap them if they do.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Are Van Bommel and De Jong allowd to cross half field?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch have had the better of the run of play and the chances, but they've been so wasteful it's hard to say they've been the better team.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Dutch have to keep their concentration here and not start laughing now Robben in bleeding

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Lots of orange in the stands but, sadly, not nearly enough of it in the German box.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Netherlands has completed just 21.6% of crosses in the final third this tournament

  •  

    [Comment from Mista]
    I feel like Holland is again be very nonchalant here, not nearly enough urgency. No concentration in the final touch either.

  •  

    [Comment from Hoernerice]
    First blood...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: This, sadly, is a Dutch proverb.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    "A match is 90 minutes long, and in the end the Germans always win"

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: 10:05 and still hot. Players gulping water as Robben got treatment.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben is bleading from the head.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben and Badstuber conk heads mid air. Ouch.

  •  

    [Comment from Rudy]
    Nothing is funny about German business

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Yes, fatally imprecise work in the final third.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: This is looking like Ned-Den all over again.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Some German funny business in the Dutch box but they can't get a shot off. At the other end, another Afellay cross for van Persie is slid behind.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Joachin Low dressed smartly as usual. Dress pants, collared long shirt. He joked yesterday he'd wear shorts.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Netherlands scored just 2 goals off of 18 corners in the qualifying stage

  •  

    [Comment from Brian]
    I think the only way that corner could have been worse is if he'd missed the ball

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Corner is useless.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Persie brings down a long ball beautifully but Boateng tackles it behind.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Germans get to see a bit of Robben every now and then, playing for Bayern Munich as he does.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben gets ball and is closed down immediately, as he has been in all of these 15 minutes of the game.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Unconfirmed.

  •  

    [Comment from GFOP Dave]
    Any truth to the rumor that the golden boot will be changed to the golden head for Euro 2012?

  •  

    [Comment from gottsch]
    Chocolate Leg is giving the dutch fits right now. Maybe man of the match?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: A Dutch corner is headed away.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wow, with the way he's played so far in this tournament, that's pretty good for VP. Only 7.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: RvP just tied Ronaldo with ten missed shots at these Euros. Both one behind Kerkhazov on 11.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Four of his missed shots were taken with van Persie's right foot

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Superdeathy.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    How Group of Deathy would it be for the Netherlands to win and to have all 4 teams even on points?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ozil takes a spill in the box, blocked off by Mathijsen, but the ref doesn't deem it worthy.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: Seven of van Persie's 25 shots in the qualifying campaign have gone wide of the net

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Robben passed once and it didn't work out. Time for plan A. Shoot with the left.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: He's clearly not comfortable finishing with it, and that's an issue for a lone striker.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: On the replay, Ozil's shot off the post looking a lot more dangerous. As did van Persie getting a boot on that ball over the top.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I know he's scored a couple of rockets into the top corner from close range with his right foot, but how would you sum up that right foot of VP? Average? Below average?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That concludes Robben's passing service for the night.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Robben with a ball into van Persie, who shoots from the edge of the box but slides it wide.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: They would be called the Hunter Diaries.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: if we had a Huntelaar-cam, he would be giggling right now

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder now hits Afellay on the wing, whose cross is cut out by Neuer before it can roll to van Persie.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Wow, Badstuber was so easily beaten there by RVP.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Bennett's Burns will be on all afternoon.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Germans clearly broken down game film here. Like the Danes knew to leave the ball at Ronaldo's feet, Germany content to let RVP have it anywhere

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Second time within eight minutes a ball over the top catches out the German defense.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: It was a simple through ball through the heart of the frozen defense but van Persie couldn't quite get to it.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Persie with a fat chance!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Five minutes in, Germany has thwarted minor Dutch offensive and is settling into some possession. The Dutch now sitting in.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Would like to see Afellay have a go at Boateng. I don't rate the latter at all.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch, set up nice and wide, zip the ball around some but aren't finding a ton of room in the middle of the field.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Would have been a yellow in Guatemala

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Whatever.

  •  

    [Comment from Tanto]
    Schuss ein Tor!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van der Wiel takes his sweeeeeeeet time on a throwin. That is all.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Nice work by de Jong to strip Gomez of possession.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That's a conservative forecast, Rog.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sneijder tries to play van Persie in, but he is lightly tripped and the ball rolls away.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Prediction? 5 red cards. 12 yellows

  •  

    [Comment from Chad (GFOP)]
    Quick...what's your prediction Rog?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van Persie immediately dives in behind the defense and manages to stay onside. But the Dutch hit it square a few times and nevre turn it into a chance.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: This game could only be better if Frank Rijkaard was playing

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    The Great Blazer has arrived. And there was much rejoicing.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And we're off.

  •  

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And a Jabulani to you too, Rog.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: You may have just wasted your money there, Work Sux.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Happy Euros!

  •  

    [Comment from Work Sux]
    Hup Holland! just my $.02

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Crisis averted.

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    hahah there more at the house well will bring some

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Right, should probably focus on soccer some, for a change.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Can you tell your sister to make me more chocolate bonbons, please? I'm down to the last one.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ha! My wife's cousin. Awesome. Welcome to soccer.

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    really Leander!!! its Sam bell

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: There are like three dozen in here already. Scroll up!

  •  

    [Comment from @dontforget365]
    Leander I was promised some bad jokes... let 'er rip, bro!

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: SPI match predictions give Germany a 43.5% chance to win and a 25.8% chance of a draw

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Say what? How do you know my father-in-law's name?

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    nice Leander... Mark would be laughing

  •  

    [Comment from Jwalk]
    2-2 until 88th min when Robbens shot is so horrible its a pass to RVP who gets the winner 3-2 Netherlands

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Germans win 2-0. Robben is snakebitten and the Germans can stifle Van Persie enough. Too much holding and not enough offense for the Dutch today.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: 3-1, Germany.

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    2-1 for the Oranje taking the group to final day chaos.

  •  

    [Comment from Tim (China)]
    Germany 3-0 as the Dutch become this years the French

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    0-0, unfortunately.

  •  

    [Comment from Bobby T.]
    Dutch 2 Germans 1 Robben takes 11 shots all off target

  •  

    [Comment from stretch]
    Germany 3-1

  •  

    [Comment from Justin]
    3-1 Germany with goals from Ozil, Gomez, and Podolski

  •  

    [Comment from Secret cubicle fan]
    I'm going to count how many times Robben moves to his right with the ball. I'll bet I only need one hand. I'd count how many times he kicks it with his right foot, but what's the point of that?

  •  

    [Comment from Blazer Patch]
    Satsie - how bout some numbers showing Ravi's clear dominance over Leander?

  •  

    [Comment from Jayanth]
    The balder one gets to be Friedel.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I'm going with 1-1.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What are we predicting here?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Sigh. It's an epidemic. But as my father-in-law says: "the less hair I've had, the more money I've had."

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I, too, have a receding hairline.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Is he an over-dressed Scouser too?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: While Roger isn't here yet, let me throw this out there. (Don't tell him I said this.) I think he's a dead ringer for David Myers of Hairy Bikers' fame in England.
    He's a TV chef.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: What credibility do you have to offer us, Michelle?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Whoop! We have a Statsie! Some legitimacy at long last.

  •  

    ESPN Stats and Info: hey everyone, michelle from espn stats & info here

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And I too have never measured my capability against serious opposition, opting instead to coast below my level.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: How's your hairline? Mine, sadly, is receding. So although I'm 6-foot-3, that would cast me as Donovan...

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Can I be Dempsey?

  •  

    [Comment from Jayanth]
    And James, Hope Solo

  •  

    [Comment from Andrew]
    One was perennially underrated and is now getting his due and one was always overrated?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Harsh!

  •  

    [Comment from Scotty]
    Who does that make Rog? Kyle Beckerman?

  •  

    [Comment from GBK]
    Leander, you and Ravi are the Clint Dempsey/Landon Donovan of ESPN EURO2012 chatters.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: While we await kickoff, be sure to read Ravi's preview and to follow us on Twitter:

    @r_Ubha

    @LeanderAlphabet -- I'm just a few followers short of 5,000. 5000th follower will get free air guitar (shipping and handling not included).

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I feel like I'm in Spain with the heat - and 9:45 local time start.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yeah, in the presser yesterday, Schweinteiger said he was fit. He acknowledged he didn't play great against Portugal, though. A case of rediscovering his match fitness, which had better happen soon.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: That's the meanest thing anybody has ever said to me.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Maybe the Dutch should take a page from the U.S. and start fielding Germans.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: There was talk of him not starting -- and I would have quite liked to see Kroos involved -- but evidently he's fit enough to go from the off.

  •  

    [Comment from Derrik]
    Sorry to ruin your Dutch parade.. but do you have any idea how injured Schweinsteiger really is?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Leander was Hartson.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Here's the key: Ravi isn't Dutch. You can only have one Dutch person per team. This is problematic for the Dutch national team.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: It was Hartson and Berkovic all over again.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Nice that the two of you can get along. Maybe you can share your secrets with the Dutch squad.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Ha!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I went to college, me.

  •  

    [Comment from Justin]
    look at Leander showing off his schooling

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ravi and I have worked hard at playing in the same chat without getting in each other's way. There was a lot of locker room friction, at first, but after a few bust-ups on the training ground, we've learned to get along. If through gritted teeth.

  •  

    [Comment from Stuck at work]
    Love you guys but can you be involved in the same conversation.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Agreed. They're also a bit too similar to be on the field at the same time. They've got a bit of a Lampard-Gerrard dichotomy.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    Problem for the dutch coach is that VDV and Sneijder aren't going to play any defense, so putting them both on the pitch is going to be a bit risky.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Yeah, true. I guess on paper those two scenarios are the most likely, but then if the Dutch lose tonight I'm guessing they'll be in even more turmoil.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I would have dropped de Jong and played Huntelaar in front of van Persie with Sneijder dropping deeper.

  •  

    [Comment from Steven in North Carolina]
    I take it you wanted to see Huntelaar in the starting lineup Leander.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Still not amazing. They'll need to beat Portugal and need Germany to beat Denmark, off the top of my head.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: The Dutch must have got a bit of a lift after Portugal's win. No matter what, they can't be eliminated tonight.

  •  

    [Comment from Patrick]
    If the Netherlands manage a draw, what do you reckon are their chances of advancing?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Well, that too.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I reckon he can play both, Ravi. Take out van Bommel, you keep the enforcer in De Jong but you have a midfielder who can push forward too.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: So you can watch five Prem games at a time on a Saturday...

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Why do you think I live in New York?

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: I think VM had to play two holding mids, which meant it would have been a massive call to take out Sneijder (even if he isn't in 2010 form) and insert VDV.

  •  

    [Comment from Luke]
    Does that make you sad, Leander? What has happened to your motherland?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: There will be words. Possibly swearwords. I will get hate mail.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    Predictions?!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: If I'm not cheapening experiences, whatever is my role in this earthly life?

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Leander, I hope you know that your twitter name change has cheapened the experience for your followers who took the time to key in your entire last name (on a virtual keyboard no less!). But welcome back, we've missed you.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Van der Vaart, to be clear, was complaining that he can't get into the starting lineup.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I don't blame him. Even though he has something like 90 caps already well before turning 30, he just can't seem to get a run in with the national team, even though he's had a far better season than Sneijder. Or van Bommel. Or de Jong. Or Afellay.

    Mystifying.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Certainly not, most enjoyable game thus far, along with Poland-Russia yesterday.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hey, Leander, you think van der Vaart was being a baby?

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    Not a bad early game, eh?

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Agreed, Chicagooner. Van Marwijk, as Ravi points out, has refused to alter his lineup and add a playmaking midfielder, which in my view they badly needed.

  •  

    Ravi Ubha: Hi, Leander, and hi everyone.
    Wonderful night in prospect in Kharkiv.
    Van Marwijk, as is his way, doesn't tinker, makes the one expected change.

  •  

    [Comment from Chicagooner]
    van Bommel and de Jong again? Gahh. The Dutch were much better with Van der Vaart on the pitch

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Let's see what's in the mail.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Germany is unchanged from its 1-0 win over Portugal:

    Goalkeeper: Neuer
    Defense: Boateng, Hummers, Badstuber, Lahm
    Holders: Schweinsteiger, Khedira
    Attacking midfielders: Mueller, Ozil, Podolski
    Striker: Gomez

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: So the only change from the Denmark game is Mathijsen returning from injury and re-claiming his place from Ron Vlaar.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: The Dutch will be playing in the same formation as against Denmark:

    Goalkeeper: Stekelenburg
    Defense: Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems
    Holders: Van Bommel, De Jong
    Attacking midfielders: Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Ibrahim Afellay
    Striker: Robin van Persie
    Not striker: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: And this from a team thought to be one of the three favorites, along with Germany and Spain, heading in.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: They lost their opening game to Denmark and if they lose here are pretty well out of the tournament.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Not the A-team: the Netherlands.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: "Aw, shucks," he guffawed.

  •  

    [Comment from Ben]
    Leander! We get the A-Team for this one!

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: I'll be joined by Ravi Ubha and Roger Bennett, who will help guide you through this highly anticipated game.

  •  

    Leander Schaerlaeckens: Good afternoon, everybody!

    And thanks for joining us for this fight to the death between the Netherlands and Germany in this super-dooperest of groups!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Netherlands

  • 14(4)

  • 12

  • 11

  • 53%

    47%

  • Germany

  • 11(5)

  • 31

  • 7

Match Stats

  • Netherlands
  • Germany
14(4) Shots (on goal) 11(5)
11 Fouls 7
6 Corner kicks 6
1 Offsides 4
53% Time of Possession 47%
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 3