Euro 2012: Matchday Two (Group B)



The toughest group in Euro 2012, and one of the toughest groups ever seen in a soccer tournament, kicks off action today as Group B gives us the latest Group of Death.

Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark will embark on a fierce battle for two spots in the knockout rounds and trying to predict which two teams will survive this group is not easy. Germany enters the tournament as the favorites to top this group, but the Dutch are just as capable of snatching first place. Portugal is known as being long-time underachievers, but the talent is there to do something special. Even Denmark has to be given a chance to surprise and sneak out of this group.

Some of the best talent in the tournament will be on display as well, from Real Madrid teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil, to Dutch striker Robin Van Persie and dynamic Danish youngster Christian Eriksen.

Here is the viewing schedule for the day's matches:

12 p.m. - ESPN/ - Netherlands vs. Denmark

2:45 p.m. - ESPN/ - Germany vs. Portugal

If you will be watching today's Friday's Euro 2012 action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

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106 Responses to Euro 2012: Matchday Two (Group B)

  1. Jon says:

    2 DMs?! What are you doing, Bob Bradley?!

  2. Shaggy says:


    1-0 Denmark!

  3. Ted in MN says:

    Terrible keeping by Stekelenburg. Getting beat on almost no angle by a ball between the legs that wasn’t even that dang hard. Its not like it was Donovan’s vs Slovenia. Euro 2012 has not been a show of clinical tending

  4. Ted in MN says:

    Then Andersen rolls it straight to Robben. Goalkeepers ftw.

  5. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Danish goalkeeper passes the ball straight to Robben, whose shot hits the post.

  6. Ted in MN says:

    The Danes now look the better. This goal has taken the fight out of the Dutch and, if the Danes stop trying to play it pathetically out of the back, their chances to equalize are going to dry out.

  7. Joe DosEquis says:

    The Dutch defense is a mess, they’ll need to really improve going forward

  8. AcidBurn says:

    The defense was bad enough to let him tee it up with his left foot (obviously haven’t read the Robben defense play book) and Robben still didn’t finish. Cursed.

  9. Ted in MN says:

    With the 4 on 3 break at the back, the defense is slightly excused in my opinion. The fact is you just can’t give up the ball in that fashion.

  10. Old School says:

    Van Persie’s touch from the pass received by Snejider was pretty brutal. That *should* have been a goal on RVP’s favored left foot.

  11. Mike says:

    If the real Dutch team doesn’t show up they might finish last in the group at this rate.

    Van Persie has been a real joke so far.

  12. Old School says:

    RVP continues to appear to be on ice skates losing his footing on another open chance.

  13. Ted in MN says:

    wowza Poulsen nearly set up a wondergoal. I don’t care how much pressure the Dutch rain down, my bets on the Danes to get the 2nd goal.

  14. Ted in MN says:

    Van Bommel gets his requisite yellow. At least he didn’t break any legs.

  15. Mike says:

    He wanted to.

  16. Ted in MN says:

    First bit of keeping all tournament. Andersen’s actually been pretty steady when he’s not playing it out of the back.

  17. Old School says:

    Well earned 3 points for Denmark.

    The Dutch had their chances but didn’t capitalize.

  18. Ted in MN says:

    No second goal which is probably fitting.

  19. Mike says:

    Michael Ballack just embarrassing Alexi Lalas, the prototypical ignorant American.

  20. Shaggy says:

    how so?

  21. TomL says:

    It’s sad when Ballack can barely speak English, and yet still makes more sense than Lalas…

  22. Mike says:

    Ballack was asked if Denmark could not make it out the of the group. He started by saying “absolutely, these three points… well they are already half way there” and Lalas just loudly and condescendingly interrupts with a “No!”

    Ballack then proceeded to quietly explain how the Dane’s form and recent history against Portugal means they can get the second win to put them ahead…

    Lalas then just says condescendingly again, “they have no chance.”

    Ballack just shakes his head and ignores him.

  23. Ted in MN says:

    Lalas is fine and hardly ignorant.

  24. Mike says:


    “if Denmark could now make it out of*”

  25. Mike says:

    He isn’t fine.

    He is condescending, overly opinionated with no basis in reality, loud, obnoxious and his understanding of the game mirrors what we saw of him as a player. A lumbering oaf that loved heading the ball.

  26. Mike says:

    You can tell, and it isn’t even subtle, that the other commentators despise Lalas.

  27. RM says:

    The Danish team have no chance of getting out of the group.

    youre the fool. Lalas is fine.

  28. RM says:

    That was in reply to Mike.

  29. Ted in MN says:

    He’s fine.

  30. Ted in MN says:

    Which is why Ballack and Lalas have a beer while watching the US match? You’re making mountains out of molehills.

  31. Mike says:

    Right, because they can’t beat the very same team they beat and finished ahead of in qualifying.

  32. TomL says:

    I don’t see how you can say they have no chance…I could easily see them beating Portugal, which would give them 6 points, which would likely be enough…

  33. Jamie Z. says:

    A lumbering oaf who was the first American to play in Serie A. It’s okay if you don’t like his commentary and analysis, but let’s not try to reinvent history.

  34. Old School says:

    I like Lalas for all the reasons you’ve stated.

    You’re just coming off as a prototypical foreigner suffering from xenophobia.

  35. RM says:

    No, you are a fool cause you dismissed Lalas, who was pointing out what is reality. You can sugarcoat and say they can get out of the group but its ninety five percent chance not going to happen. Why act like it is possible?

    Group qualifying means nothing, the tournament play is for real.

  36. Ted in MN says:

    Its a bit of dramatic hyperbole, a rhetorical device, embellishment, etc.

  37. PD says:

    Lapse is a prick and a blowhard. This is not news

  38. PD says:

    So if they beat Portugal and lose to Germany, you think 7 points isn’t going to get them out of the group? You just may eat those “no chance” words and I doubt you’ll have the stones to admit it in two weeks. Lord knows Gingerbrow won’t.

  39. Pd says:

    6 points, sorry.

  40. pd says:

    What? because Lalas is a blowhard makes someone anti-American?

  41. Old School says:

    Do you really need it spelled out for you?

  42. Mike says:

    Just stop.

    You’re making a fool of yourself as Lalas made a fool of himself. Denmark has already beaten Portugal in an official match just recently. In fact, Denmark knocked Portugal out of automatic qualifying. They had to win a home-away playoff match just to make it into the tournament.

    Denmark dominated them too.

  43. TomL says:

    Right, it is dramatic hyperbole…i.e., an intentional oversimplification, a willful disregard for the subtleties and nuances of the given situation, which is, inherently, unsuitable for reasonable discourse. Lalas is not a talk radio shock jock. He isn’t paid to make dramatic oversimplifications in the name of controversy. He is paid to offer relevant, logical analysis. His statement, in this case, was not in keeping with the spirit of logical, thoughtful analysis.
    In other words…he would fit in well on this board…

  44. RM says:

    PD, I will be happy to admit. No problem remind me the next time you see me post.

    It just seems like Mike is something of a Eurosnob worshipping Ballack and attacking the so called ignorant American and it it turned me off.

    Maybe in a few weeks I will face some internet humilation we will see :)

    …I doubt it though.

  45. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Without involving myself in the Lalas argument, I would say anyone describing a person as “the prototypical ignorant American” is a pretty anti-American statement.

  46. TomL says:

    I fail to see how the question of whether or not Mike is, as you say, a Eurosnob, is relevant to the conversation. The point is, in this particular instance, he is correct. What Lalas said was ridiculous…

  47. RM says:

    Means nothing.

    At the last Euros in 2008,Romania won the qualifying group with the Dutch,never lost either of the 2 games, what did that get them in the group stage?

    Croatia in 2008 eliminated England at wembley and then were beatin in the tourney by a poor Turkey side.

    Poland played home and away with Portugal in 2008 qualifying and got four points, where did they end up?

    winless in the tourney.

    the anaylsis is sound.

    Qualifying means little.

  48. roger says:

    I can see Denmark qualifying with 4 points. I’ll be rooting for Portugal and Holland.

  49. gacm32 says:

    A foreigner suffering from xenophobia is oxymoronic, man. Seems like you and your boy Alexi are on the same level.

  50. Mike says:

    I’m a Chicago Fire season ticket holder. I have been for almost a decade. I have no patience for people like Lalas or you that are willfully ignorant because you refuse to put any thought into an argument instead opting to create a simple talking point clip.

    And the fact that you believe I’m anti-American and a Eurosnob because I think Michael Ballack is more fit to offer insight and intellectual debate than Alexi “I only play on set pieces” Lalas, well that says a lot more about you than it does about me.

    TomL is right. Lalas would fit in on this board.

  51. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The constant Lalas bashing is tiresome and is typically of the attitude that anyone with an accent knows more about soccer than any American.

    He knows what he’s doing. He knows the game a hell of a lot better than any of us and he is, as always, trying to keep the studio segments lively. He has won me over the last couple of years. People need to put their preconceptions aside and actually listen to what he’s saying

  52. Mike says:

    So what you’re saying is that anybody can beat anybody and that fact proves Lalas analysis that a perceived lesser team can never beat the perceived better team.

    That’s some sad logic man.

  53. Old School says:


    Common sense is apparently more common than I had anticipated after reading PD/Mike’s statements.

  54. RM says:

    Mike, What I said is that a 10 game qualifying tourney is 16 months long and it is different then a 2 week tourney, where people are more focused.

    Enjoy Portugal-Germany eveyone.

  55. TomL says:

    Your examples prove only that, on a given night, anything can happen…they in no way prove that qualifying results aren’t a legitimate barometer for team quality…

  56. Old School says:

    I’m pleased you noticed the jab. Therefore, you observed the initial unnecessary usage of the xenophobic remark.

    Point made. Thanks for confirming.

  57. Mike says:

    The issue is what he said, not any of that other crap. Straw man fallacy if I’ve ever seen one.

    Nobody cares about his accent, the color of his hair or anything else. To claim that Denmark has absolutely no chance to make it out of the group after beating the Netherlands and having to really only beat a team they’ve already beaten recently is just flat out ignorant.

    He is just WRONG. It has nothing to do with his accent, his hair color, his country of origin or even his shoe size.

    Ballack was right. Lalas was dead wrong. Period.

  58. Ted in MN says:

    He fills a role that a lot of people enjoy. Lalas isn’t on there to be Vin Scully. In this case, his point boils down to the fact that despite the arguments Ballack is making, the group is just too good which he points out. YMMV on the style, but the argument is fine.

  59. Ted in MN says:

    The Germans are playing hardball by the 2nd minute.

  60. Old School says:

    There was no misrepresentation of what you said. In fact, it’s still above…your attempt to frame it as a straw man is amusing.

    You were either being intentionally provocative or simply ignorant. Ironic you should accuse someone eles of the same.

  61. Ted in MN says:

    Thank ya.

  62. ben in el cajon says:

    Do you guys who hate Lalas ever watch any other sporting commentary shows? Have you ever seen ‘Around the Horn’ or anything by Jim Rome? Have you ever listened to any BBC podcasts on soccer? Have you ever heard any tv conversation about anything that was presented in a debate format? It’s called rhetoric, and entertainment.

  63. gacm32 says:


  64. ben in el cajon says:

    If they don’t win, they are in trouble because the Dutch will be tough in game two.

  65. Ted in MN says:

    Keller should be placed on the coverage of the national team. So much more interesting than John Harkes.

  66. gacm32 says:

    Ok, regardless, I agree that Alexi was flat-out wrong with his assessment of Denmark. It’s in complete contradiction of form and the fact that they took 3 pts. In a group where it will be extremely difficult to take all 3 points from a match. To say they have no chance im the group even after getting 3 points is idiotic to me.

  67. Ted in MN says:

    I’m going for a big prediction here and saying 3-1 Germany.

  68. Old School says:

    Gacm32, I agree.

    Lalas is an idiot more times than not, I disagree with him nearly *all* the time and yet I still find him entertaining.

    People who become angry, upset, disgusted by his intentional provocation have issues that go beyond Lalas.

    That’s just my opinion.

  69. Old School says:

    The same disdain people have for Alexi Lalas, is the same disdain I had for John Harkes.

    He made it hard to watch matches with the volume on.

  70. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Nonsense. Your reaction is tied up either in your dislike of Lalas or your being a fan of Denmark. You say Ballack WAS right. Was? Past tense? They are both offering opinions about how the group plays out. You know, about THE FUTURE. Neithr is wrong or right yet. And the fact that the Danes need to take points off Germany and or Portugal means they have a pretty fricking tough task ahead of them. They may do it, but Germany and Portugal going through is far more likely

  71. Ted in MN says:

    I’ve never liked the couple of passes on set pieces. All ya seem to do in my opinion is let the charger get even closer. The great ones from Forlan and Japan (against Denmark ironically) at the last World Cup were all straight off for a reason.

  72. TomL says:

    The shows you mention are a completely different format, based on the idea that the general public is either unwilling or unable to process information not presented as “entertainment”…which of course illuminates another problem…the effort to make information entertaining results in logical analysis being replaced by the sort of blustery hyperbole found not only on the shows you mentioned, but on the majority of so-called news programs today. This inevitably results in nuanced exploration of current issues being replaced by “talking points,” which are actually oversimplified embellishments, rhetorical devices, and dramatic hyperbole…

  73. Ted in MN says:

    Through Portugal we’ve finally run into a diving team in Euro 2012. What a silly fall by Nani.

  74. Ted in MN says:

    This game really slowed down after the first few minutes. I’m still taking Germany, but wow was that boring.

  75. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Really? Such insight. Is it clairvoyance, this awesome ability to understand what people you never met are thinking? You are not worth arguing with. You have a thing about Lalas. We get it. Now back to talking about soccer…

  76. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I wouldn’t say boring…but Germany did get cautious. They certainly haven’t looked like Germany yet

  77. Umlaut says:

    Casey Keller should stick with goal keeping, one of the worst announcers I can remember.

  78. TomL says:

    I like it for a team like Spain, because that type of passing is in their DNA…but for the most part I would agree with you…It almost defeats the purpose of set pieces…

  79. ben in el cajon says:

    I care about the debasement of discourse when the topic is the legality or morality of drone strikes that kill children in nations that are our allies, but not so much when the topic is sports. Think Charles Barkeley or that idiot who can only yell ‘baby’ when he analyzes college basketball, or the pregame discussions before every NFL game: these are closer analogs to what Lalas is doing. Is he wrong that Denmark has no chance? Yes. Is he overstating his case? Yes. Is he an idiot that gets everything wrong? No (except as a GM).

  80. Ted in MN says:

    I disagree.

  81. ben in el cajon says:

    I’m worried about Germany. I hope they speed up their attacks a bit. Nani and Ronaldo can both win the game for Portugal in three seconds. The Germans must score, two at least, I’m afraid.

  82. Ted in MN says:

    Another torrid start for Germany

  83. TomL says:

    The debasement of discourse regarding sports is a problem because it is indicative of a larger trend. I never said Lalas gets everything wrong (that, in itself, would be a hyperbolic argument). I did say he is wrong in this particular case and I did say that it is problematic when hyperbole is allowed to pass for legitimate analysis…

  84. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The officials are taking a lot out of this match. Too quick with the whistle

  85. Ted in MN says:

    and once again we’re back to a jog around the park yeesh

  86. Mike Z says:

    I agree. Martino is pretty good. Not a big fan of Twellman.

  87. Ted in MN says:

    This game is crap.

  88. Ted in MN says:

    Finally a goal for Germany. I didn’t see it coming.

  89. pd says:

    I think it’s spelled o l d s c h o o l i s a c r a c k e r.

  90. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Germany suddenly looking like Germany

  91. pd says:

    Oh I see. You are confusing stero-typical (using one as a representative for an entire group) with proto-typical (being the textbook example of).

    Perhaps I’m splitting hairs, but I see nothing anti-American with saying someone is a proto-typical arrogant American anymore than it’s an insult to call someone a prototypical conservative or prototypical liberal.

  92. Ted in MN says:

    Now this game is getting interesting. Defensive shambles by Germany and Portugal should have scored.

  93. pd says:

    Twellman is another gnat of a commentator one who watches too much Fox news.

    A point about other sportscasters in other sports and why that supposedly makes it OK for Lalas to be a prick. Some of us –surprisingly enough– like soccer because of how it ISN’T like watching basketball or NFL or NHL. It’s coverage, like baseball, should have it’s own flow and flavor, not apeing other sports simply because that’s where the money currently is. Let the game speak for itself, you don’t need inflated personalities to make it better.

  94. Jort says:

    Cristiano Ronaldo with a really pathetic peformance. This guy chokes so hard in big moments.

  95. Jort says:

    Ronaldo was in the game? Man that guy disappears in big moments.

  96. ben in el cajon says:

    Win ugly.

  97. ben in el cajon says:

    Yes, okay. However, there were time constraints on the program. I’m just surprised at the general tone of hatered directed at Lalas. I don’t get it; I find him entertaining, even when he’s wrong.

    By the way, things look a little scary for Denmark because Portugal now have to win, and so will the Dutch. Denmark’s best hope is a Germany 3 – Netherlands 1 score line, so the Dutch have no reason to try.

  98. pd says:

    I can’t believe Germany didn’t score like 4 goals. Man they suck.

    See how ridiculous that sounds USA fans?

  99. Mike says:

    Ronaldo choked hard. Dude needs to learn how to play in a team.

  100. Gene says:

    Just finished watching the replay. Portugal had a few chances to score in the 2nd half, German defense did its job and so did Neuer. It will be an interesting battle b/w 3 teams for the 2nd spot.

  101. PD says:

    Far more likely is not the same as “no chance” which I think is the whole point of critiquing Lalas…

  102. pd says:

    It’s also a role many people find arrogant and condescending and classless.

  103. PD says:

    I don’t watch soccer to get my “arguing as entertainment” fix.

  104. GW says:

    ESPN has long and frequently made use of the “reality TV concept” that conflict sells. They often go overboard with the staged conflict but it hasn’t stopped them from trying.

    The basic ratings draw on any reality type show and on many ESPN commentary shows is how interesting the conflict, real or staged, between the various cast members is.

    Exhibit A for reality would be the father/ son conflict on American Choppers.

    Exhibt B, admittedly more benign, is the Mike and Mike show on ESPN.

    Lalas is an acquired taste and not to my liking but he isn’t where he is because he is stupid. How many of you would kill to do what he gets to do for half the salary?

    Besides, however much I dislike what he is now, he is an authentic American Soccer pioneer when the sport needed them and for that, unless he suddenly turns out to be an axe murderer, child molester or killer of puppies, he will always have my respect. And his brother is okay.

  105. GW says:


    You speak as if it is a given that Denmark will beat Portugal.

    Anything is possible but history, even really recent history, does not guarantee that Denmark WILL beat Portugal this time around.

    And the fact that Portugal will be very desperate, even more so, now that they are on the big stage, will factor into it.

    Barring any new injuires, I would call the match even.

  106. GW says:

    If you have a dead ball guy like Roberto Carlos or Beckham then being straight forward consistently makes sense.

    If not, then sometimes it is a good idea to change things around. The predictability makes you easier to defend.

    That is why moves like the short corner, as stupid as it is, is sometimes valuable.