Historically, Germany and the Netherlands have often found themselves colliding in the EUROs with the Dutch losing more than they would like to admit. The football rivalry between them is one of the few longstanding football rivalries at a national level. Both belong to the strongest football nations of the world, and have met a total of thirty four times which resulted in fourteen victories for Germany, ten for the Netherlands and fourteen draws.

Holland’s midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart made comments about Germany’s players before the match, denouncing the team and praising only a select few. “Of course Germany have a decent squad, but if I have to have their genuinely good players I can only come up with three – Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze, and Bastian Schweinsteiger”, Van Der Vaart said. Strong words coming from the captain of the Dutch after a 3-0 loss to Germany last November.

“That result was an accident. We were missing three of our best players.” Van Der Vaart clearly discounted the stronger German side and the match proved to shatter their hopes of moving on to the quarterfinals.

Once again the Dutch harbored more controversy as the popular Klass Jan-Huntelaar was amiss in the starting lineup. Robin Van Persie was given the starting striker position, but the offense was not their biggest concern in the first half. Mario Gomez of Germany, a towering striker holding all of the Deutschland’s attack up top, scored twice, making Holland’s defense look lazy and inferior.

Mario Gomez of Germany in Celebration

Gomez’ first came in the 24’ off a one-two pass that left Schweinsteiger open to make a cutting through ball to Gomez, who turned with the ball at his foot calmly, and placed it in the left corner on a one on one with Maarten Stekelenburg (Netherlands Goalkeeper). Excellent finishing and with the form he has been in leading up to the EURO’s, no one was surprised at his exceptional placement.

The German striker’s second came in the 38’ after the comatose Dutch defense was lulled into an easily placed pass to Gomez’ stronger foot, ripping it across the net to the top corner on the far side past Stekelenburg again. Two obvious signs that the Netherland’s offense AND defense are not up to par for this EURO Championship.

The second half started after Germany dominated possession, defended strongly, and created attacking chances for Gomez in the first. The Netherlands continued to allow open shots through gaps in their back line, and permitted the German captain Phillip Lahm to create even more chances as an outside defensive winger. The only Dutchmen to have a positive effect on the match were Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, who consistently took explosive shots after cutting through the midfield, but none well enough to hit the back of the net.

Robin Van Persie (TotalFootballMadness.com)

But Robin Van Persie changed the score line for the Dutch. In the 73’ he barreled down the throats of the German’s defense and curled one in with pace between the legs of Holger Badstuber at twenty one yards out. Being the first goal for the Dutch in this tournament, it would do good to know that they scored 37 times during qualification for this tournament, and now face elimination come Sunday.

The only hope for the Dutch is to score at least 3 goals in a shutout against Portugal while trusting that Germany shut out Denmark. Based on the lack of quality the Netherlands have shown against greater and even lesser opponents so far, it is doubtful the Dutch will have a perfect game in the face of eradication.