LVIV, Ukraine (AFP) –
Three-time champions Germany reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 on Sunday as Group B winners after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Denmark.
Lukas Podolski, winning his 100th cap, gave the Germans the lead in the 19th minute with a ferocious drive from 15 yards after Thomas Mueller crossed from the right. Mario Gomez miscued his effort but Podolski was on hand to lash home.
But Michael Krohn-Dehli – scorer of the Danes’ goal in the 1-0 opening win over Holland – equalised five minutes later with a powerful header after Nicklas Bendtner nodded on a corner.
With Portugal having come from behind to beat Holland in Kharkiv the Germans, despite winning their opening two matches, could have made a sensational exit had the Danes scored again.
But instead Lars Bender drove in the winner after a run from deep on 79 minutes, just moments after Bendtner had a penalty claim turned down at the other end despite Holger Badstuber appearing to bring him down in the area.