Hello and welcome to the liveblog for today’s second game in Group B (Group of Death and all that shiz), between the powerful Germans and the flashy Dutch. Except, Germany looked relatively tame in their opening encounter against Portugal, while the Netherlands were well stung by Denmark, so who knows what to expect?
But on paper, certainly, this could be interesting. It’s a real clash of the titans. A war of the worlds. A battle of the planets. You get the idea!
It is also my first attempt at this so bear with me, be nice with your comments, and I’ll do my best to keep you informed and entertained (ish) over the next 90 minutes or so.
Line-ups to follow…
Netherlands: Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems, Van Bommel (capt), N. de Jong, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie, Afellay.
Germany: Neuer, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm (capt), Boateng, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Özil, T. Müller, Podolski, Gomez.
Before this starts, anyone know how to add a ‘cut’ to this thing? Let me know. Eek!
It’s being billed as Europe’s greatest football rivalry. I’ll say! Anthems done, handshakes out of the way, so let’s get this thing started!
Hate is a strong word, but that is what’s being reported here. Hate. Pure hate. I’m a little scared, but we’re under way.
1: Bit of possession football from the Dutch, and an early half chance. Comes to nothing. Now Germany press, but there’s also nothing doing.
3: I want goals, I want cards, I want broken legs. Okay, I don’t want broken legs. But still.
4: Bit cagey so far. And other footballing cliches.
5: Glorious ball over the top for Van Persie, but he couldn’t quite connect and convert. That…was a chance!
7: Another chance, this time for the Germans. Decent shot from distance, comfortably saved.
8: And now a half chance for the Dutch. This is literally end to end. Literally!
10: Once again, Van Persie is looking all out of sorts. So many chances wasted against Denmark in the opening game, and tonight he’s not looking much better. Sort it out, lad!
11: The Dutch are looking quite spritely though. They need the win tonight and they know it.
12: The bug-eyed Özil is wanting a penalty, but he’s getting nothing for those theatrics.
13: At the other end, a corner for the Dutch isn’t met by anyone in particular and goes to waste. Tame.
14: Nice keep-ball for the Dutch at the moment. Stroking it around the park with glee. Glee, I tell you!
15: Decent long ball to Van Persie, who cuts inside and is stopped by a decent tackle. He doesn’t look like the RVP we know at this tournament.
17: Peach of a cross from Muller, but Germany are all over the place in the box and the chance is gone. While the Netherlands counter…
18: Their attack leads to a corner, which is once again wasted. It’s about time something actually happened now. It needs a spark! Someone throw a firework on the pitch, please!
20: We’ve got a cut head. Blood everywhere! Oh my god! (it’s rather innocuous really)
21: The aforementioned cut belongs to Robben, who has received treatment and is now back with us. Batman is nowhere to be seen, however.
21: I stole that joke from Mark Lawrenson. I’ve let myself down there.
23: GOAL for Germany. In real time Gomez looked offside, but the replay suggests it’s a good decision for the flag to stay down. That’s what this game needed!
24: I’ll tell you who isn’t going to win this tournament, and that’s the Netherlands. Not only because they’ve lost one and are losing here, but because my money is on them.
25: Chance for Robben to bring the Netherlands level, but the keeper will save those all day long. With his eyes closed.
26: Closely followed by another chance for the Dutch, but play is stopped for offside. It’s definitely picked up since the goal (which was an absolute peach from Gomez, by the way).
27: Diagonal ball over the top aimed at Gomez, who’s offside. Except, he wasn’t.
28: English commentators currently discussing the behind the goal officials, and their lack of decision making so far. They raise a good point. What are they actually there for?!
30: Lot of drumming in the crowd tonight. Ooh, imagine being sat next to that!
31: Cross fizzed across the face of the Dutch goal. Nobody there to convert. It’s a half chance. Or a quarter chance, perhaps.
32: Flag up again for an offside against Gomez. This time it’s correct. Possession back with the Dutch for the time being…
33: Did the Netherlands really reach the World Cup final two years ago? Seriously? You wouldn’t have guessed it watching them tonight.
34: They’re seeing plenty of the ball, mind. They’re just not doing anything with it. Watch them win 5-1 now…
36: Free kick to Germany in a dangerous area. Ozil to take…
36: That should have been in! Badstuber heads straight at the keeper, and as the old adage goes; either side of him and it’s in the net.
37: GOAL! That one IS in, and it’s Gomez again. Wonderful through ball and Gomez dinks it over the keeper with ease. Liquid football!
39: Netherlands need to score before half time to have any chance of salvaging this one, I reckon. They have a corner…
40: Oh my word. Possession given straight to Germany from the corner, who break and could have made it 3-0, but the shot from Boateng was wayward.
41: Almost a carbon copy pass of the one which set up Gomez for his second, but well cut out by the Dutch defence. I wouldn’t be surprised if the G-man bagged a hat trick tonight though.
43: The G-man, as nobody calls him.
44: Another beautiful ball over the top from the Germans, but it’s cleared. I’m sorry for the lack of names here, by the way, but I’m not a football encyclopaedia!
45: CHANCE from a German free kick, as the ball takes a wicked deflection and nearly catches the Dutch keeper out. No time for the corner, as the half time whistle blows. Back in 15!
Apology: Sorry for the delay. Technical difficulties!
The cameraman and BBC pundits just got tagged by the sprinklers. I thought it was worth mentioning.
Back underway in this one, and I’m just going to refer to my Big Book of Football Cliches again, and say that the next goal is absolutely crucial. If Germany bag it, the game is as good as over, but if the Netherlands can nick one…
Still experiencing technical difficulties!!
46-58: “The whole world’s against us, dude, I swear to God!”
59: Right, you haven’t missed a great deal. I’m sorry about this absolute disaster! I don’t know why these things happen to me. It’s undeserved, that much is true. But on with the action!!
60: There have been a couple of chances, at both ends, but the score remains 2-0 and I’m not sensing any signs of a Dutch comeback. So, that’ll be 3-2 then…
61: Curling effort from Sneijder, but it’s well wide. That goes in and we’ve got a game. But it didn’t, so I don’t think we have.
63: I’ve calmed down now, after my temporary freak out. German corner, whipped across the box, but nobody meets it and the Netherlands could break.
64: They did, but nothing of any value was seen. Typical.
65: I should point out, by the way, that Huntelaar is on the pitch for the Dutch. He replaced Afellay at half time.
66: I’m rooting for a Netherlands goal now, to be honest. I don’t like pissing money away!
68: Nice pass to Robben from Sneijder, and Batman’s side kick teed it up and let rip…but he was closer to the corner flag than the goal. This is poor from the Dutch.
The demons are back!! ARGH!
72: GOAL for the Dutch. It’s an absolute beauty, this, from RVP, and he’s finally found his shooting boots. GAME ON!!
73: Van Persie was in again. Almost. Sweet ball through to the Dutch goalscorer, but it’s cleared dutifully.
74: The goal, by the way, was a nice piece of individual brilliance from RVP. Surging run through midfield before lashing a shot past the keeper from the edge of the area.
I’m so sorry for the delays here. I’m having an absolute nightmare, it must be said. In better news, the Dutch supporters are making so much racket and turning the stadium into a cauldron of noise (football cliche #232). We’re in for an exciting last 10 minutes, and I hope I can keep you updated here!!
79: Germany have a free kick, and there’s a booking for de Jong. Deserved.
80: The free kick was a timid one, and Germany are just knocking the ball around the park here. Can they find a third and put this one beyond the Dutch, or is there an equaliser in this one?! So many questions!!
82: Robben is taken off, and he’s furious. He’s gone for a long walk around the pitch and torn his shirt off. Oh dear.
83: Dutch fans applauding the petulant Robben. The English commentary team are none too pleased with his behaviour. I’m indifferent, personally. I wonder what Batman would think? I promise that’s the last time I make that ‘gag’.
85: Five minutes to go and it’s still on a knife edge really. Lawrenson reckons there’s another Dutch chance to come, and I agree. It could blow this entire thing WIDE open!
86: Boateng booked, and that’s a suspension. Silly boy.
87: Corner to Germany, and they seem to be playing corners with the ball itself. With three minutes (plus stoppage time) to go. Bit early for those shenanigans, fellas. Come on, now!
DEMONS HAVE RETURNED! LEAVE ME BE!
90: Almost a gaffe from the Dutch keeper to give the Germans a third. A backpass is miscontrolled, and it’s only fortune that keeps that ball out of the net.
90+4: The game is up, and while Germany need a point in their next game to progress, the Netherlands are all but out of this one. It’ll take something special for them to qualify!
I can only apologise for this disaster. I’m going to hire an exorcist before I return to these here parts. Thanks for reading if you did. Sympathies also. And if you didn’t, you got off lightly this time.