< Netherlands, 13 June 2012

Greece, 22 June 2012 >


Sunday 17 June 2012

Arena Lviv, Lviv
Euro 2012, Group B

"I was pretty relaxed because it doesn't get you anywhere when you panic."

14 June 2012 - 17 June 2012

Germany - Lukas Podolski 19', Lars Bender 80'
Denmark - Michael Krohn-Dehli 24'

Germany bid farewell to the 'Group of Death' as group winners, and head to the quarter-finals with their 14th consecutive win in a competitive match!

Final Group B Placings


Match reports - 17/18 June 2012
Germany beat Denmark to reach Euro quarters
Bender winner puts Germany through, Danes go outPodolski & Bender send Olsen's men home - match report and statistics from goal.com

Cool Löw never feared elimination
Germany win over Denmark went to plan says Joachim Löw

"I had a plan," said Löw, the Germany coach. "Of course I had considered what would have happened if Denmark had in some way suddenly scored a goal but I never had that feeling."
"Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira were always in control and I just had the feeling we would score. Denmark played with a stoic calmness and it seemed like they could not care less," he said."I never had the feeling that Denmark were playing to win it. They wanted to keep the result, were happy with the draw and then maybe they would get a free-kick or corner that they could take advantage of, but they did not attack much.
They sat back a lot, even though they had to win. They had one or two good chances, but no more than that, and I think in the second half we did a decent job given the pressure.Maybe had we played Holland or Portugal [in the final group game], they would have done more for a win than Denmark did."
"We missed three or four chances and did not have the killer instinct," he said. "I think that in midfield and at the back, there were often plenty of gaps and we could have got control of Denmark better."
Bender delighted to justify Löw faith
Löw praises maturity, eyes improvement
"The match was just as tough as we thought it would be," said Löw.
"We lacked the killer instinct in the first-half, which would have made it easier, and then Denmark scored.""We knew we could have gone out if we had gone behind, so nerves crept in.We showed maturity in the second-half, but we can still improve."

Faultless Löw can do no wrong

Löw: "Wir haben erst ein Etappenziel erreicht" - In an interview on the dfb.de website, Jogi talks of the milestone reached by his German team - being the first time the country has ever won all three Group stage matches in a tournament (and with all three beaten teams being ranked in FIFA's top ten!). He also talks of Lars Bender's performance and the upcoming Quarter-Final against Greece.

More interviews with Jogi, from before and after the Denmark game, originally on the Nivea website

A post-match interview on Das Erste

UEFA Post-Match Press Conference

"The match was very difficult, as expected. In the first half, we had an opportunity to open up a good lead; we missed three or four chances to make it 2-0 or 3-0. Then, from a standard set piece, Denmark levelled. After that, it became harder. In the second half, we controlled the match, looked after the ball and played with real maturity. Three or four years ago, we wouldn't have won this. But on 60, 70 minutes, all those technical players we have who can take control of the ball stepped up.
Denmark play with real calmness - they play like they don't care about winning, sitting back, and then they hit you on the break. They pass the ball back and forth. I never got the feeling they wanted to win; I felt they were happy to keep it level and hope to get a set piece and score from that.
While I was aware of what could happen, I always felt we would get the second goal. Today was the first decisive game of the tournament, but we did the job and qualified with nine points - a great performance, even if there's still room for improvement. In midfield and defence, we maybe allowed too much space; we could have closed them down much earlier to avoid allowing Denmark to take the pace out of the game. Greece will be the same, so we need to tighten up.
I've never played Greece and now it's time. No one thought they would make it as Russia had been so strong. I think they've had three or four chances at this tournament and scored three goals; they're masters of efficiency. They're hard and great at the back, strong in the tackle; it's like biting into a rock."
Summary thanks to UEFA.com
He praised Lars Bender, and said he had not decided who would play at right-back against Greece.

The press conference can be watched on the UEFA website.

UEFA Press Conference, 16 June 2012

"They (Denmark) are very compact, they are good on the attack and we know how dangerous they are. We cannot afford to underestimate them."
"Of course we will think about Höwedes. He usually plays in central defence but he can play as a wing back, so it will be him or Lars Bender."
"Lukas Podolski has always been there for us, he is always very fit and he scored lots of goals for us in qualifying. To be approaching 100 caps at 26 is really great."
"We have not qualified yet and need at least one point tomorrow. It will be a tight, difficult match. Denmark, of course, also have hopes of reaching the last eight. They can also play with a little freedom. Those who saw them as outsiders before the tournament were wrong; we always knew they would be a threat as they're compact and very dangerous on the counterattack. We will not underestimate them."
"Toni Kroos is not happy that he is not playing, but that is normal - all of these players play all the time with their clubs. Yes, some of them are not satisfied, but when I see them in training room they are all trying, and they are a helpo in the dressing room. Everyone wants to play, and we have some good players on the bench, but this is a long tournament and all of them could get a chance. You need your bench."
(on Mesut Özil) "He is technically very good - he is technically very strong. He is very good without the ball. Yes, there is scope for improvement, but his development over the last two years has been very satisfactory."
"There might be changes for the Denmark game, but only if it is beneficial for the team, but I will not be making changes so players can have a day off."
(on Mario Gomez) "First of all, I think that I don't want to hear anything about who will be top scorer in two weeks or who will win the title. In two matches he has scored three goals; three very important and decisive goals. He has to be in the box when he is needed and he is doing an excellent job. He has scored a lot of goals in the Bundesliga over the last two years, and is ice-cool in front of goal. He will play tomorrow, but we also have Miroslav Klose who is an excellent striker and that is fantastic."
"We are not looking to help any other teams. The only thing that matters is that we play a good game and we win. Holland are depending on other teams to proceed. Denmark can go through with a win. All we care about is going through the round and finishing top of the group. Whoever else makes it does not bother us."
"Every team has played two games. It is hard to pick up trends, but all the teams have been looking to attack - there has been no 0-0 draws yet. A lot of teams are also very good defensively. The skilful teams have been getting the better of the more physical teams."
"We see Denmark as a compact unit - a team. They all know what to do. They have some exceptional players, so they can play, but they are a team who play very much for a unit. They work very hard for each other. They are a very good, mature team, and also very dynamic."
"I am not giving anyone the task of telling me what is happening in the other game every 10 minutes. However, if I need to know anything at that game, I will get the necessary information."
"It doesn't matter to us who we get in the quarter-finals. The Poles are the hosts, they are very good team, but I don't really care who we play. Russia have played very calmly. You have the feeling that they are in their rhythm and then they can flick a switch and play fantastic football at great tempo. Their ability to switch like that is fantastic. I hadn't seen Russia as such a stong tem, but they are very fast on the counterattack, but they have really made a step up here."
"It is a surprise that Morten Olsen has never lost against Germany. In 2010 we were 2-0 up against them that we didn't win (see my Denmark match page from 2010). We want to make sure we change that statistic."
Comments with thanks to UEFA.com

Excerpts from the press conference on UEFA.com

Friday appeared to be a day of press interviews with several appearing in online media over the following 24 hours:

"Ich empfinde keinen Stress" - "He dances, he steals balls, he does everything right." In an interview on 11freunde.de, Joachim Löw talks about his daily routine at a major tournament, Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and relaxing with a good book. - 16 June 2012

Diese Elf ist wie ein Baby für mich!
An exclusive interview with Jogi appears in today's edition of Bild.

Löw hints at Germany exit after 2014 World Cup - 15 June 2012
Germany coach Joachim Löw has hinted that he would look to step down from his current position following the 2014 World Cup.
The 52-year-old took Die Mannschaft to the semi-finals of 2010 World Cup, before losing to Spain, and his charges are fancied as one of the favourites to emerge victorious from Euro 2012. Despite this, he acknowledged that change is a necessary part of football, and that he will eventually need a new project when he has done all he can for Germany.
"There comes a time when both sides, or myself, feels there needs to be a change made. Sometimes change is necessary." he told Bild. "Eventually there will come a time where new ideas are needed, where I say now I've done everything and a new challenge and new motivation is needed."
While saying that he can look back on a good career, he hinted that he is far from finished with his current work - singling out the next World Cup as his next goal. "I don't know when that time is but I am sure I will be able to recognize it. But when I do I want to be able to reflect on a good career. And I can now. After the Euros the next goal will be Brazil in 2014."

Herr Löw, treten Sie mit dem EM-Titel zurück? - Another exclusive interview, this time with tz-online - with the now-famous 'Jogi Dance' meriting a mention !! - 15 June 2012

Joachim Löw and Hansi Flick attend the Spain v Ireland Group C game in Gdansk, where a 4-0 victory for Spain eliminated Ireland from the tounament - 14 June 2012

"Denmark will be very tight, maybe we have to change our defence to deal with that, it is something I will think about," said Löw."We still need points, we can't rely on the other game being a draw."
With temperatures at kick-off in Kharkiv over 30 degrees Celsius, Löw said he was pleased with his players' fitness, but admitted he is tempted to make some subtle changes for the Denmark game to rest players."The temperatures were extreme and the game was highly intense," said Loew."This is a long tournament, there are still lots of hurdles to get past. Maybe we could look at a few changes against Denmark as defensively they will be very, very tight. Maybe a few players need a break so if we make it to the quarter-finals they will be fresh." - from timesofmalta - 14 June 2012

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Last updated 2 January 2014
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Silke, Denise, Rocio and Nic!
See my Index Page for photograph credits.  Also thanks to UEFA.com
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