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Dutch on the brink of exit after German loss
TWO goals from Mario Gomez gave Germany a 2-1 victory over Netherlands in their Euro 2012 Group B match on Wednesday night, putting them on the brink of the quarter-finals while the Dutch face a potential early exit.
The pair combined again 14 minutes later, with Gomez thundering in his third goal in two matches from the right before Dutch forward Robin van Persie cut the deficit in the 73rd with his first goal of the tournament.
The result lifted Germany to six points from two games, following their 1-0 opening win over Portugal, while the Netherlands teeter on the brink of elimination after two defeats in the group following their opening loss to Denmark.
That chance triggered an instant reaction from Germany with Mesut Ozil's volley rattling the foot of the post and the ball rolling into Stekelenburg's hands.
Gomez, who scored the goal against Portugal, then took matters into his own hands again and, courtesy of another well-timed Schweinsteiger pass, spun in the area and coolly slotted the ball home to give Germany the lead.
The forward, who again started ahead of Miroslav Klose, added a second in the 38th minute with a fine drive from a tight angle.
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk brought on Bundesliga top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart at the start of the second half to add some urgency going forward but it was the Germans who kept piercing the Dutch defence at will.
But Neuer was called to the rescue, palming a Van Persie shot wide, while Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder's curled effort on the hour sailed wide.
Van Persie was not yet done, though, firing into the net after 73 minutes to set up a nervous finale although the Germans held on for the victory.