Kharkiv (Ukraine): Two first-half goals from Mario Gomez were enough to give Germany a 2-1 win over the Netherlands Wednesday, in a result that leaves Germany on the verge of the quarterfinals.
After two defeats in two games, pre-tournament favourites the Netherlands look set for an embarrassing early exit in the so-called group of death, barring a near-miracle in the final round of games Sunday.
The Dutch dominated proceedings early on, but seemed to lose heart after Robin van Persie missed two excellent early chances.
Gomez grabbed his first on 24 minutes with an elegant turn and shot after exploiting the space in the Dutch defence to make full use of Bastian Schweinsteiger's pass.
Germany sliced through the Dutch team for their second, Gomez passing to Muller, who found Schweinsteiger as Gomez ghosted into space to pick up the final pass.
The Bayern Munich striker finished by lofting the ball over Stekelenburg for Germany's second of the game and his third of Euro 2012.
After a period on the ropes, the Dutch revived midway through the second half and van Persie rediscovered his scoring touch on 73 minutes, cutting inside and beating Manuel Neuer with a precise low shot through the legs of Holger Badstuber.
Netherlands: Maarten Stekelenburg, Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Jetro Willems, Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel (Rafael van der Vaart 45), Arjen Robben (Dirk Kuyt 83), Wesley Sneijder, Ibrahim Afellay (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 45), Robin van Persie.
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller (Lars Bender 90), Mesut Ozil (Toni Kroos 81), Lukas Podolski, Mario Gomez (Miroslav Klose 73).