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Thursday 18 December  
Holland squad listened to the national anthem
Theo Tamis's picture
Kharkiv, Ukraine
Kharkiv, Ukraine

Group of Death by numbers

Published on : 16 June 2012 - 7:00am | By Theo Tamis (Photo: RNW/Theo Tamis)
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A Dutch victory and a Danish defeat on Sunday would leave Germany majestically on top in Group B with a maximum nine points and the other three sides tied at three points.

In that case, the following UEFA rules will apply to determine the ranking, in the given order:

1. higher number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question;
2. superior goal difference in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
3. higher number of goals scored in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
4. superior goal difference in all the group matches;
5. higher number of goals scored in all the group matches;
6. position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system;

So, what does that mean for each team in Group B, the "Group of Death , where the current ranking is as follows:

Group B P W D L F A +/- Pts
Germany Germany 2 2 0 0 3 1 2 6
Portugal Portugal 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
Denmark Denmark 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
Netherlands Netherlands 2 0 0 2 1 3 -2 0


If Germany beat or draw against Denmark on Sunday: Germany secure top spot.
If Germany lose, they are through with a one goal loss provided they score 2 or more goals themselves. Otherwise, they are out, provided that Portugal beat the Netherlands.

A Danish win over Germany will secure qualification, a draw will too, but only if the Netherlands beat Portugal by a one-goal margin. If they lose, they’re out.

Victory over the Netherlands will secure qualification unless Denmark beat Germany by a wider margin.
A draw will suffice too, provided Denmark don’t beat Germany.

Portugal advances to the second round even if it loses by one goal against the Netherlands, but only if Germany beat Denmark. A wider margin of defeat against the Netherlands would throw them out of the tournament.

The men in orange are out if they lose or draw against Portugal. Holland only survive if they beat Portugal by more than one goal and Germany defeat Denmark.

Unfortunately, the statistics don’t bode well for the Netherlands. Never in history have Holland won by more than one goal over Portugal. They've only beaten them once and that was 21 years ago.

Out of form
The Dutch have been hopelessly out of form recently, winning just three of their last nine official games. Never before had the Netherlands lost two group stage matches in a UEFA European Championship. Scoring goals has proved a tall order for the Dutch, who have a pitiful 2.6% shot to goal conversion rate, the lowest in the tournament so far.

Holland might draw comfort from the fact that Portugal were four games without a win in 2012, scoring just once in that time before beating Denmark 3-2.

The previous encounter between the two sides has gone down in history as the Battle of Nuremberg. No fewer than 16 yellow and 4 red cards were dished out at the 2006 World Cup, the world record for the most bookings and send-offs in one game.



janv 17 June 2012 - 1:12am / canada

You really cannot expect the Oranje to win, but of course I will be watching.

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