Euro 2012 favorite Germany survived its first match in the Group of Death.
Euro 2012 favorite the Netherlands didn’t.
To see update win probabilities for Euro 2012 after Day 2, click here. Here are three thoughts from the day.
1. Sometimes the better team doesn’t win.
The Netherlands was dominating the first half against Denmark. The Danes could barely possess the ball against one of the most skilled teams in the world. Then, a lucky bounce brings the ball right to Denmark’s Michael Krohn-Dheli at the top of the box. He dribbles in and slots the ball right through the goalkeeper’s legs. Denmark wins the game 1-0.
With the win, Denmark’s chance to make the knock out phase jumps from 38% to 67%. They now have a 8.9% chance of winning Euro 2012, which makes the 66-1 odds at the sports book before the tourney seem even more ridiculous. The loss drops the Netherlands’ probability of escaping the Group of Death from 62% to 34%. Their probability of winning Euro 2012 drops from 15.4% to 8.2%.
2. George McFly scores for Germany.
Mario Gomez was terrible in the Champion’s League final. The center forward for Bayern Munich, who Grant Wahl of SI aptly called the George McFly of soccer, couldn’t do anything against Chelsea. For Germany, Gomez scored the only goal of the game against Portugal, heading a ball a down and in the corner of the net. (If only Americans could learn to head the ball down. Yes, I’m talking about you, Clarence Goodson.) Pre tourney favorite Germany increased their probability of winning Euro 2012 from 13.5% to 18%. Portugal drops from 40% to 23% to make it out of the Group of Death.
3. Back to the beautiful game for the Dutch
For a country that usually plays such beautiful football, the Netherlands went street on Spain in the World Cup final in 2010. The Dutch played a rough game to slow the Spanish passing game down. They were like the 1994 New York Knicks, with Mark Van Bommel as Anthony Mason.
At Euro 2012, they’ve returned to beautiful football. Their brief sojourn to the dark side should be seen as a tribute to Spain. The Spanish are so talented that a top 5 team in talent has to resort to kicking them in the shins.
Thanks for reading. And please do check out the updated interactive bracket here.