Sometimes team spirit is just not enough. That is the feeling a heroic, battling Denmark side left their fans with after losing to Germany in Lviv last night. Joachim Löw's Group B favourites were too strong in the end, but what was positive for the Danes was that they went into the game with their destiny still in their own hands thanks to their opening win against the Netherlands. Indeed, not only did they surprise their opponents, they surprised themselves by finishing third in the section above the Oranje.
In a nutshell
"Everybody needs luck," said coach Morten Olsen. "Perhaps we just need it a little more." If the Scandinavian hopefuls had fortune on their side against the Netherlands, it ran out quickly after that. Nicklas Bendtner showed great determination to score twice and bring his team level against Portugal while Michael Krohn-Dehli – the match winner against the Dutch – notched his second of the tournament to equalise against Germany. Little did any of that help, though, as both matches were ultimately lost by a single late goal.
When Krohn-Dehli found the back of the net against the Netherlands in his first-ever major tournament appearance, suddenly he was one of the most talked-about players at UEFA EURO 2012. The 29-year-old became the personification of the team as Olsen's side provided the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Thanks to a heroic effort, Denmark got off to the best possible start, allowing themselves to dream of a quarter-final spot.
Making their debuts at a UEFA European Championship, goalkeeper Stephan Andersen, 30, and two-goal midfielder Krohn-Dehli both made a fantastic impression. Even so, no player had a greater impact than Daniel Agger, the captain putting in three superb displays in central defence.
Hope for the future
This Denmark squad are likely to build on their showing as key figures such as Krohn-Dehli, Agger, Bendtner and Christian Eriksen will still be around for UEFA EURO 2016. Most of all, the players showed commitment to each another and that bodes very well.
Denmark are travelling home having managed a total of 27 shots from 88 attacks, while their three opponents racked up 57 shots against them from 133 attacks.
"People said we wouldn't get any points. We managed to create quite a stir. But that doesn't change the fact we are very disappointed to be going out."
Krohn-Dehli reacts to Denmark's exit.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.