Joachim Löw praised the way Germany picked out the pockets of space in the Netherlands' defence in their 2-1 win, while Bert van Marwijk rued his team's "lack of courage".
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Germany's 2-1 victory against the Netherlands was a tale of two defences according to coaches Joachim Löw and Bert van Marwijk. While Löw was delighted with his own team's rearguard effort, as well as the way Mario Gomez's goals came about, Van Marwijk rued the lack of courage in his side but remained defiant over their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Bert van Marwijk, Netherlands coach
Of course we're disappointed. We started well in the first 20 minutes – that's how we wanted to play. We had a few good chances and the goal for Germany came out of nothing. There was just too much space for them.
In second half we tried to correct that and after 15 or 20 minutes we thought Germany had a few problems, particularly after the goal from [Robin] van Persie. It was unfortunate it didn't go for us today. I think we were courageous going forward and against Denmark too but I don't think we were strong enough and courageous enough in defence. We continued believing in ourselves and we continued fighting for it.
I love playing three strikers – 4-3-3 – with lots of speed and creativity but we didn't do enough on the flanks today. That type of tactic often decides what happens. The situation is that we still have a chance to go through and when you have a chance you have to believe. That's what I've said in the dressing room and the players think the same as I do.
Joachim Löw, Germany coach
With this victory I think we've opened the door to the quarter-finals. It's now in our hands to make everything clear on Sunday [against Denmark]. It was a very intense game today, a very tight game. The temperatures were extreme and it was difficult to keep a high tempo for the whole match. We did really well defensively as Holland's game is to play on the attack – they have four or five top guys up there.
We took them out of the game and they didn't have many ideas. When we were leading 2-0 I thought Holland were a bit drained and we could've scored that third goal. Then it got a bit more exciting but we deserved that victory. One thing we did know was that Holland are not so good in one on ones in defence and that's how the two goals came about. There were little spaces next to [Joris] Mathijsen and [John] Heitinga and we knew if we could get in there it would be very dangerous for Holland.
What is clear in this so-called group of death is that we've already got six points. There is always room for analysis after a game, though. We could have attacked a little better and been more dangerous in front of goal but we were very compact and were very good.