Euro: Night of suspense beckons in Group B

Final Euro 2012 Group B matches in Ukraine on Sunday promise high drama as group leaders Germany take on Denmark and the Dutch, pointless after two defeats, try to scramble through when they play Portugal.

Germany, who have lived up to their billing as one of the tournament favourites, need one point to guarantee their progress and Sunday's match in Lviv could hand 27-year-old winger Lukas Podolski his 100th cap.

Thousands of German and Danish fans streamed into Lviv's elegant streets ahead of the game to soak up the sunshine. One group of Danes toured in a horse-drawn carriage blowing Viking horns.

The Dutch, meanwhile, are pinning their qualification hopes beating Portugal by at least two goals coupled with a German win. Their orange-clad, eccentric fans kept up their spirits in Kharkiv to the amusement of locals who photographed them eagerly.

Qualifying permutations become more complicated if Germany lose and Portugal, with three points, beat the Netherlands.

The Group B winners will face Greece, who pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament when they beat Russia 1-0 and sent Dick Advocaat's side packing, to the delight of their beleaguered compatriots.

Russia began the tournament like champions and ended it in a damp squib.

Cars and scooters sped through central Athens on Saturday night, horns blaring and Greek flags flying as fans took advantage of a rare moment of relief from the looming economic crisis ahead of a fateful election on Sunday that could decide Greece's future in the euro zone.

BROKEN-HEARTED

The mood could not have been more different in Warsaw where tens of thousands of broken-hearted Poles filed home from the city's 100,000-capacity fan zone, after the Czech Republic ended the co-hosts Euro 2012 dreams with a 1-0 defeat.

The team appeared at the fan zone on Sunday to thank the nation for their support.

"We realize we could have done more, but we thank you for the positive energy you gave us, that you came and were with us," said captain Jakub Blaszczykowski.

The English FA became the latest football authority to have disciplinary proceedings launched against it by UEFA following an attempted pitch invasion by England fans at the Group D match against Sweden.

The European soccer ruling body's Control and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on Wednesday. The disciplinary panel has been working overtime on a string of cases involving fireworks and missile-throwing.

Ten days into the tournament there was praise in one of Ukraine's poorer regions for what Euro 2012 had achieved.

"It's been expensive but I think they did the right thing ... As a country Ukraine has shown itself to the whole world," said Mykola Berezovskiy, a retired miner in Chervonograd, an undistinguished town of 72,000 people 70 kilometers (45 miles) to the north of Lviv.

"It's prestigious to show the world that we're not Russia but Ukraine because everyone thinks of us as a part of Russia."

For many locals the tournament has as much to do with politics as sport and is inextricably linked to the freedom Ukraine won in late 1991.

(Writing by Alexandra Hudson, editing by Ed Osmond)