Kharkiv, Ukraine – Mario Gomez continued his remarkable form by scoring two goals to help Germany claim firm control of Group B with a 2-1 defeat of the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Gomez was the difference-maker against Portugal on Saturday as he nodded home Germany's lone goal of the match in the second half, and he built on that game-winner by bagging a brace before halftime on Wednesday to see his country climb to the summit of the "Group of Death" with one match to go.
Robin van Persie netted the lone goal for the Netherlands, keeping the Dutch within touching distance of qualifying for the quarterfinals.
The Dutch had the better of the early running but they were made to pay for their lack of efficiency in front of net as Gomez bagged two goals in the span of 14 first-half minutes, both coming off of beautiful feeds from Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Schweinsteiger collected possession in the center of the pitch in the 24th minute and threaded the needle to find Gomez in the box. The Bayern Munich striker turned on a dime to find himself one-on-one with Maarten Stekelenburg, and he made no mistake with the chance as he slotted a shot past the Dutch 'keeper with ease.
Gomez added a second of the match, and third of the tournament, when he exploited space behind the Dutch defense to latch on to a through ball from Schweinsteiger. He capped the move with a brilliant finish, slamming his effort to Stekelenburg's far upper corner.
Germany dominated much of the remaining match but the Netherlands grabbed a lifeline in the 73rd minute when van Persie cut the deficit in half. The Arsenal talisman ripped a shot from distance with his weaker right foot and Manuel Neuer was unable to get a hand to the powerful effort.
The strike galvanized the Dutch, but they were unable to find an equalizer as the match finished in favor of the Germans.
The group is still up for grabs as all four teams have a chance to advance to the knockout round after their final matches on Sunday.
Germany (six points) will square off against Denmark (three points) while Portugal (three points) will face a Netherlands side that needs a win, as well as a win from Germany, to have any hope of advancing.