WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The exciting tempo of the European Championship extended into the tournament’s sixth day as Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 after Portugal edged Denmark 3-2 on Wednesday.
Germany forward Mario Gomez struck twice in the first half to settle the latest chapter in a classic rivalry of world football. Robin van Persie scored for the Dutch, who have now lost twice.
Portugal’s early two-goal lead was canceled out by two headers from Nicklas Bendtner for the Danes, before substitute Silvestre Varela struck a late winner. Cristiano Ronaldo had another disappointing game on the international stage, as the Portuguese star squandered two excellent second-half chances.
Once more, the good football was tempered by bad headlines involving fans’ behavior.
UEFA threatened Russia with a six-point deduction in Euro 2016 qualifying as punishment for fans attacking stadium stewards Friday in Wroclaw. UEFA also ordered Russia to pay a €120,000 ($150,000) fine.
The mayor of Warsaw apologized to foreign visitors after violent clashes Tuesday when Poland played Russia on a tense day in the capital city.
The Germans and Dutch renewed their major tournament rivalry on a hot and humid evening in Kharkiv, Ukraine. A flop at Euro 2008, Gomez added to his winning goal against Portugal on Saturday with right-footed shots in the 24th and 38th minutes.
“I justified the confidence that my coach had in me,” said Gomez, who edged veteran Miroslav Klose to be Germany coach Joachim Loew’s starting forward.
The Bayern forward now has three goals here, drawing level with Alan Djagoev of Russia as tournament top scorer.
Van Persie brought the Dutch into contention with a shot in the 73rd. The 2010 World Cup runner-up can still advance by beating Portugal on Sunday.
Portugal seemed in control in Lviv when defender Pepe headed in from a corner kick in the 24th, and forward Helder Postiga fired in a pass from Nani in the 37th.
Denmark fought back when Bendtner scored into an empty net from a clever header across goal by Michael Krohn-Dehli. The Arsenal forward equalized in the 80th, rising at the far post to send in a header that Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio pushed on to the post and into the net. Varela rifled in the winner after initially failing to control a pass.
Both teams have three points and can advance to the quarterfinals together, even though Germany leads with six going into the final round of matches.
Bendtner could face disciplinary action from UEFA for apparent ambush marketing during his second goal celebration. He lifted his shirt and dropping his shorts slightly to reveal a gambling firm’s name on his underpants, in breach of UEFA rules protecting its official sponsors.
Russia has been a standout at Euro 2012 but its fans have found trouble wherever they go. UEFA rules hold football associations responsible for spectators’ behavior inside stadiums.
On Wednesday, UEFA’s disciplinary panel ruled on incidents during Russia’s 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic.
Police said violence flared when stewards tried to detain a man they believed threw a firecracker. Fans also displayed a nationalist flag adopted by far-right groups.
UEFA announced a second round of charges regarding fireworks and flags, plus a fan on the pitch, at the 1-1 draw with Poland on Tuesday.
Still, Russia fans were mostly innocent victims of Polish followers’ aggression in Warsaw.
Police, who fired rubber bullets and used water cannon and tear gas, said Wednesday they had detained 184 people.
A total of 19 civilians and 17 officers were injured, and officials said up to 140 people required some kind of medical treatment
Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz apologized to “our guests,” the Euro 2012 visitors, calling the violence a “scandalous” disturbance of public order.
“I apologize and I deplore the fact that hooligans have exposed our guests to a loss of a sense of security,” Gronkiewicz-Waltz told a news conference.
In Thursday’s matches in Poland, Italy faces Croatia in Poznan and Spain will play Ireland later in Gdansk.
One Croatia fan has become a celebrity back home, though unexpected exposure almost came at the cost of her job. Photos circulated online of Jelena Miksa revealing her bare breasts while attending the victory against Ireland on Sunday.
Miksa is a clerk at the Croatian culture ministry, and the government advised her to “take care of her behavior in the future.”