Germany starlets Lars Bender and Mats Hummels have reflected proudly on a day when the former’s match-winning strike allowed Joachim Low’s side to claim all nine group stage points.
With Denmark holding the Germans to a 1-1 draw as late as the 80th minute, Bender stepped up to break the deadlock and send the Danes packing home from Euro 2012.
Earlier on in the Group B match, Michael Krohn-Dehli had equalized five minutes following Lukas Podolski’s 19th minute opener to set-up a thrilling finish to the proceedings.
Ultimately, the match will be remembered for the manner in which Bender’s first international goal ended Denmark’s strong defensive resilience.
“Forgetting the goal for a minute, playing in such a game for your full debut for your country is very special. It’s a wonderful day for me today, a day when I scored the winning goal,” a thrilled Bender told UEFA.com. We got through the group stage with maximum points, which is a wonderful achievement and I will remember this day for a long, long time.
The 23-year old added: “I think we generally have great team spirit and we tried to score the second goal, to go forward and we didn’t think that we would concede a goal.
“We were really focused on getting that second goal and I could see space opening up in their half and we counterattack well, which we saw again today. And you have to fight your way through and get that goal.
“Miro [Klose] slipped the ball through and it was quite lucky that I happened to be in the right place at the right time, but you don’t stop to think about it, you just hit it.”
Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels also expressed strong feelings about Bender’s famous strike.
“I’m happy especially for Lars because he is new to the team. Because he is a great guy, and he doesn’t always play, and also because he is not the most dangerous player in the world,” the 23-year old Hummels concluded.