Euro 2012 Standings: Most Surprising Results from First Two Days of Action

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJune 9, 2012

KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 09:  John Heitinga of Netherlands applauds the fans after the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Denmark at Metalist Stadium on June 9, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Euro Championships have become an unpredictable affair, and the 2012 version has wasted no time offering up some surprising results. 

There are just four games completed in tournament play, but there is plenty for us to question what we thought we knew heading into this grand tournament. 

I'll review the three most surprising aspects of play so far, and feel free to check out the full standings on the official UEFA website. 


Denmark over Netherlands

Few gave Denmark a chance to start off their 2012 Euro with a win. Denmark has been playing well, and they are FIFA's ninth-ranked team, but they were taking on a powerhouse in the Netherlands, who are ranked third in the world. 

Someone forgot to tell Denmark they were supposed to lose. They took down Netherlands, 1-0, on the strength of a Michael Krohn-Dehli goal in the 24th minute.

Krohn-Dehli was hovering around the penalty area when he picked up a loose ball and beat two defenders to drill a shot on a tight angle and between the keeper's legs.

Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen was fantastic in this game and made several big stops. 

This is a huge win for Denmark, and a giant setback for Netherlands, as the two are locked in the loaded Group B with Germany and Portugal. 


Russia Dominates Czech Republic

It wasn't that Russia, the 13th-ranked team in the world, beat the 27th-ranked Czech Republic that was surprising, but how they did it. 

The Russians prevailed, 4-1. The Russian attack was fierce and quick. Their passes had beautiful pace and were on point. 

This deadly attack looked polished and ready for big things. This is a team that is playing as a team, and they cannot be counted out of being a surprise contender for this title. 


Portugal's Attack Falls Flat

Portugal earned a tough opening draw as they had to take on the second-ranked Germans. This was a golden opportunity for them to make a statement, and they didn't even have to win to do that. 

Had Portugal just managed a couple of goals, they would have proved that their attack, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, was capable of beating any defense. 

Instead, they fell 1-0, and they had their chance to steal a victory. Germany was not playing their best this day. This left the door open for Portugal to strike, but they couldn't capitalize. Ronaldo was almost non-existent in this match, and with that ineffectiveness, it would be foolish to expect them to even advance from the tough Group B.