Rafael van der Vaart has refused to give up hope of the Netherlands advancing to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
The Dutch have lost their opening two games of the tournament, the latest a 2-1 defeat to Germany.
A double from Mario Gomez was enough to condemn the Dutch to consecutive defeats, despite Robin van Persie’s second-half strike, leaving them needing to beat Portugal on Sunday and relying on Demark to lose to Germany, with goal difference the decider.
And the Tottenham man has urged his Netherlands team-mates to ‘believe in our chance’ heading into a crucial third round of Group B games.
“We have still a chance when we win 2-0 and Germany helps us,” Van der Vaart told German television. “We simply have to believe in our chance.”
A strong, efficient performance by Germany, aided by a nervous first half for the Dutch, meant that Germany were two goals clear before the break.
And despite the Netherlands performing with more gusto in the second half, Van der Vaart acknowledged that they could not gain the upper hand against their physically-imposing opponents.
“Germany has a good team. They’re very strong. They had two chances and scored two beautiful goals,” he said.
“We tried to give everything again in the second half, but it was not enough.”
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