TILBURG - Second-half headers by Nadia Nadim and Theresa Nielsen stunned holders Germany who bow out of the women's Euro after a 2-1 quarter-finals loss to Denmark in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Germany, who have won the Euro six times in a row and eight times overall, dominated the eventful game postponed from Saturday because of heavy rain, but Denmark's counter-attacking was eventually too much for them. Germany were out of the blocks fast with Isabel Kerschowski drawing first blood on three minutes with massive help from Danish keeper Stina Petersen who palmed her shot from just outside the box into the goal.

But Nadim put Denmark level three minutes after the break with a bullet header from a cross by Stine Larsen and Nielsen then headed home a cross from substitute Frederikke Thoegersen with seven minutes left. "I'm so happy that we beat Germany. It's amazing," Nielsen beamed after the game. "Everybody dreams about scoring, but doing it is another thing. Why not today? It's a good day."

Denmark coach Nils Nielsen said the win was deserved as winger Katrine Veje hit the woodwork after a Nadim pass flicked on by Harder with half an hour to go, while Petersen regained self-confidence with several brilliant saves. "It was fairly equal in term of the chances. Germany didn't put on under big pressure."

German coach Steffi Jones bemoaned a lack of will to win on the German side. "There's a lot of disappointment. We weren't aggressive enough," she said. In the semi-final on August 3, Denmark will take on either Austria or Spain, who are playing later on Sunday. On the same day, the Netherlands, who beat Sweden 2-0 on Saturday, will face either England or France, also playing later on Sunday.

Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema handed the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Sweden and a spot in the women's Euro semifinals. Euro semifinalists from 2009, hosts Netherlands will face either England or France in Enschede on August 3.

Martens, playing for Barcelona after spending last season with Sweden's Rosengard, opened the scoring on 33 minutes with a low free-kick after Miedema had tripped Jessica Samuelsson just outside the box. Miedema added a second in the 64th minute after Shanice van de Sanden had found her in front of goal with a cross following a superb run down the right flank.

"It was really a great match, it's a great achievement," said Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman. Midfielder Jackie Groenen said the match was "really tough". "We had to run a lot but we worked really hard, we worked as a team and we're really, really happy we made it to the semi-finals," she said. Looking at the semifinal opponents, Wiegman said she could not choose. "They're both very strong again. For me it doesn't matter who we play, we have to play the best game we can to beat them."

The Dutch pushed for a goal from the start, reducing Sweden to counter-attacking as they sought to extend their perfect record from the tournament so far. Skipper Sherida Spitse fired over from a free-kick on 14 minutes and, moments later, Sweden keeper Hedvig Lindahl spilled the ball after a corner but Miedema failed to tame it for a shot.

At the other end, Sweden sweeper Nilla Fischer headed just over the bar from a corner on 25 minutes. Sweden created two good chances just after half-time but Fridolina Rolfo slammed her left-footer past the post and Stina Blackstenius blasted over. But the Dutch continued to dominate the game, with Spitse missing from outside the box and Miedema heading over and then sending her low shot wide. "We created a few chances but we didn't use them. We didn't utilise the flanks as much as we wanted to," said Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, who will quit after five years with the team.

AFP