Holland 0 Denmark 1: Wasteful Dutch punished by Krohn-Dehli strike
18:33 GMT, 9 June 2012
Denmark secured the first huge surprise of the European Championship with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands on Saturday in Group B.
And it was Michael Krohn-Dehli that provided the lethal finishing that the Dutch inexplicably lacked.
Krohn-Dehli scored against the run of play when he picked up a loose ball close to the penalty area in the 24th minute, left two defenders standing and shot through the legs of Maarten Stekelenburg from a tight angle.
Wasteful: Van Persie had a bad day at the office
Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel (Kuyt 85), Heitinga, Vlaar, Willems, Van Bommel, Nigel De Jong (Van der Vaart 71), Robben, Sneijder, Afellay (Huntelaar 71), van Persie.
Subs not used: Vorm, Mathijsen, Bouma, Schaars, Strootman, Luuk De Jong, Narsingh, Boulahrouz, Krul.
Booked: Van Bommel.
Denmark: Andersen, Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Simon Poulsen, Kvist, Zimling, Rommedahl (Mikkelsen 84), Eriksen (Schone 74), Krohn-Dehli, Bendtner.
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Christian Poulsen, Bjelland, Okore, Silberbauer, Pedersen, Wass, Jakob Poulsen, Kahlenberg, Schmeichel.
Booked: Simon Poulsen, Kvist.
Goal: Krohn-Dehli 24.
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
It was something Premier League top
scorer Robin van Persie never got close to as he came to symbolize Dutch
futility with a couple of bad mistakes. Denmark goalkeeper Stephan
Andersen made several clutch saves to secure the most important Danish
victory over the Netherlands since the Euro 1992 semifinals.
'It was the only dangerous action of
Denmark,' Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel said. 'I'm speechless,
because these three points are very important.'
The Dutch came closest to scoring
when Andersen gave away the ball to Arjen Robben just outside the area
in the 36th minute, but the Bayern Munich winger curled his left-footer
onto the far post and out of danger.
'Five of us had chances,' Van Bommel said. 'Once we hit the post. So many good opportunities.'
The frustration came to symbolize the
sticky night in eastern Ukraine and leaves the World Cup runners-up
with two clutch games against top-10 ranked teams, Germany and Portugal.
Late in the match, a penalty appeal
for handball was denied when the Dutch were running out of time as Lars
Jacobsen appeared to touch the ball with his upper arm in the box.
Winner: Krohn-Dehli beats Stekelenburg
Denmark, seen as outsider in the
toughest group of the championship, can already take a huge step to the
quarterfinals by beating Portugal in their second game.
'We know the Dutch, they can be very
dominating,' Denmark coach Morten Olsen said. 'If you get scared of
them, they play really good football. I think we played them in the
Great Dane: Krohn-Dehli is mobbed after his strike
From the start, the tactics of the
match were laid out for all 35,932 fans at the Metalist Stadium. The
Dutch started with furious attacking and the Danes counted on a solid
attack and a dose of luck to keep out of danger.
The creative skills of Robben, Van
Persie and Ibrahim Afellay created plenty of chances, but finishing was
off and Andersen would not budge.
Ain't that a kick in the head Agger challenges Van Persie
With one lethal counter, Krohn-Dehli showed some of Europe's best players how it should be done with his well-taken strike.
The Netherlands came into the
tournament without key defender Joris Mathijsen and a questionable left
defensive flank. Ron Vlaar and Jetro Willems confirmed the assumptions
as the back line did not look at ease when the Danes came pushing
forward around the half-hour mark.
Case for the defence: Agger and Kjaer were outstanding for the Danes
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk
even had to come to the sideline to shout and wave his players forward.
And on a difficult day, luck was not with the Dutch either, when
Robben's shot bounced free.
Van Marwijk's decision to pick Van
Persie over Bundesliga top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came into sharp
focus. Two minutes from halftime, Wesley Sneijder set up the Arsenal
striker in the center with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Orange invasion: Holland fans descend on Kharkiv
Uncharacteristically, Van Persie had a
bad first touch and was forced too wide and shot at the goalkeeper
instead of scoring an easy goal.
Early in the second half, too, he
inexplicably mis-stepped on another great chance for goal as the Dutch
pushed forward from the second half whistle. They forced Andersen into
two fine saves on a half dozen occasions.
Uphill task: Holland face a struggle to qualify from Group B
The thousands of orange-clad fans filled the air with shouts of 'Holland, Holland,' but to no avail.
The Danes didn't fully lock themselves up but showed poise by patiently
pushing forward again. Still, the Dutch kept piling up the misses and
Van Marwijk brought in both Huntelaar and attacking midfielder Rafael
van der Vaart for defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong with 20 minutes to
Job done: Denmark have a good chance of making the last eight