Denmark 1-0 Holland – Match Review

Denmark produced the first surprise result of Euro 2012 after Michael Krohn-Dehli’s first half goal proved enough to see off Group B favourites Holland in Kharkiv.

The Bronby midfielder’s struck mid-way through the first half against the run of play to hand Moten Olsen’s side a dream start in what has been dubbed ‘the group of death’. It proved to be a frustrating evening for the Dutch as they monopolised possession but lacked a ruthless edge in the final third failing to convert any of the 28 attempts despite their attacking lineup boasting glittering array of talent. Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben were the main culprits passing up a host of gilt edged chances to salvage a point for Bert van Marwijk’s men and they face an uphill struggle to make it to the knockout phase with games against Germany and Portugal to come.

In fact the Dutch should have been home and dry before Krohn-Dehli decisive and should have taken the lead with just seven minutes on the clock as they flew out of the traps. Robben caused mayhem in the early stages and drove past Lars Jacobsen on the left and teed up Van Persie to tamely shoot wide from 12-yards. The Bayern Munich winger then passed up a golden opportunity to give Oranje the lead after being played in by Van Persie but his decision to cross instead of shoot proved to be the wrong one as Daniel Agger did superbly to inadvertently deflect the ball into the goalkeeper Stephane Andersen’s arms.

They were made to pay for their profligacy as the Danes snatched the lead in the 25th minute courtesy of Krohn-Dehli after he pounced on a loose ball and tore past Johnny Heitinga into the penalty before smashing the ball through Maarten Steklenberg’s legs. Holland came within inches of an equaliser ten minutes before half time after Anderson’s careless pass found Robben but could saw his effort strike the post. The Dutch continued to press and Van Persie will be cursing his touch after he mis-controlled Wesley Sneijder’s pass after drifting into space in penalty area.

It was a similar story for the Arsenal striker after the break as Sneijder picked him out only this time he lost his footing on the slick surface. The orange onslaught continued with Anderson at full stretch to palm away Mark Van Bommel’s rasping long-range strike before diving at the feet of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar as the substitute tried to flick the ball over the onrushing keeper after being found by Sneijder with a exquisite pass with the outside of his boot only. A late penalty appeal also fell on deaf ears as Jacobsen appeared to handle in the area as Denmark held on to record a famous victory and give themselves a massive confidence boost ahead of their next two games.

 


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