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9 June 2012
• Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist, Kharkiv
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 35923
M. Krohn-Dehli 24'
90' + 3'
AND IT"S FULL TIME! IT'S ALL OVER! DENMARK HAVE PROVIDED AN EARLY UPSET BY DEFEATING THE DUTCH 1-0! Who would've thought! Who could've guessed! Krohn-Dehli's first half strike was enough to settle the game as the Dutch's wasteful offense and poor defence has left them in defeat! I'm Julian De Martinis and I'd like to thank you for joining me here on Goal.com for this match. Stick around the site for post-match reactions from the two camps as well as the other match in this group, Germany-Portugal, in less than an hour!
90' + 2'
Van Persie misses the target once again, and it seems like everything is going wrong for the usually free-flowing, heavily scoring side up front.
90' + 1'
Sneijder whips in a late corner that finds Heitinga, whose header goes wide of the far post! The Dutch continuing to rue their missed chances.
Three minutes of injury time have been added on by the referee. So little time left now!
A late appeal for handball! Huntelaar claims his marker used his hand to clear the ball but the referee doesn't give it a second thought!
The last time the Netherlands lost their opening match in the Euros was 1988... when they went on to win the whole tournament! A loss here isn't necessarily a death sentence, though it does leave the side with an enormous disadvantage, especially if the group's other match doesn't end in a tie.
Huntelaar tries to pass to Van Persie but slots it behind the Arsenal striker. The clear don't look as if they have the best of chemistry up front.
Gregory van der Wiel
Kjaer charges out of his box with the ball as the Danes have five minutes plus stoppages before recording the shock result of the tournament so far!
Tobias Pilegaard Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen on for Rommedahl now as Morten Olsen looks to ensure his side don't falter late on due to fatigue. Moments later, Dirk Kuyt comes on for Van der Wiel in a very attacking final substitution.
Sneijder whips the ball into the box for Van der Vaart but fails to find the Spurs man. One more change is coming for the Dutch a Kuyt looks ready to head into the match.
Yellow Card William Kvist Jörgensen
Goal.com's Michael Hansen notes that for the defending Danes, it will be " long minutes" to hang onto this scoreline. To that point, Kvist is carded for more time-wasting as he throws the ball away with his hand.
The Dutch are having all kinds of trouble clearing the ball from their box, but finally do and counter through Robben. Again, he cuts inside and shoots towards goal but his final effort is well off-target. Poulsen has been booked for time-wasting following that aforementioned throw-in.
Yellow Card Simon Poulsen
Denmark taking their time with a throw in, drawing jeers from the crowd who want to see more furious action. Poulsen nearly dribbles past four defenders but is stopped as he enters the box!
Goal.com's Greg Stobart gives us the inside track on what it's like inside the stadium: "I haven’t got a thermometer to hand but it’s hot here - and it’s starting to show on some of the players. Wesley Sneijder has been complaining of cramp to the Netherlands bench while the water run to the touchline is becoming increasingly frequent for others."
Huntelaar and Van Persie have both missed huge chances for their side. Can the Netherlands score with less than 15 minutes to go or will those affect the side's mentality?
WHAT A CHANCE! THE BEST CHANCE OF THE GAME FOR THE DUTCH! Sneijder sends an absolute world class pass with the outside of his boot up to find Huntelaar in the box. The striker tries to round Andersen but the goalie pulls off a miraculous save to keep the ball from getting behind him, and is then fouled to end the play! UNREAL!
Eriksen off for Schone in Denmark's first substitution of the match, presumably to ensure that the side have fresh legs on to counter the Dutch substitutions.
Robben and Van der Vaart team up to give the latter possession deep in the box; he sends a great low cross across the face of goal that's cleared out for a corner. From the effort, the Spurs man shoots and sees his effort sail over the bar.
Less than 20 minutes left here and the Dutch side are getting desperate for a goal, as Robben runs straight into Agger to lose the ball.
Nigel De Jong
Rafael van der Vaart
Krohn-Dehli cuts inside the box and unleashes a superb effort that draws a fantastic save out of Stekelenburg. While waiting for the corner, Huntelaar and Van der Vaart are thrown on for Afellay and de Jong..
Huntelaar and Van der Vaart are both waiting to come on as Jacobsen blocks a Dutch cross. Bendtner tries to counter but loses possession and the ball is pinging about all over the pitch at the moment.
Van Bommel gets the game's first yellow for an awful challenge on Zimling.
Yellow Card Mark van Bommel
Goal.com's Michael Hansen has some suggestions about what Denmark can do to hold this result: "Denmark need to make a substation now before the players get tired. Maybe it is time to give Christian Eriksen a rest and replace him with a more defensive midfielder as everything right now is about defending the slender lead."
Robben takes charge on the counter, going on a long run that ends with a shot as he cuts inside- as has come to be a trademark for him- which is off target.
Jacobsen skips behind the Dutch defence and whips a low cross in that's parried away.
Sneijder looks up from deep in the midfield, sees Robben's great run into the box and plays a superb direct pass that finds the winger's head. He gets immense power behind his effort but directs the ball wide!
Jacobsen catches Willems late with his trailing foot and gifts the Netherlands a free-kick, about 15 yards outside the box to the left. It's played in brilliantly and headed to Heitinga but the flag is up as the defender is offside!
Yet another corner from the Dutch; Sneijder whips it into the box and right into Andersen's hands. The Danes race forward with the ball and immediately get to the Dutch box. It's end to end here today!
Sneijder clips the top of the wall with his free-kick and the chance goes begging. Van der Vaart and Huntelaar are warming up as Van Marwijk decides he's seen enough!
As Sneijder wins his side a free-kick in a great area, correspondent Greg Stobart notes how the half has been so far: "More of the same so far in the second-half, with the Dutch launching attacks and Denmark happy to defend. The Oranje supporters have increased the decibel level, too. They sense an equalizer is coming and Bert Van Marwijk is constantly encouraging his defensive-minded players to get the ball forward quickly to Van Persie et al."
The Netherlands continue to press forward but the Danes are set up very well and counter quickly. The Dutch still look like they have yet to figure out how to stop Denmark on the counter!
Goal.com's Michael Hansen notes that Denmark need to do more in the middle of the pitch to stop the Dutch's current run of form: Netherlands are really putting the pressure on Denmark now. Van Persie is looking more and more dangerous. Denmark need to turn the game around and put pressure on Netherlands by stopping them in midfield."
Heitinga gets on the end of a great corner and heads the ball towards goal, but it goes just over the bar! That looks to finally end this Dutch spell of chances as Denmark race forward. Poulsen carves open the entire defence and slips a ball through that no one can get to!
Goal.com's Peter McVitie has a bit of commentary on Van Persie's poor match: "Great pass from Sneijder but what is wrong with Van Persie? His first touch has been abysmal in this match. At least now they are getting at Denmark with a bit more speed. But if they don't take these chances they will be made to pay again. This we know from the first-half!"
Afellay shoots a cheeky little effort from outside the box that nearly sneaks into the near post! Unreal scenes from the Dutch who are doign everything but putting the ball in the back of the net!
Captain Van Bommel unleashes an absolute belter from the midfield that Andersen is forced to tip off the post! It takes a few attempts from the Danes to clear the ball from the ensuing corner, and the Netherlands are suddenly looking very close to scoring!
Sniejder gets the ball to the Arsenal striker again, on the other side of the box, and his shot is successful this time but gets the ball only into the hands of Andersen. It's starting to look like one of those nights for the striker!
Poor pass from the Danes, trying to cut through the Dutch defence, but only finding Stekelenburg alone in the box. Sneijder ends a great counter with a superb ball to Van Persie, who gets in the box and slips as he shoots on target, completely missing his effort!
Robben cuts in from the right, taking two defenders with him, and unleashes a shot that gets deflected for a corner. The delivery is poor however and the Danes take the ball.
A string of successful passes sees the Dutch slowly creep into the box. Sneijder breaks through, onside, and cuts it back to his teammates, but the Danish defence sneaks in and nips the ball away.
The second half is now underway, without a change from either side. Denmark begins with possession, losing the ball after Andersen tries to loft it forward. Denmark building from the back now.
Goal.com's Greg Stobart has inside commentary on what the Dutch press currently attending the game want to see from their side: "Some of the Dutch journalists around me are calling for Rafael Van der Vaart’s introduction at half-time as a deep-lying playmaker to replace one of the two defensive midfielders. It would be a risky strategy as this stage, especially with Denmark looking to sit back and hit Holland on the break, just as they did for Michael Krohn-Dehli’s goal."
Peter McVitie, one of tonight's Goal.com correspondents, notes that the Ducth offense played right into the hands of the Danes' defence: "Worrying start to the tournament from the Dutch. Failed to take their chances when they were in the ascendancy and were duly punished for it. Keep pushing it out wide which Denmark are quite happy for them to do because they are struggling to get in behind the defence."
45' + 2'
And after a brilliant first half, the whistle is blown for half-time. Denmark have a shock lead here against the Netherlands, who have blown numerous chances and look very shaky at the back. Krohn-Dehli has given the Danes a shock lead; can they hold onto it for another 45 minutes? Join us soon for the second half!
45' + 1'
Goal.com's Greg Stobart wonders whether the ball has some role in the Netherlands' wayward shooting: "The way some of the Dutch players are shooting, I’m half-wondering whether we might be hearing some complaints about the nature of the ball after the match."
The corner falls to Bendtner in the box who flicks his boot at it; it rolls slowly towards the right corner and Stekelenburg gets down to save.
One can't help but wonder how much longer Van Marwijk will tolerate such profligacy before throwing Huntelaar onto the pitch. A late corner for Denmark now; the Netherlands defence looks very far from sturdy!
Van Persie misses a glorious chance! Robben finds him with acres of space in the box; he dribbles to the left, draws Andersen out of net, and shoots to the empty goal but catches the goalie's back and the ball deflects wide! Remarkable scenes!
Krohn-Dehli waltz through the defence and takes a curling low shot on goal that forces Stekelenburg into a diving save. Though they're attacking less often than the Netherlands, they look more threatening when they do foray forward!
Denmark with another chance in the box that Khron-Dehli sends wide, and the side keep the ball after that attempt. The Netherlands are really on the backfoot now in a way that few predicted!
Michael Hansen, another member of the Goal.com team, reveals just how much that goal has meant for the Danes: "The Danes have improved their play after scoring, using their wings and the left-back more and more to put pressure on the Dutch defenders. The Danish defense looks more and more confident and a sign of early nerves has gone away now."
Some really gorgeous passing in the midfield from the Danes, who lose possession as they attempt to breach the Dutch defence. Afellay goes on a solo run that ends with quite a good shot that just sails over the bar!
Goal.com's Peter McVitie details what the Dutch supporters are feeling right now: "Dutch fans are getting worried. They have been taken aback by that goal. Very little urgency in attacks. Johan Cruyff mentioned before that playing with two holding midfielders makes it difficult to attack with speed and that is proving to be the case here."
ROBBEN OFF THE POST! Andersen plays a very poor pass to his midfield from the back, allowing the Bayern Munich winger to snatch possession very deep in the area. He gets close to the box and cracks a shot off the post!
Make no mistake about it- Denmark is playing with verve and confidence at the moment, without the slightest hint of fear for the Netherlands.
Denmark getting more and more into this now, as Bendtner gets on the end of a cross in the box but fails to control it. The Danes regain possession and are forcing the Dutch into nervy clearances, though the spell ends as a poor cross goes out of bounds.
Fantastic defending in the area from the Danes, who now counter quickly. They make it to the edge of the box and play in a cross that Stekelenburg catches. Another scary moment at the back for the Netherlands!
The winger is allowed back onto the pitch, and now the Danes are in their first real spell of sustained possession in quite some time. They look to be in no rush to play the ball, having already taken the lead and not wanting to risk a quick Dutch counter-attack.
Robben sends in a superb corner that Willems nods on and sails out of play. Afellay is down after clashing heads in that play and is off the pitch receiving treatment, though he appears to be alright to play on.
At the stadium, Goal.com's Greg Stobart gives a first-hand view of the reaction to the goal: "Netherlands coach Bert Van Marwijk is on the edge of his penalty area going berserk at John Heitinga following that Denmark opener against the run of play. The Everton centre-back was beaten far too easily by Michael Krohn-Dehli, although it was a classy finish from the attacker."
The Netherlands' reaction now is going to be massively influential to the rest of the game. The side simply need to be more deadly up front and cannot continue to waste as many chances as they have!
Goal.com's Peter McVitie thinks the Netherlands invited such pressure with their wastefulness up top, noting that the side is truly missing Huntelaar: "Van Persie always available but when he moves out wide there is a large gap in and around the box. This is the same problem they had in the early stages of the game against Denmark in the 2010 World Cup. The Arsenal striker moves to wide positions and expects the likes of Afellay, Sneijder and Robben to move into the centre, and when they don't, a chance goes missing."
Goal Michael Krohn-Dehli
GOALLLLLL DENMARK! Entirely against the run of play, the Danes have nipped in a goal!!! Krohn-Deli recieves the ball after a cross in from the wings. He dribbles his way inside the box and fires from the left, in between Stekelenburg's legs, to give his side a shock lead!
All the pressure is coming from the Netherlands as Afellay cuts inside superbly. Van Persie gets on the end of a great team move and fires from a wide position inside the box, but his shot goes wide.
Goal.com's Greg Stobart illuminates the reasoning behind the empty seats in the stadium today: "It’s a shame to see that there is a smattering of empty of empty seats on the far side of the stadium which, one would imagine, is the more expensive area of the ground. The Dutch supporters are making plenty of noise and have watched their side start brightly. They will need to hit the target, though. Jetro Willems, Robin van Persie and Ibrahim Affelay have all attempted shots at goal but failed to test Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen."
Agger goes for a bit of a high clearance ahead of Van Persie. The Arsenal man appeals for a penalty but there's little in it and it's waved on.
A bit of commentary from our own Jim Knight: "A bit of a cagey first 10 minutes but Robin van Persie has already had a sight at goal but he fired wide of the target. The Arsenal frontman is 16/5 to score the first goal. Arjen Robben is always a danger and he's at 11/2 if you fancy him to break the deadlock."
Another great chance for the Netherlands! Robben makes a superb run into the box and tries to square it to his teammates, but the defence slides to knock the ball back to Andersen!
An overlapping counter from the Danes leads to a good cross into the box that Stekelenburg collects- though it was far from deadly, the move serves as a reminder that the side are far from out of this, despite a lack of possession early on here.
Another shot from the Dutch- this one on target but Andersen is low to save it. They certainly are getting into good positions but are lacking a bit of guile up top.
Kjaer easily clears Sneijder's corner; the ball falls for van Bommel who decides to take a shot from a long way out, which goes well wide.
Van Persie runs up to take the attempt, but slips as he kicks the ball and smashes it into the wall. His teammates regain possession and win their side a corner.
Zimling charges into van Persie's path and a free-kick is awarded to the Netherlands. It's slightly to the right, just outside the box.
Van Persie plays a gorgeous through ball into the run of Sneijder, who had broken through the offside trap in the box. It's a bit high and the Inter player has some trouble taking it down, allowing Andersen to scoop it up. That could've been an easy shot on target!
Afellay looks like his injury woes are well behind him! He cuts into the edge of the box from the left and unleashes a shot after a few step-overs that goes over the bar.
Eriksen plays his free-kick into the wall and the Netherlands watch it roll out harmlessly. Stekelenburg takes the goal-kick as Denmark have a second set-piece go begging.
Vlaar catches Bendtner's trailing leg at the back and a free-kick is duly awarded to the Danes. Vlaar, though certainly not young, was not involved in the Netherlands' qualifying and could be a weak link for Denmark to target tonight.
What a chance! The ball fortuitously falls to van Persie in the box after Robben's low cross is deflected, and his immediate lash at it goes just wide!
Robben sends a cross in from the wing, which van Persie plays back into the box just as it was sailing out. It reaches Afellay at a bit of an awkward angle- he tries an acrobatic kick but it's not on target. A flowing team move, reminiscent slightly of their brilliant counter-attack against Italy at the last Euros.
Denmark's shape is closing down all of the Netherlands' passing channels, forcing the side to go back to Stekelenburg once again. His long kick creates space up front and gives the Dutch some possession in Denmark's half.
The Oranje looks unphased and immediately get to the Danish box. The 18-year-old Willems takes a shot from just outside the box that sails just over the bar, drawing applause from the crowd. Neither side scared to shoot in these opening minutes!
Agger gets his head around the free-kick and flicks it on towards goal as Stekelenburg easily picks it out of the air. The first shot on target nevertheless has come from the Danes!
The Group of Death is underway! The Netherlands begin with the ball and play it carefully back to Roma's Stekelenburg at the back. Denmark quickly gain possession and have a free-kick which they look to play into the box following a foul from De Jong.
The captains tonight are Mark van Bommel and Daniel Agger.
The two teams are beginning their walks out onto the pitch. The Netherlands are in their usual orange kits, whereas Denmark are wearing all-white today.
This just in from Goal.com's Greg Stobart, who attending tonight's match at the stadium: "As the atmosphere builds up here with around 15 minutes until kick-off, the public announcer has just revealed that Christian Karembeu will be selecting tonight’s man-of-the-match. The former midfielder is not introduced as a former France, Real Madrid and Sampdoria star, but as a‘Uefa legend’. Curious."
Indubitably, all eyes will be on the Netherlands to pull off a win here, but to discount Denmark in such a tight group could be fatal, especially with a solid core in place via Agger-Kjaer, Eriksen, and Bendtner.
The match today is taking place in Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine, with Slovenian Damir Skomina as referee. Less than 15 minutes to go!
Affelay starting tonight demonstrates a remarkable recovery for the Barcelona winger, who damaged his anterior cruciate ligament in September and missed nearly the entire club season. After proving himself match fit towards the end of the Spanish season and in pre-tournament friendlies, it looks like the winger is finally approaching his best form once again!
The players are stretching out on the pitch as we approach kick-off in little more than 20 minutes. The big key of this match will fall to the Denmark defence, who are left with the daunting task of keeping the Netherlands' monstrous attack from scoring. On the other end of the pitch it may come down to an aerial duel, as Nicklas Bendtner has a slight height advantage over Simon Kjaer and Daniel Agger, which may come into play.
Denmark regain Zimling despite a toe injury in training yesterday and the rest of the team looks to be more or less a first choice eleven with little controversy. Many eyes will be on Ajax's young Eriksen who has caught the eye of more than a few big clubs with his guile in the midfield over the past couple of seasons.
Van Marwijk looks to prefer a sole striker up front, however, and it has landed upon the Arsenal man to lead his team tonight- though Huntelaar is a superb option to have coming off the bench should the occasion arise!
Perhaps the biggest news is that Klass-Jan Huntelaar only makes it to the bench for the Dutch! Robin van Persie has the nod up front, illustrating just how monstrous a season both have had. Van Persie finished the year as the Premier League's top scorer with 30 league goals; Huntelaar as he Bundesliga's with 29!
Tons of news to talk about! A very happy birthday to Wesley Sneijder, who turns 28 today and marks the occasion with a start for his national team. Left-back Jetro Willems, at 18-years-old, is the youngest ever Euro player in history and is trusted to help the Netherlands keep a clean sheet today.
And finally, the substitutes for each side: Netherlands Vorm, Krul, Mathijsen, Bouma, Boulahrouz, Schaars, Strootman, Van der Vaart, Kuyt, Huntelaar, L De Jong, Narsingh. Denmark: Lindegaard, Schmeichel, Bjelland, Okore, Wass, C Poulsen, Schøne, Silberbauer, J Poulsen, Kahlenberg, Pedersen, Mikkelsen.
Denmark are sending out: Andersen, Kjaer, Agger, Poulsen, Jacobsen, Kvist, Eriksen, Zimling, Krohn-Dehli, Rommedahl and Bendtner in what also looks like a 4-2-3-1.
As both teams are out warming up, now may be an appropriate time to talk about the starting XIs. For the Netherlands, it'll be Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Vlaar, Willems, Van Bommel, de Jong, Robben, Sneijder, Afellay, Van Persie in what looks like a standard 4-2-3-1.
As for the Dutch, making the final of the World Cup and losing to Spain was not enough to suppress disappointment at the side's physical style of play, which disappointed many purists who looked to the Netherlands as a bastion of beautiful football. Bert van Marwijk's men will want to go one better and win over the doubters as well this tournament.
Going back even farther, both of these teams will want revenge for their performances in World Cup 2010, but for largely different reasons. Denmark failed to get out of their group, with instead Japan and the Netherlands advancing! Suffice it to say that Morten Olsen's men will want personal revenge for a group opening 2-0 loss to today's opponents in South Africa!
Before going into the lineups, a quick review on how these two teams ended up at the tournament's group stages. The Netherlands finished top of Group E with 27 points, winning nine matches and losing just one in the process. Denmark were similarly winners of a very tight Group H, winning six, drawing once, and losing once to finish a mere three points above Portugal and Norway.
Welcome to Goal.com's live match coverage of the second day of Euro 2012! What a treat we look to have in store today, with Group B's first match taking place in just under and hour. Dubbed this tournament's Group of Death, the Netherlands and Denmark will begin the proceedings today and give the world a first glimpse at how this mouthwatering table will play out.
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