Sunday, June 10, 2012

Holland 0 Denmark 1

FURIOUS Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk was left with Dehli Belly after a shock defeat here in Kharkiv. 

Michael Krohn-Dehli fired the Danes’ 24th-minute winner to blow Group B wide open.
But as fans back in Holland jammed phonelines last night on radio call-in shows demanding he resign, Van Marwijk accused Slovenian ref Damir Skomina of missing two stonewall penalties.
He rapped: “What made this defeat unacceptable was we were not given a 1,000 per cent clear penalty.
“It wasn’t a handball once. The same player, Lars Jacobsen, did it twice in the second half and got away with it. It was daylight robbery.”
Nonetheless Van Marwijk had to concede his own side’s inability to put the ball in the back of the net was more than instrumental in their downfall.
He said: “We didn’t convert so many chances. When you have so much possession and do so much attacking, you must score at least once.
“Because of the incredible heat, you can’t keep the tempo at the highest level for 90 minutes. At some point during the second half we knew the legs of the players were getting tired. They had done so much running, they ran out of steam.”
In contrast, Denmark coach Morten Olsen was ecstatic. 

He said: “We couldn’t go out and try to play Holland at their own game, they’d have killed us.
“But we restricted them and scored the vital goal. My players were heroic and this was an historic victory for us.”
The Danes, who had never won an opening game in the Euros, finally brought that unwanted record to an end at the eighth attempt.
Van Marwijk had already run the risk of invoking the wrath of a critical Dutch public who called on him to pair Arsenal’s Robin van Persie with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
But he refused to bow to the pressure, leaving Huntelaar on the bench but starting with the prolific Arsenal striker.
But Van Persie rarely looked like justifying his selection as his usually deft touch in front of goal simply eluded him. 

Although the Dutch managed to muster a staggering 27 shots against just five from Denmark, they rarely threatened with any great intent.
Arjen Robben and Van Persie missed early chances to give the Dutch the lead.
And they were punished as the Danes hit them with a classic breakaway with Krohn-Dehli cutting inside to fire through the legs of Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Dutch almost levelled in the 36th minute but Robben hit a post and Van Persie went close just before the break. Holland came out of the blocks with intent and purpose in the second half as Robben saw a chance deflected for a corner.
But, despite a flurry of pressing football, the Danes did not look too troubled.
Eventually Van Marwijk had seen enough and made a double sub, bringing on Huntelaar and Spurs ace Rafael van der Vaart with 19 minutes left.
And it was Huntelaar who almost levelled when he was put clean through, only to be denied by Danish keeper Stephan Andersen. 

Robben continued to waste useful openings, choosing to shoot woefully wide on several occasions rather than find team-mates in better positions.
As the clock ticked down, Van Marwijk played his final card by sending on Dirk Kuyt to bolster his attack.
But two goals in his last 10 internationals was hardly the form likely to put the fear into Denmark.
Huntelaar had a late claim for a penalty waved away with just a minute left when Jacobsen appeared to handle the ball.
HOLLAND: Stekelenburg 7, Van Der Wiel 6, Heitinga 7, Vlaar 6, Willems 7, Van Bommel 7, Nigel De Jong 6, Robben 6, Sneijder 6, Afellay 6, van Persie 6. SUBS: Van der Vaart (N De Jong 71) 6, Huntelaar (Afellay 71) 6, Kuyt (Van der Wiel 84) 6. Booked: Van Bommel.
DENMARK: Andersen 7, Jacobsen 7, Kjaer 7, Agger 7, S Poulsen 6, Kvist 6, Zimling 7, Rommedahl 7, Eriksen 7, Krohn-Dehli 8, Bendtner 7. SUBS: Schone (Eriksen 74) 6, Mikkelsen (Rommedahl 83) 6. Booked: S Poulsen, Kvist. 

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