By Money Mike
In the third match of EURO 2012, it was Netherlands and Denmark kicking off group play in Group B and most people would expect the Netherlands to pick up an easy win. Instead, the Oranje failed to finish their chances and they end up losing. On Saturday, Denmark pulled off an upset win as they held on and defeated the Netherlands 1-0. The Dutch, who were one of the favorites of making it out of the group of death, now find themselves on the brink of elimination with Germany on Wednesday and Portugal on Sunday.
The first opportunity of the match came from Denmark just a minute into the match off a set play. Simon Poulsen came up from his left back position to take the free kick and curled it in toward the near post for a header by Daniel Agger, but there wasn't enough pace on it and Maarten Stekelenburg got down on pounced on the ball for the first save of the match.
In the seventh minute, the Dutch had a chance that they probably should've converted. Arjen Robben, who remember was the man who missed a penalty kick in Extra Time for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, made a great run around Lars Jacobsen toward the endline and looked to slide the ball across and the ball bounced off the heel of Simon Kjaer right to Robin van Persie from point blank range, but he missed wide and rarely do we see that from him, especially after a year in which he scored 30 goals for Arsenal and won the Premier League golden boot.
The Dutch continued to wear down the backline, but it wasn't enough for them to find the net and in the 24th minute the Dutch failed to clear the ball out of their own area which lead to an opening goal by Denmark. Simon Poulsen made a good run before trying to get the cross in which was blocked by Gregory van der Wiel, but Michael Krohn-Dehli stepped in after a defensive miscue. Krohn-Dehli stepped passed John Heitinga and fired his shot low through the legs of Maarten Stekelenburg and into the net to give Denmark a 1-0 lead.
In the 29th minute, the Dutch had a chance to pull level off the corner kick. Arjen Robben curled the ball in toward the near post and it looked like Ron Vlaar was going to get to it, but it was just out of his reach. Vlaar actually ended up colliding with his teammate Ibrahim Afellay and it was Afellay who got the worst of that as he was the one who stayed down on the ground.
In the 39th minute, Nigel de Jong fed the ball to Ibrahim Afellay who had room to run. Afellay turned away from Daniel Agger with some trickery and ripped a shot to the far post, but it was over the bar.
In the second half, the Dutch looked to spark their attack by bringing on Rafael van der Vaart and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but still there was nothing to show for. In the 72nd minute, van der Vaart looked to level the match at one from long distance, but he skied his shot well over the top. Two minutes later, Wesley Sneijder threaded the ball through to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar who had only the keeper to beat but he shot it right at Stephan Andersen. The last opportunity came in stoppage time from Robin van Persie to flicked the ball over the bar. That summed it up for the Netherlands as they finished with 28 shots and out of the 28, none of them found the back of the net and Denmark to only had eight attempts were able to hang on and upset the Netherlands 1-0.
Denmark - Michael Krohn-Dehli 1 (unassisted) 24'
Netherlands - Mark van Bommel (caution; foul) 67'
Denmark - Simon Paulsen (caution; time wasting) 78'
Denmark - William Kvist (caution; dissent) 81'
Denmark - Stephan Andersen; Lars Jacobsen, Simon Kjaer, Daniel Agger, Simon Poulsen; William Kvist, Christian Eriksen (Lasse Schone 74'), Niki Zimling; Dennis Rommedahl (Tobias Mikkelsen 84'), Nicklas Bendtner, Michael Krohn-Dehli
Netherlands - Maarten Stekelenburg; Gregory van der Wiel (Dirk Kuyt 85'), John Heitinga, Ron Vlaar, Jetro Willems; Mark van Bommel, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong (Rafael van der Vaart 71'); Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Ibrahim Afellay (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 71')