- match commentary
- European Championship Finals
- 9 June 2012, 4:00pm
- Metalist Stadium
Denmark caused a major shock in the opening match of Group B as Michael Krohn-Dehli's 24th-minute solo goal was enough to beat Holland in Kharkiv.
The Netherlands had by far the better of the game on Saturday evening, but they were unable to beat the impressive Stephan Andersen, meaning Krohn-Dehli's first-half strike got the Danes off to a winning start.
The men in Oranje made the early running but Robin van Persie shot wide and Arjen Robben's dangerous square-ball was intercepted by a sliding Lars Jacobsen. And the Danish then took the lead with a brilliantly-taken goal from Krohn-Dehli, who pounced on a loose ball and surged into the area past Johnny Heitinga, before shooting through Maarten Stekelenburg's legs.
Holland came within inches of levelling when goalkeeper Andersen carelessly kicked the ball straight to Robben but, having advanced to the edge of the box, the winger hit the left upright with his shot. The Dutch were soon back on the attack and Ibrahim Afellay shot just over before van Persie mis-controlled Wesley Sneijder's pass, allowing Andersen to race out and smother his shot.
And the onslaught continued after the break, but van Persie fell over in the box when played in once again by Sneijder, before Andersen kept out a Mark van Bommel piledriver. At the other end, Krohn-Dehli almost doubled his tally, drawing a decent save from Stekelenburg with a low shot.
But Andersen was soon pulling off another fine stop, diving at the feet of sub Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who had been released by a truly brilliant Sneijder pass. And the Danes survived a vociferous late penalty appeal for handball against Jacobsen to claim a priceless upset win.
FULL-TIME:Huge upset in the opening match of Group B as the much-fancied Dutch are beaten by the unfancied Denmark. Holland created enough chances to win all three group games but have been punished for their woeful finishing. Excellent win for the Danes who will now have hopes of reaching the quarter-finals - a feat nobody expected two hours ago.
90+2 mins:Late header from Van Persie but his header brushes the roof of the net. The Dutch have now had 28 attempts on goal.
90 mins:Three minutes added on. Can Denmark hold on?
89 mins:Controversy in the final minutes. Huntelaar controls a cross inside the box before being blocked off by Jacobsen. The Dutch are appealing for handball against the Danish defender but the referee waves away their their protests. The replays show it clearly hit Jacobsen's arm.
87 mins:Denmark aren't panicking on the ball as they keep possession impressively in the closing stages. Dutch coach Van Marwijk is furious as he urges his side to push forward.
84 mins:Rommedahl doesn't look too happy as he's substituted with Mikkelsen taking his place. Holland make their final change as Kuyt comes on for Van der Wiel.
81 mins:Another Danish yellow card as Kvist has his name taken for deliberately handling the ball on the halfway line after slipping.
79 mins:The game is starting to open up as the Dutch push forward. Robben, though, again shoots over from the corner of the box. Simon Poulsen gets a booking for wasting time on a Denmark throw.
75 mins:Another glorious opportunity for Holland. Sneijder plays the pass of the tournament so far as his beautiful ball with the outside of his right boot goes through to Huntelaar. Andersen comes out quickly and makes a courageous block at the striker's feet before then denying Van Persie who is harshly penalised for a foul on the keeper.
74 mins:Denmark make their first sub as young hotshot Eriksen is replaced by Schone.
73 mins:Van der Vaart is instantly involved as he plays a teasing ball across the face of the six-yard box which is cleared behind.
71 mins:Double sub for the Oranje as Huntelaar and Van der Vaart replace De Jong and Afellay. Looks like the Dutch will go 4-4-2.
70 mins:Lovely build-up play from Denmark who switch the ball from right to left with relative ease. Krohn-Delhi comes inside and tests Stekelenburg with a fierce drive which the keeper pushes behind.
66 mins:There it is. The first card of the match is unsurprisingly shown to Van Bommel who deliberately sweeps away Zimling's legs. Dirty tackle. Dirty player.
63 mins:Another chance goes begging. Robben makes a run into the box and gets ahead of Simon Poulsen to meet Sneijder's cross, but he plants his header wide from eight yards. That's the Dutch's 22nd effort on goal.
62 mins:Heitinga again rises to meet a deep free-kick but he's offside as he heads the ball across goal for Van Persie. The frustration builds for the Oranje.
Jon, Leeds:"Josh [see above half-time], I've back Croatia at 50s as they were the 1st team we finished in my boys' Euro sticker book..."
58 mins:Sneijder is tugged back and wins a free-kick in shooting territory, but his effort is blocked by the wall. Huntelaar is going through his paces on the touchline.
Dave, Liverpool:"Put £5 on the Danes to win the Euros today 100/1."
55 mins:Simon Poulsen, who has covered a lot of ground from left-back today, gets to the Dutch byline and pulls a dangerous cross back into the mixer, but Holland clear for a corner which is wasted by the Danes.
53 mins:Another Dutch chance but a free Heitinga sends his powerful header over from a Robben corner. I've got £2 on big John to score at anytime at 8/1 and should now be £16 richer.
52 mins:Absolute ripper from Van Bommel who unleashes a 25-yard piledriver which Anderson does well to tip wide. Affelay then has a pop from a similar distance but his attempt trickles just wide.
50 mins:Van Persie is having a 'Kerzhakov' as he is slipped through down the left but loses his footing at the crucial moment. Moments later, he forces Andersen into a save with a right-footed shot on the stretch. He must have left his shooting boots in North London.
48 mins:Robben makes a trademark run from the right, cutting inside before flashing a shot over. It must have taken a slight nick because a corner is awarded, but the set-piece is defended well by Denmark at the near post.
46 mins:Denmark get us back underway. No subs at the break. Holland have Huntelaar, the top scorer during qualifying, on the bench. No doubt he will feature soon if the Dutch can't break through their opponents.
Josh, Accrington:"Just done a mock Euro 12 tournament on FIFA which was won by Croatia with England losing to Ireland in the quarter-finals. Anyone else think that might be worth a pound?"
HALF-TIME:So it's Denmark in the driving seat as they look to cause a shock in the opening game of the 'Group of Death'. Holland dominated most of the half, but the Danes lead through Krohn-Delhi's strike. The Dutch have been wasteful in front of goal with Van Persie missing two gilt-edged chances and Robben hitting the post, but they do look vulnerable in defence. Join us for the second half soon.
45 mins:One minute added on. Denmark force a corner but Bendtner can't get a clean connection with his head.
43 mins:Golden chance for Van Persie. Sneijder finds the striker free inside the Denmark box, but his first touch is dreadul, allowing Andersen to close the gap and make a sprawling save. Should have scored.
41 mins:Goalscorer Krohn-Dehli brings the ball forward and tries to curl a shot into the far corner, but it's too close to Stekelenburg.
40 mins:Half-chance for the Danes as a dangerous cross is lofted in from the right, but Zimling and Krohn-Dehli, who are both unmarked, get in each other's way and the Dutch survive.
39 mins:Afellay dumps Agger on his backside with some trickery and then drills a shot over from 25 yards. The Dutch are working themselves into good positions but their finishing has been poor.
36 mins:Holland hit the woodwork! I have no idea what Denmark goalkeeper Andersen is thinking as he passes the ball straight to the feet of Robben. The Bayern Munich winger has options left and right but goes for goal from the edge of the box, curling his effort against the face of the post before the Danes clear. Andersen gets out of jail.
33 mins:Rommedahl, who must be about 56 now, breaks down the Denmark right but his cross deflects through to Stekelenburg. Just looking at the former Charlton winger's wiki and I can't believe he's only 33! Afellay is back on the field.
29 mins:Vlaar throws himself at a Robben corner but glances his header wide as the Dutch look to raise the tempo. Afellay is going off for treatment after a clash of heads.
27 mins:Strong appeals for handball against Simon Poulsen inside the Denmark box as he tries to control a pass, but the referee isn't interested. The ball definitely hit his hand, although it wasn't deliberate.
24 mins: DANES TAKE SHOCK LEAD!This has come completely against the run of play! Simon Poulsen breaks down the left and his low cross deflects into the path of KROHN-DELHI who accelerates past a couple of orange shirts into the box and fires the ball through the keeper's legs.
22 mins:The Dutch continue to dominate. Robben rolls the ball to Van Persie who has his back to goal but turns Kjaer sharply before dragging his shot wide.
18 mins:Another chance for the Dutch,. Van Persie sets Robben away with a neat reverse pass down the right. Robben darts into the box and should pull the trigger, but instead he tries to square the ball to Sneijder and Jacobsen cuts out the danger. Wrong option by Robben.
16 mins:Robben uses his pace to drift inside Krohn-Delhi and fires in a shot from 20 yards which Andersen saves with a low dive to his left. Holland are bossing possession.
13 mins:Van Persie wins a free-kick a few yards outside the Denmark area, but his set-piece is disappointing as the Arsenal striker plants his effort into the base of the wall.
11 mins:Van Persie curls a delicious ball over the top of the Denmark defence. Sneijder makes an undetected run in behind the backline, but he can't guide his header goalwards.
10 mins:Bendtner is fouled by Vlaar after a surprise burst of pace, but Eriksen blasts the free-kick against the wall from 25 yards. At the other end, Afellay cuts inside his marker but fails to find the target with his shot.
England66:"Holland to draw today with Denmark 2-2."
7 mins:First big chance falls to Van Persie. Robben ghosts past a couple of players down the Dutch left and pulls the ball back for an unmarked RVP, but he sidefoots wide from 10 yards. Should have probably scored.
6 mins:Van Persie does well to keep alive a deep cross by heading the ball back from the far post, but Affelay can't keep his awkward shot down.
Daniel, Nigeria:I'm optimistic that Holland will win 2-0. It's going to be a tough game but the Netherlands have more bravado than the Denmark side."
3 mins:Left-back Willems, who is now the youngest ever player to feature at the Euro finals, is picked out in space inside the Danish half and unleashes a vicious 25-yard strike which travels a few feet over the bar.
2 mins:It's taken De Jong 45 seconds to commit his first of what I'm sure will be many fouls in this tournament. Agger comes up from the back to get his head on the free-kick, but Stekelenburg makes a comfortable save.
0 mins:The Dutch, wearing their famous all-orange strip, get us underway. Denmark, who haven't beaten their opponents in a competitive game in open play since 1967, are in white.
1653:This is the third Euro meeting between these two sides. The Dutch came out on top with a 3-0 win in the 2000 group stages, but the more memorable encounter was their Euro 92 semi-final which Denmark won on penalties en-route to lifting the trophy. Here come the teams.
1630:Hello and welcome to Orange's live coverage of Euro 2012. After yesterday's opening fireworks, we are in for another treat as Group B (aka the Group of Death) gets under way with Holland v Denmark in Kharkiv.
Both teams are lining up in a 4-3-2-1 formation with Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner leading the attacks. PSV teenager Jetro Willems starts at left-back for the Dutch, while Feyenoord's Ron Vlaar partners John Heitinga in defence with Joris Mathijsen (hamstring) ruled out.
Will the Dutch get their campaign off to a winning start or can the underrated Denmark spring a surprise? Let Orange commentator Tom Gledhill know your predictions via the box above.