Monday, 14th June 2010
Holland vs Denmark
in Jo'burg Soccer City.
Holland and Denmark meet each other for the first time in a World
Cup match; with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst earning his 100th cap for the Netherlands.
Promising so much before the game, Holland took a while to warm up;
either stifled by Denmark or almost snoozing to the sound of bees. The slow start seemed
like a game being played in the middle of summer rather than an African winter.
Almost half an hour was played before anything resembling excitement
happened; Nicklas Bendtner heading wide from Daniel Agger's cross.
Then Thomas Kahlenberg earned Denmark's first corner in the 37th
minute. Neither event was enough to stop the constant vuvuzela drone.
The French referee, for his part, tried to let the game flow but just
before half-time he finally showed a yellow card to Nigel De Jong; who was lucky not to
have been booked earlier.
The closest Holland came to a goal was when Robin Van Persie couldn't
find the space to release a shot on his left foot, so turned again and smashed the ball
into a row of cameras behind the net.
Bizarely, Holland took the lead without really threatening the Danish
defence; just after the start of the second-half.
Simon Poulsen wasn't really under any pressure when he headed into his
own net - of the back of Daniel Agger - and smiled. Interestingly, Poulsen plays for AZ
Alkmaar; in Holland.
Van Persie, already on a yellow card, could be a little lucky to still
be on the pitch for chipping the ball into the Danish net after the whistle was sounded
for offside. The Arsenal player tried to blame the noise of the vuvuzelas.
The arrival of Eljero Elia brought some width and excitement to
Holland's play while the departure of Nicklas Bendtner took away some of Denmark's threat
Shortly after Wesley Sneijder looped a shot onto the Danish bar, the
Inter Milan midfielder sent Eljero Elia through. Thomas Sorensen pushed the initial shot
onto the post but Dirk Kuyt was there to follow up for Holland.
So it's a double dutch scoreline for Holland but the Danes will feel
disappointed; or at least Simon Poulsen should, for handing the game to the Dutch on a
Holland 2 Denmark 0
1:0 Simon Poulsen (own goal)
2:0 Dirk Kuyt (85 mins)
Man of The Match:
Eljero Elia - Breathed some life into the sleepy Dutch when he came on, halfway through
1 Maarten Stekelenburg; 5 Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, 4 Joris Mathijsen, 3 John Heitinga, 2
Gregory Van Der Wiel; 23 Rafael Van der Vaart, 8 Nigel De Jong, 6 Mark Van Bommel, 7 Dirk
Kuyt; 9 Robin Van Persie, 10 Wesley Sneijder.
1 Thomas Sorensen; 15 Simon Poulsen, 4 Daniel Agger, 3 Simon Kjaer, 6 Lars Jacobsen; 20
Thomas Enevoldsen, 2 Christian Poulsen, 10 Martin Jorgensen; 11 Nicklas Bendtner, 12
Thomas Kahlenberg, 19 Dennis Rommedahl.
Stephane Lannoy (France)
56 Mins (Denmark) - 8 Jesper Gronkjaer on for 20 Thomas Enevoldsen
62 Mins (Denmark) - 17 Mikkel Beckmann on for 11 Nicklas Bendtner
67 Mins (Holland) - 17 Eljero Elia on for 23 Rafael Van der Vaart
73 Mins (Denmark) - 21 Christian Eriksen on for 12 Thomas Kahlenberg
77 Mins (Holland) - 20 Ibrahim Afellay on for 9 Robin Van Persie
44 Mins - Nigel De Jong (Holland)
49 Mins - Robin Van Persie (Holland)
64 Mins - Simon Kjaer (Denmark)
0 Red Cards.
Even though they've played each other some 27 times since 1914, Holland and Denmark have
yet to meet in a World Cup match.
In European competions the teams tend to do beter on their own turf,
although the last two encounters have ended in one-one draws - Eindhoven 2008 and
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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