The first match of the second match day of the Poland and Ukraine EURO pitted the World Cup runner-up, Netherlands, against Denmark. The Netherlands lost 0-1 to their northern European neighbors. It wasn’t the best debut for the Oranje, who are playing in one of the most difficult groups of the competition. The Netherlands must face Germany and Portugal in the following weeks.
Afellay in the starting line-up
The FC Barcelona player, Ibrahim Afellay, featured in Bert Van Marwijk’s starting line-up. Holland quickly took control of the game in the Ukrainian city of Jarkov at the Matalist Stadium, but they came up against a very solid Denmark defence. In the first minutes of the match, Afellay was involved in various plays that could have ended up in his team’s first goal. His first chance came on 10 minutes but his shot went over the crossbar.
In one of the few Denmark attacks, the Danes scored the first and only goal of the game. On the 24th minute, Krohn-Dehli beat two defenders and then buried the ball in the back of the Dutch goal. The Netherlands came close to equalising before the half but Robben’s shot crashed against the woodwork.
In the second half the Dutch side went on the attack against a Danish team that was ready to weather the onslaught. The manager Van Marwijk decided to bring in his substitutes, among the players to leave the pitch was Afellay (on the 71st minute); Huntelaar took the Azulgrana player’s place on the pitch. In the end, however, the first-half goal was enough to win the three points for Denmark.