The Netherlands looked unimpressive in their Euro 2012 debut and were shockingly defeated by a Danish squad that was solid defensively and opportunistic in attack.  The two traits displayed by the Danish squad were found to be lacking by the Dutch squad that was continuously wasteful in attack and shaky in the defensive quarter.

Bert van Marwijk's squad fielded the 4-2-3-1 formation they have used to so much success, but were unable to dominate possession throughout the match finishing with only 53% of possession.  In the opening twenty minutes of the match both sides exchanged chances, with Van Persie squandering the best of the opportunities by pushing the ball wide of Andersen's goal.  Christian Eriksen and RVP both hit free kicks straight into the wall and it looked like neither side would break through, despite both earning chances.


The game changed in the 24th minute when Danish winger Michael Krohn-Dehli stormed down the left side.  He dismantled the Dutch defense, beating Gregory Van der Weil and John Heitinga with a cut down the line before beating Maarten Stekelenberg between the legs for the goal.  It was incisive break for Denmark, and their opportunism was rewarded with an important goal.


Just a few minutes later the Netherlands were denied shouts for a handball on Simon Poulsen, and the game continued with the Dutch becoming increasingly frustrated with their predicament.  Despite dominating the shot total, the Dutch were being wasteful with their opportunities.  A mistake from Stephan Andersen gave the Dutch their best opportunity, but when Arjen Robben took the shot it struck the woodwork and was cleared by the Danish defense, another opportunity wasted. Another prime opportunity to score came just before the halftime whistle, when Van Persie found himself in space thanks to a ball from Wesley Sneijder, but a terrible first touch allowed Andersen to rush out and stop the shot.


Robben continued to torment the Denmark defense with his trademark cuts in from the right side, but his left footed shots were increasingly poor as the match went on.  Denmark began to settle into defensive tactics that allowed them to absorb the attack from the Netherlands, and enjoyed possession for minutes at a time in the second half with the ball winning midfielders of the Netherlands being rendered helpless.  Another opportunity came off the foot of Sneijder when he found Robben in space outside the six yard box, but the header sailed wide off of Robben's bald dome and another chance went begging for the Dutch.

Van der Vaart and Huntelaar eventually took the places of Nigel de Jong and Ibrahim Afellay, and Van der Vaart's introduction immediately influenced the game.  The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder sent a tantalizing ball across the six yard box that Huntelaar never made the run for.  Sneijder played another gorgeous ball to Huntelaar a few minutes later, but failed to chip Andersen after the goalkeeper rushed out to meet the newly introduced striker.  The Danes responded with Dennis Rommedahl latching onto a through ball, but Stekelenberg's intervention prevented disaster for the Netherlands.


The final minutes of the match featured the Netherlands furiously attacking and the Danish defense absorbing wave after wave of Flying Dutchmen.  Another shout for handball came after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar played a ball that struck a Danish defender in his outstretched arm, but the shout was denied by the referee.  In the end the Dutch had racked up 28 shots, but only 5 of them were on target.  When the final whistle blew, there was little doubt that the Netherlands had dominated the run of play, but their wasteful finishing meant the Netherlands would have a lot of work to do in order to advance to the knockout stages.