Football

Netherlands vs Denmark - As it happened

Hello and welcome to our live updates between the Netherlands and Denmark. The World Cup, back in Soccer City after the first match, promises to be a very entertaining affair.

The team line-ups are in:-

Netherlands: Maarten Stekelenburg; Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Dirk Kuyt, Mark van Bommel, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong, Rafael van der Vaart, Robin van Persie.

Denmark: Thomas Sorensen; Daniel Agger, Simon Kjaer, Lars Jacobsen, Simon Poulsen, Martin Jorgensen, Christian Poulsen, Thomas Enevoldsen, Thomas Kahlenberg, Dennis Rommedahl, Nicklas Bendtner.

A mouth-watering clash this. The Netherlands, which boasts of a very attacking line-up, up against a Denmark side, which could lay claim to possessing one of the meanest defences in the tournament.

The teams are walking out on to the pitch. Just minutes before kick-off.

The national anthems have been sung. Is this the start of something special for the Dutch?

The Danes playing from right to left in your TV screens, if they manage to keep out the backpasses.

Some neat passes from the Danes in the early stages with De Jong getting a few early touches.

6th minute: Sneijder, 37mtrs from goal, dispatcheses a free-kick into row Z. The attacking players of the Dutch haven't seen the ball much in the early stages.

7th minute: At the other end, Evenoldsen follows Sneijder's route into hitting a free-kick wide from goal.

10th minute: Kuyt hits a speculative effort from the best part of 25 yards but Sorensen, after a bumble, holds on to it.

Been a scrappy little start to this encounter. Both sides feeling their way into this one. The story of the World Cup so far.

17th minute The Dutch have their first corner but can make nothing out of their first useful set-piece.

18th minute Van Persie, with a bit of trickery, finds Sneijder, whose ball is over-hit while trying to release Van Der Wiel down the right. Oranje has started playing with a bit of purpose here.

20th minute Some good movement again from the Dutch finds Van Der Vaart from 18 yards out but his effort is turned behind for a corner by Sorensen.

21st minute A delightful touch by Kuyt releases Van Bommel down the right who sets up Van Der Vaart again from a similar region. But his shot goes over the bar. At the other end, Enevoldsen again has a try.

26th minute Van Bronckhorst, from near the byeline, tries to find a Dutch player but his cross sails over the post.

27th minute Rommedahl delivers an inch-perfect cross for Bendtner to put Denmark in the lead. But his header is tame and goes wide. He really should have scored it at this level.

Meanwhile, seems like the Vuvuzelas are fast catching up even among the European nations. Loved or hated, but never ignored.

32nd minute Kuyt, this time, does a marauding run down the right before delivering a cross into the six-yard box. It is dealt with rather nervously by the Danes.

33rd minute Rommedahl's stinging effort from 20-yards is saved by Stekelenburg. The Ajax keeper called into action for the first time.

37th minute Bendtner plays a cute pass to release Kahlenburg whose rising shot is saved by Stekelenburg. A good move by the Danes, that.

42nd minute A potentially good move again comes to nothing as Agger cuts out the danger.

43rd minute A lose ball finds its way to Van Persie inside the 18-yard box. Cue lots of twisting and turning, marshalling the ball between the right and left foot before shooting with his weaker right foot. But it goes wide. He does have a habit of doing this. It would do him some good to take first-time shots instead of trying to confuse the defender with intricate moments.

44th minute De Jong goes into the book for a rash challenge on Bendtner .

And the whistle blows to signal the end of the first-half. Been a clear battle of two footballing philosophies. The flair, attacking one of the Dutch not really able to break the resistant, playing-on-the-counter Danes.

For all their attacking arsenal, they seem to be missing Arjen Robben. Join me again in about five minutes for the second half.

Just minutes before the second 45 minutes. You could tick off the minutes by reading what Rob Bagchi had to say about >Holland's World Cup campaigns

And we have kicked off.

46th minute Netherlands 1-0 Denmark. Sorensen comes out on an African Safari before realising he is too far out. Van Persie, again with lots of actions on the ball, puts in a perfect cross for Kuyt. But the combination of Agger, and first, S. Poulsen scores an Own Goal. OG has opened its account.

52nd minute Holland should be 2-0 now. A perfect pass from deep in the attacking third finds Van Persie but his idea of rounding Sorensen is perfectly read and Sorensen holds on.

Meanwhile, Fifa have credited the Own Goal to S. Poulsen. Something tells me Agger won't be displeased.

56th minute The veteran Gronkjaer replaces Enevoldsen.

59th minute They are starting to shift some gears. A great pass from Van Persie finds Van Der Vaart whose audacious flick is saved in "Matrix" style from Sorensen.

61st minute An offside, and on a yellow card, Van Persie chips Sorensen and finds the goal. The referee has a little talk with Van Persie. The Arsenal forward blames the Vuvuzela for not hearing the whistle. On an other day, Van Persie would have been off for that.

64th minute One of the hottest properties of European football, Simon Kjaer sees yellow. He's had a good outing till now.

Oh and i missed a Danish substitution. Bendtner was replaced by Beckmann.

69th minute Elia, minutes after coming on, does a superb Robben move. Rolling aside Jorgensen, he drives into the box but his pass comes to nothing.

72nd minute Kahlenberg replaced by Eriksen as the legendary Michel Platini watches on. Oh and the UEFA President is interacting with another French legend: Zinedine Zidane. Are they plotting a sensational move to bring Zizou into the 23 man squad for "Les Blues". They might as well need him to inspire the Les Blues after their poor display against Uruguay.

73rd minute Elia is quite good. He sets up an other attacking move for the Dutch, but Van Bommel can't beat Sorensen's near post, the keeper turns it behind for a corner. Elia, by the way, replaced Van Der Vaart.

The Dutch's attacking instincts have picked up a notch since the introduction of Elia. He has been a breath of fresh air in the left wing for "Oranje".

Just 10 minutes plus extra time for the Danes to find an equaliser.

82nd minute Sneijder's left foot effort from around the 18-yard box hits a Danish head and loops tantalisingly over the outstretched hands of Sorensen to hit the bar and over.

Afellay, meanwhile, has come in for Van Persie.

85th minute Netherlands 2-0 Denmark. Beautifully worked goal ending with a very simple finish. Sneijder spots the run of Elia with a perfectly weighted pass but Elia's effort, opening his body and trying to curl it past a diving, full stretched Sorensen, hits Sorensen's hand and rebounds off the post. But Kuyt, picks up the pieces and puts it into an unguarded net.

Even while the horns are still making lots of noice because of the second goal, the Dutch come in search of a third and only an on-the-line clearence from Poulsen prevents the Dutch from scoring. At the other end, a driving cross from Rommedahl goes harmlessly wide.

90+2 Kuyt is selfish here. Not settling with a tap-in, he wants to score contrasting goals. He goes for a 30-yard piledriver, but the effort is more intent in breaking one of those plastic pipes, the Vuvuzelas, rather than finding its way to Sorensen.

It did take some time for the Dutch to assert their superiority but they did it. They had to work hard in the first-half but they switched gears in the second-half and made the game safe thanks to a Kuyt tap-in after an own-goal had given them the lead.

With the possibility of Robben coming back for the next game, this Dutch side can go only one way: UP. The Danes will have to regroup quickly before facing Cameroon and Japan.

That's it from me Swaroop Swaminathan. It's been a pleasure bringing live updates to you folks out there. Until next time, this is me, signing off...

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:38:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/Netherlands-vs-Denmark-As-it-happened/article16244174.ece

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