Netherlands defeat Denmark 2-0 in Johannesburg

The Netherlands have defeated Denmark 2-0 in South Africa on Tuesday in their Group E match of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

An own goal to Denmark’s Simon Poulsen early in the second half and a late tap in from Dirk Kuyt was enough to give the Dutch side the win and have them sitting on top of their group on Day 4 of the 2010 World Cup.

The first-half was a fairly uneventful affair with little goal mouth action and the Netherlands had plenty of the ball and looked the team most likely to score.

First Half
The Netherland’s Wesley Sneijder had a free early in the half that went high and wide as these balls always seem to do from long range shots.

Van Der Vaart had half a chance later in the half which did not hit the spot as did Enevoldsen who hit his shot wide.

Denmark’s best chance came just before the half hour when a Nicklas Bendtner header was hit wide from very close to goal.

Rommedahl had a shot a few minutes later that went straight to the keeper before Dutch keeper Stekelenburg was called upon again to deflect a Kahlenburg left footer out for a corner.

Van Persie had a chance late for the Netherlands but hit it wide and it was 0-0 at half-time.

First half rating (Out of 5): Netherlands 3.0 – Denmark 2.5

Second Half
The Netherlands had the perfect start to the second-half when Van Persie crossed a ball to the far post that resulted in an own goal for Denmark.

Denmark’s Simon Poulsen headed the ball into the back of his team mate Daniel Agger and into their own goal to gift the Netherlands a one goal lead.

Danish keeper Sorensen was called upon to deny Van Persie on 52 minutes after a Simon Kjaer mistake in defence.

Sneijder almost got on the score board when his shot hit a defender and cannoned onto the crossbar.

Eljero Elia came on for the Dutch and instantly made his presence felt and it was his good work that enabled the Netherlands to go 2-0 up at the 85th minute when his shot hit the post and rebounded for Kuyt to tap in.

Denmark can thank Simon Poulsen for saving a certain late Dutch goal when he cleared the ball before it went over the line.

In a game devoid of much goal mouth action it is Netherlands by 2-0.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): Netherlands 3.5 – Denmark 3.0

Final Score

Netherlands 2 – 0 Denmark

46m S. Poulson Own Goal (Neth)
85m D. Kuty (Neth)

44m N.d. Jong (Neth)
49m R.v. Persie (Neth)
64m S. Kjaer (Den)

Netherlands Starting 11
Maarten Stekelenburg, Gregory van der Wiel, Johnny Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni v. Bronckhorst, Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel, Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Robin van Persie

Substitutes
67m Eljero Elia    for Rafael van der Vaart
77m Ibrahim Afellay for Robin van Persie
87m Demy de Zeeuw for Nigel de Jong

Denmark Starting 11
Thomas Sorensen, Lars Jacobsen, Daniel Agger, Simon Kaer, Simon Poulsen, Christian Poulsen, Thomas Kahlenberg, Martin Jorgensen, Dennis Rommedahl, Nicklas Bendtner,
Thomas Enevoldsen

Substitutes
56m Jesper Grønkjaer for Thomas Enevoldsen
62m Mikkel Beckmann for Nicklas Bendtner
73m Christian Eriksen for Thomas Kahlenberg

Team Game Rating (out of 10): Netherlands 6.5 - Denmark 5.5

Match Thoughts

The Netherlands did what they had to do and that was ensure the 3 points. Neither side threatened the goal very often and it was quite a subdued Dutch side that went out on the pitch today.

Denmark were solid and created a couple of chances, but they fall into the category of sides like Australia who can defend well (unless against Germany) but have little offensive potency.

The Dutch never set the world on fire but they always looked like they were going to run out winners at some point.

Netherlands

Positives: Combined well together and very strong down back which will hold them in good stead.
Area to Improve: Will need to be more effective and create more chances up forward to compete with the higher rated teams
Where to now: Face Japan and will be fairly confident of beating them before a clash with Cameroon.  Should win this group comfortably now.

Denmark

Positives: Combined well together at times and created the odd chance against a solid defence
Area to Improve: No potency up forward and will struggle to score against quality defences.
Where to now: Looks capable of beating Japan on today’s effort and match with Cameroon will be pivotal to their chances of getting through to the next round.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup

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