For a country that coined the phrase ‘Total Football’, the Dutch will likely be disappointed with their workman-like 2-0 win over neighbours Denmark.
The first half of the game will hardly be remembered as a classic by anyone who watched, as the two teams were at an uninspiring deadlock at the 45 minute mark.
Within seconds of the restart, though, a good spell of Dutch pressure forced the Danes into a disappointing own goal. An attempted Simon Poulsen clearence glanced off the back of Liverpool’s Daniel Agger and deflected into the Danish net.
After that, both teams once again created little between them until the closing moments of the match. Good news for an Arjen Robben-less Holland was the introduction of Eljero Elia, who evoked some of the spirit of the Bayern Winger (even wearing the same football boots – adidas F50 adiZeros !) and was responsible for much of Holland’s better play in the latter stages of the game.
Fittingly, then, that it was Elia‘s hard work that forced Denmark Keeper Tomas Sorenson to spill the Dutchman’s shot – allowing Dirk Kuyt to tap in at the far post to round off the game.