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UEFA EURO 2012 - Robin van Persie

UEFA EURO 2012 - Nicklas Bendtner

Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner
Netherlands 0-1 Denmark, Group B
Saturday, June 9

Kharkiv

Nicklas Bendtner's Denmark sprang an early shock at Euro 2012 by beating the Netherlands 1-0 on Saturday evening.

The Dutch, with Arsenal captain Robin van Persie leading the line, are one of the favourites for the tournament but were below-par in Kharkiv and wasted a host of chances.

And they paid the price for their profligacy as Michael Krohn-Dehli's first-half strike proved decisive, putting Holland under immediate pressure.

Bert van Marwijk's side came flying out of the blocks and Van Persie nearly played in Wesley Sneijder early on, but the midfielder just failed to control his lofted pass.

Arjen Robben and Van Persie then had half chances to open the scoring, as Holland continued to crank up the pressure in an increasingly one-sided affair.

It seemed a matter of time before the goal would come, but when it did it was the Danish who were celebrating as Krohn-Dehli took advantage of hesitant defending to race into the box and score in the 24th minute.

Robben soon had a great chance to equalise after capitalising on a poor clearance by Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen but his curling effort struck the post. Then, moments before half time, Van Persie spurned a clear-cut opportunity in the box.

The Arsenal captain was presented with two early second-half chances but could still find no way past Andersen, while Mark van Bommel saw his long-range strike palmed away by the Danish goalkeeper.

With Bendtner working hard up front, Morten Olsen's side remained a threat on the break but it was Holland who were making all the running. Just after the hour mark Robben should have levelled matters but headed wastefully wide from close range.

With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was played in by Sneijder but Andersen did superbly to deny the forward as the Dutch continued to squander chances.

Denmark held on to claim a surprise win that now leaves Holland's Euro 2012 hopes hanging in the balance.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 9 Jun 2012