Afellay & Van der Vaart: We needed to put away our chances

Netherlands midfielder Ibrahim Afellay has described his side's shock 1-0 loss against Denmark as "unbelievable".

Michael Krohn-Dehli's first half goal proved enough to hand the Danes victory in the opening Group B fixture, with Bert van Marwijk's team guilty of profligacy in front of goal.

The Barcelona winger, who missed much of last season through injury, spoke immediately following the game and admitted that he struggled to understand where it all went wrong.

"We've had so many chances," Afellay told reporters. "In the first half we've played very well. But they score, against the run of play. It's hard to say what went wrong."

Afellay did concede, however, that the Netherlands team had no one to blame but themselves and labelled the Oranje's remaining two group games - against Germany and Portugal - as must-win fixtures.

"From all the chances we had you must score at least twice," he bemoaned. "But the fact that you create so many chances tells that you play well. It's disappointing that you lose.

"It's now do or die. We have to win if we want to progress. The only positive thing is that we created so much chances."

Echoing his team-mate's mentality, midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart stated that his side's defeat to Denmark was simply "painful".

"It's very hard on the bench," the Tottenham man told reporters. "You see so many chances.

"I thought Denmark made very many mistakes building up the game. We had so many chances. But if you don't make these goals you don't deserve to win."

Van der Vaart did, however, draw inspiration from his country's past performances. The Netherlands lost their opening encounter against the Soviet Union at Euro 1988 but went on to win the tournament.

"We've tried everything," he added. "But I believe in '88. We lost the first match at that tournament and we know how that happened.

"We must win two times. If you lose, you're out. It's painful. There's no words in the dressing room. We had to win this game. The next round is very far away."

The Netherlands face Germany on Wednesday in Group B's second round of matches.

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