Blame and frustration as Dutch mull opening loss

The Netherlands' reputed tendency for internal feuding threatened to return to the surface as they sought explanations for the shock 1-0 loss to Denmark in their opening Euro 2012 match.

Michael Krohn-Dehli's first-half goal condemned the Dutch to defeat in a game they largely dominated at Kharkiv's Metalist Stadium on Saturday and left them needing positive results against Germany and Portugal to progress from Group B.

Bert van Marwijk's side failed to capitalise on a slew of chances, with Arjen Robben's shot against the base of the left-hand post in the 36th minute the closest they came to finding the target.

The World Cup runners-up were also frustrated by a clutch of impressive saves from Denmark goalkeeper Stephan Andersen, but the overriding feeling was one of frustration at the chances they failed to take.

Wesley Sneijder cut an unhappy figure at the final whistle, stalking alone towards the tunnel, his head down, and he took his disappointment out on his attacking colleagues in the mixed zone.

"We lacked sharpness and a cutting edge in the final action," said the 27-year-old playmaker, who endured an injury-ravaged season at Inter Milan.

"The forwards really wanted to score -- they should have done. We gave them enough chances for that. My job is to give them good balls. I think I did that. We should have scored.

"We played brilliantly, particularly at the start of the match. But it didn't yield anything. It was one of those nights where the ball refuses to fall your way."

Robben was also culpable of a miscalculation prior to Krohn-Dehli's goal, when he elected to cross rather than shoot from a promising position, but explained that it was because of the criticism he receives in the Dutch media.

"I had some good chances, particularly two in the first half," said the Bayern Munich winger, who had an extra-time penalty saved by Petr Cech in his side's Champions League final defeat by Chelsea.

"For the first one, instead of shooting myself, I tried to find a team-mate. I should have taken the chance on my own.

"But people in the Netherlands say I'm a selfish player so much that it must have had a subconscious impact in my head. I wanted to be too collective. It was a mistake.

"I have nothing to blame myself for over the second chance, the shot that hit the post. I did what I should have done but I had no luck."

Rafael van der Vaart admitted that "you could have heard a fly flying" in the Dutch changing room after the match and said: "Now we have to win our next two games, otherwise it's hometime."

KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 09: Michael Krohn-Dehli of Denmark turns to celebrate scoring their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Denmark at Metalist Stadium on ... more 
KHARKOV, UKRAINE - JUNE 09: Michael Krohn-Dehli of Denmark turns to celebrate scoring their first goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Netherlands and Denmark at Metalist Stadium on June 9, 2012 in Kharkov, Ukraine. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) less 
1 / 30
Getty Images | Photo By Lars Baron / Getty Images
Sun, Jun 10, 2012 12:34 AM SGT
Loading...
Fantasy Football

Most Popular Stories

  • 4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    Associated Press
    4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

    Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers. …

  • Baihakki cut from Johor Darul Takzim

    Baihakki cut from Johor Darul Takzim

    GOAL.com
    Baihakki cut from Johor Darul Takzim

    The Singapore international announced on social media that he will be rested for the remaining games of the season and will return to play for their second string next year …

  • Armed robber was never told to report to prison

    Armed robber was never told to report to prison

    Associated Press
    Armed robber was never told to report to prison

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — After he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison. But those instructions never came. …

  • PAOK-Olympiacos match delayed by giant ring of flares and smoke, plus a fish covered bench

    PAOK-Olympiacos match delayed by giant ring of flares and smoke, plus a fish covered bench

    Dirty Tackle
    PAOK-Olympiacos match delayed by giant ring of flares and smoke, plus a fish covered bench

    PAOK lost the first leg of their Greek Cup semifinal 2-1 at Olympiacos, so their fans were eager to create an intimidating atmosphere for the return leg. To do this, they turned the stands into a giant ring of flares and smoke as the players walked out onto the pitch before kickoff, creating a surreal hellscape that would surely intimidate just about anyone. …

  • Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

    Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

    Associated Press
    Pope washes feet of elderly, disabled in rite

    ROME (AP) — Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people Thursday — women and non-Catholics among them — in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve others like a "slave." …