Denmark claimed the first upset of Euro 2012 by overcoming a badly misfiring Netherlands side 1-0 in their opening Group B match at Metalist Stadium here on Saturday.
Brondby forward Michael Krohn-Dehli claimed the game’s only goal mid-way through the first half, as Denmark avenged their opening-game loss at the 2010 World Cup and recorded a first win over the Dutch since 1967.
Defeat already compromises the Netherlands’ chances of progressing to the knockout phase, with games against Germany and Portugal still to come in the competition’s most unforgiving group.
Beaten finalists at the World Cup and top scorers in qualifying, the Dutch entered the tournament among the favourites but their hopes of success in Poland and Ukraine may now hinge on Wednesday’s encounter with Germany.
Denmark, meanwhile, will advance with renewed belief that they can emulate their shock Euro triumph from 1992, particularly as they finished above forthcoming opponents Portugal in qualifying.
Jetro, youngest to play Euro
At the age of 18 years and 71 days, Jetro Willems became the youngest ever player to grace a European Championship but the Dutch left-back showed no early nerves and saw a shot from 20 yards narrowly clear the crossbar.
Maarten Stekelenburg was the first goalkeeper called into action, as he comfortably claimed a header from Danish captain Daniel Agger, but gradually the Danes were forced deeper and deeper into their own territory.