Krohn-Dehli strikes as Denmark shocks Netherlands

Kharkiv, June 9 (IANS/RIANovosti) A first-half goal by Michael Krohn-Dehli allowed Denmark to pull off the first shock result of Euro 2012 with a 1-0 win over a wasteful Netherlands side here Saturday.

On a rare Danish counterattack, midfielder Krohn-Dehli picked up the ball in the penalty area on 24 minutes and rolled it past the Dutch defence before sending the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

The Netherlands, dubbed as one of the favourites in the tournament, spurned a series of good chances,with Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben hitting the post.

Saturday’s second game pits together the losing finalists from the last two tournaments as Germany play Portugal.

In the next round of games in Group B Wednesday, the Danes can secure a place in the quarterfinals by beating Portugal, while The Netherlands face Germany.

The two teams also met in their group opener in 2010 World Cup finals. Denmark’s own goal and Dirk Kuyt’s shot handed Netherlands a 2-0 win.

Both sides fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation. The World Cup runners up made two changes compared to their leading lineups in South Africa.

Jetro Willems started as the left-back after the retirement of former captain Van Bronckhorst while Ron Vlaar of Feyenoord replaced Joris Mathijsen in the central defence to pair with John Heitinga.

The 18-year-old Willems thus became the youngest player to appear at the European Championship.

–IANS/RIA Novosti