Holland labour to a victory

2010-06-14 15:01

Holland have kicked off their World Cup campaign on a positive note

after labouring to a 2-0 victory over Denmark, but the Dutch were far from

convincing and failed to live up to their favourites tag.

The final score might be too flattering for the Dutch team as they

were made to sweat for the three points and needed a helping foot of Denmark

defender Simon Poulsen for their opening goal in the 46th minute.

Poulsen was unlucky to head past his own goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen

as he attempted to clear the ball away.

Dirk Kuyt gave Holland an insurance goal with only five minutes

left on the clock from a close range after substitute Eljero Elia’s effort

bounced off the upright.

But in all fairness, the two teams did not live up to expectations

as the game lacked sparks.

Comprising of too many superstars who ply their trades at various

top European leagues, Holland came to South Africa as pre-World Cup favourites

after their good run in the qualifiers and during friendly matches leading to

the event.

But if today’s below par performance is anything to go by, they

might not go far in the tournament as they still have Cameroon and Japan to

contend with.

Denmark were not good either as they struggled to make few passes

and rarely threatened the Dutch goalkeeper.

It took the Danish team almost 30 minutes to launch its first

meaningful attack when Nicklas Bendtner headed wide.

Then goalkeeper Maatren Stekelenburg came to Holland’s rescue when

he saved Dennis Rommedahl’s shot in the 34th minute. Three minutes later,

Stekelenburg was called into action again, but he was up to the task when he

denied Thomas Kahlenberg.

That was the closest to scoring throughout the proceedings.

After going down a minute into the second half, their response was

not the one expected from a team trailing and searching for an equaliser.

They still did not take the game to their opponents and seemed

content with being a goal down.

On the other hand, Holland kept on probing and were duly rewarded

with Kuyt’s easy tap.

Hopefully, their slow start will improve as the tournament

progresses and justify their tag as one of the favourites to lift the coveted


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