KHARKIV, Ukraine: 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,” he added.