Holland have done enough to notch their first win of the 2010 World Cup by defeating Denmark 2-0 in Johannesburg.
Holland: 2 (Simon Poulsen (og) 46’, Dirk Kuyt 85’)
There were very few chances in the opening half hour as both sides were playing in a cagey manner but things started to open up towards the end of the first half. The Dutch were well on top in terms of possession but shots on goal were hard to come by for both sides in what was proving to be a tentative occasion.
The first 45 minutes finished with both goalkeepers fairly fresh after not being called on to do much with the game in need of a spark in the second term.
Immediately after the break, the game got the goal it needed when Dutch striker Robin van Persie crossed in from the left wing but unfortunately for Denmark, Simon Poulsen’s header found its way into the back of the net to give Holland a 1-0 lead.
The goal kicked the Oranje into gear and they were almost two up just prior to the hour-mark when van Persie played a neat chip to Rafael van der Vaart whose glancing left-footed volley produced a brilliant diving save from Danish keeper Thomas Sorensen.
Bert van Marwijk’s men were intent on getting a second especially after Eljero Elia came on in the 67th minute and was making a nuisance of himself for the Danish defenders down the left flank.
A second own goal was almost the order of the day in the 82nd minute when Wesley Sneijder had a speculative shot from the edge of the area which deflected off Daniel Agger and caused all sorts of problems for Sorensen but luckily hit the crossbar and over for a corner.
The Dutch did damage to get a second five minutes from time when Sneijder played in Elia who flicked it goalward with his right foot past an advancing Sorensen only for Dirk Kuyt to be on hand to knock in the deflection off the far upright to make it 2-0 and give the Netherlands a win in captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s 100th international appearance.
Maarten Stekelenburg (gk), Gregory van der Wiel, Johnny Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Mark van Bommel, Dirk Kuyt, Nigel de Jong (de Zeeuw 88’), Robin van Persie (Afellay 77’), Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart (Elia 67’)
Subs - Eljero Elia (67’), Ibrahim Afellay (77’), Demy de Zeeuw (88’)
Thomas Sorensen (gk), Christian Poulsen, Simon Kjaer, Daniel Agger, Lars Jacobsen, Martin Jorgensen, Nicklas Bendtner (Beckmann 62’), Thomas Kahlenberg (Eriksen 73’), Simon Poulsen, Dennis Rommedahl, Thomas Enevoldsen (Gronkjaer 56’)
Subs - Jesper Gronkjaer (56’), Mikkel Beckmann (62’), Christian Eriksen (73’)