Well, if you were hoping for a major upset to start of the tournament, today definitely delivered. Despite dominating possession in today’s match against Denmark, the Dutch poor finishing today cost them a win and gave Denmark a stunning 1-0 upset. The Netherlands had 28 shots during the match with Wesley Sneijder giving Robben and van Persie several great chances to score, but the Dutch only had eight shots on target. Denmark didn’t have half the number of shots the Netherlands had, but none of their chances were off target. Of those, Denmark’s goal came in the 24th minute. Danish left-winger Michael Krohn-Dehli weaved past two Dutch defenders and sent the ball between Stekelenburg’s legs giving Denmark the only goal of the match. Even after the Netherlands brought in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Dirk Kuyt late in the second half to strengthen their attack, but it wasn’t enough to make a comeback.
With the Danish upset of the Netherlands, the group of death has been blown wide open. All four teams in group B are in the top ten teams in the FIFA rankings, but Denmark was considered the weak member of the group. While both Germany and Portugal played well, Germany came out on top 1-0 in that match and so are equal with Denmark at the top of the group. Before today, I completely counted Denmark out of group B, but now there is a significant chance they could finish in the top two and advance to the quarterfinals. Denmark plays Portugal next, whom they defeated 2-1 in the final match of the group H qualifying. If Denmark can negate runs by Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani they have a chance at scoring a draw, but it will be difficult. Meanwhile, the Netherlands are now in a desperate position as the play Germany next. At this point, the group of death is fully up in the air.
Group B standings: