1820 The Netherlands are playing possession football here at the Metalist Stadium and in 27C (81F) heat, you can’t blame them. Denmark will tire first if they keep having to chase the ball. Big chance for the Netherlands. Van Persie releases Robben down the right who breaks into the penalty area. He shapes to shoot before seeing Sneijder unmarked in the center. In the end, Robben is caught in two minds and by the time he tries to play the ball to Sneijder, Lars Jacobsen slides in and pokes the ball back to his keeper from close range.
1818: 15 minutes in and the Netherlands look the brighter side. The best chance so far fell to Van Persie, who failed to convert. Free-kick for the Netherlands, about 25 yards from goal. Sneijder runs over it, leaving Van Persie to strike but he slips in his run up and the wall blocks. The Netherlands force a corner from the resulting play, but Denmark clear.
1813: They are looking dangerous on the attack, the Netherlands. Van Persie picks out the run of Sneijder with a superbly weighted ball, but Sneijder can’t get enough power on the header as he tries to direct it across goal. Afellay tries his luck again for Holland, forcing his way into the left side of the penalty area with a couple of step-overs. He cuts in on his right foot but curls over the bar.
1810: Denmark win a free-kick from around thirty yards out. Christian Eriksen takes but hits it straight into the wall. Chance for Van Persie and he should have scored. Robben pulls the ball across the six yard box and it hits the heel of Simon Kjaer. The ball spins to Van Persie who hits it first time wide of the goal from around ten yards.
Van Persie wins a header, knocking it back towards Ibrahim Afellay. The ball takes a fraction too long to come down for him though and there was enough pressure on him from the defender as he shot high and wide.
1803: Agger wins a header from a free-kick, which is taken with comfort by Stekelenburg. Willems later attempts a shot which flies over. It was close, though and Willems is clearly not fazed by the big stage.
The Netherlands kick-off. The pitch looks in very good condition and there is a sea of orange in the stadium. Dutch fans have turned out in big numbers.View Entire Story
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