Holland have some making up to do. The last time we saw them in an international tournament, they spent the entire 120 minutes of the World Cup final against Spain not so much tap-dancing but stamping on the grave of Total Football, Nigel de Jong kung-fu kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest, Mark van Bommel kicking anything that moved, Robin van Persie scything into random Spaniards, John Heitinga getting sent off and Joris Mathijsen screaming into the face of poor, confused Howard Webb, later seen huddled in a corner of the stadium, rocking back and forth and quietly weeping. Johan Cruyff called it anti-football. "This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style," he said. "If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they lost." Indeed. It was a sorry way for arguably the coolest, if not the most successful, side in international football to besmirch their good name and they could do with winning back neutral backing this summer.
They certainly have the players to achieve that aim: Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie and bottlejobbery's Arjen Robben, assuming the brilliant but brittle winger is over his hilarious performance for Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Schalke's Klass-Jan Huntelaar may not even get into the side, despite scoring 38 goals for his club this season. Rafael van der Vaart will also be on the bench, along with the hard-working Dirk Kuyt. Purely based on their attacking prowess – on the assumption that they all play nice and get along – the Dutch are obviously serious contenders to win this tournament. But delve deeper, look further back and problems start to surface. In midfield, the Hatchet Twins are still together and their defence doesn't appear to be the most solid, especially now they have a couple of injury concerns.
So this could be an awkward test against a Denmark side regarded as the weakest in a group also containing Germany and Portugal. There's no room for any slip-ups whatsoever. All the pressure is on the Dutch and with that in mind, maybe the Danes can come out swinging, safe in the knowledge that they don't really have anything to lose and anything they do win will be a happy bonus. But underestimate them at your peril. They finished top of their qualifying group, ahead of Portugal, and in Christian Eriksen they possess a gifted youngster who could prove to be one of the break-out stars of the tournament. Taking into account Holland's attacking options, perhaps a draw is the best the Danes can hope for, but then football has rarely made much sense in 2012.
Venue: Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv.
This is the fourth Euros in a row in which Holland have been in the Group of Death. In 2008, they were alongside world champions Italy, World Cup finalists, Domenechian shambles France and Romania. They won each game, beating Italy 3-0, France 4-1 and Romania 2-0, before going out in the last eight to an Andrey Arshavin-inspired Russia.
In 2004, they were drawn with the Czech Republic, Germany and, er, Latvia. Again they made it through, although they failed to win their first two games, sneaking a late draw with the Germans before losing perhaps the greatest international match of recent times against the Czechs. They reached the semi-finals but were meek losers to the hosts Portugal.
And in 2000, this time as co-hosts, it was world champions France, the Czechs again and, hey, Denmark! They sneaked past the Czechs rather fortunately thanks to a late and dubious penalty from Frank de Boer (more on him in a bit), beat Denmark 3-0 and then snatched top spot from France with a 3-2 victory in their final game. They then went on to schmice Yugolsavia 6-1 in the quarter-final, before meeting Italy in the last four.
Two years earlier, Frank de Boer had chided his brother Ronald for missing a penalty in the shoot-out in their World Cup semi-final against Brazil two years earlier, brotherly love on a par with Cain and Abel there. Two years later, Holland were hot favourites to beat Italy in Amsterdam, and everything seemed to be going the way of Frank Rijkaard's side when they Gianluca Zambrotta was sent off after 34 minutes. Moments later, they were awarded a penalty and Frank stepped up, ready to show his brother how it was done ... and Francesco Toldo saved. Unbelievably Patrick Kluivert then struck the post with a second penalty in the second half and 10-man Italy held out for a shoot-out. Up stepped Frank De Boer first in the shoot-out, confident he could atone for his earlier miss - and again Toldo out-psyched him, before Jaap Stam's space-bound missile and Paul Bosvelt's miss sent Holland crashing out and Italy into the final. Oh Frank. Poor hubristic Frank. Still, gotta appreciate that irony!
With all that misfortune the Dutch have suffered down the years, perhaps it's not too surprising that they have won the same number of international tournaments as Denmark. It's the memory of coming off the beach to improbably win Euro 92 that sustains the Danes and they're going to need a similarly unlikely set of circumstances to get out of this group. Even so you can't sniff at their 100% strike-rate in major finals: one victory in one appearance. Ruthless.
"Watched Poland v Greece in London, jumped on a flight and have just arrived back in Australia for this one," yawns Andrew James. "Given the 21 hours of flying, everything has taken on a vague sense of unreality and suddenly I'm thinking the Danes could possibly nick this one. Maybe Glendenning was right with his call for Bendtner as Golden Boot? I need coffee."
"Why are Denmark consistently described as the weakest in this group?" says Henry Rudd-Clarke. "They are ranked higher in the world than Portugal and won the qualifying group with Portugal in, beating them once & drawing on the other occasion. So surely they are not the weakest team in the group, Portugal are..." I suppose it's because they don't have the international pedigree that Portugal have, while the Portuguse have the second-best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Denmark have the best player in the world in his own mind, Nicklas Bendtner. But I agree, it's wrong to write them off and I definitely think they can beat Portugal. If they can draw today, you never know
"If yesterday's opening day is anything to go by Euro 2012 is shaping up to be the best tournament of the millennium," says Simon McMahon. "Todays matches should both be crackers. As you suggest in your preamble the Dutch are certainly one of the enigmas of international football. Some might even say underachievers. I mean, 3 World Cup Finals and a European Championship apart, what have they ever done?"
Team news: Holland are as expected, with Robin van Persie preferred on his own ahead of Huntelaar up front. He'll be supported by Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and the intriguing Ibrahim Afellay. Denmark line up in a similar formation but comedy fans will be disappointed to see that Christian Poulsen is only on the bench.
Holland: Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Vlaar, Willems; Van Bommel, Nigel De Jong; Robben, Sneijder, Afellay; Van Persie. Subs: Vorm, Mathijsen, Bouma, Kuyt, Huntelaar, Schaars, Strootman, Luuk De Jong, Narsingh, Boulahrouz, Van der Vaart, Krul.
Denmark: Andersen, Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Simon Poulsen; Kvist, Zimling; Rommedahl, Eriksen, Krohn-Dehli; Bendtner. Subs: Lindegaard, Christian Poulsen, Bjelland, Okore, Schone, Silberbauer, Pedersen, Wass, Jakob Poulsen, Kahlenberg, Mikkelsen, Schmeichel.
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
Anyway you'd better enjoy this Group of Death. Not content with writing very angry letters about racism telling the perpetrators how angry they are, Uefa have decided in their infinite wisdom to increase the number of teams at the Euros from 16 to 24. Does scoring a hat-trick at a Euros give Michel Platini license to vandalise the tournament in this manner. This weekend we're treated by Holland v Denmark, Germany v Portugal and Spain v Italy. You won't be getting any of that in 2016. Why is it that those in charge of football are so insistent upon making a mess of absolutely everything?
More of your emails. It's better than listening to Harry Redknapp.
"Surely this Netherlands-Denmark match is the case of the resistable force (Danish strike force 'led' by Bendtner) against movable object (Dutch defence 'led' by Heitings)?" says Lou Roper. "How about 3-4 with Stekelenburg (however has he got the #1 shirt?) sent off?"
"It's heartening to see that, with Andrew James and Henry Rudd-Clarke's emails, I'm not the only one quietly tipping Denmark to do something in this group," says Mark Guthrie. "I say quietly as, if my Swedish girlfriend heard me, she'd have my guts for garters."
"Our 'Arry looks seriously narked off to be in the studio rather than where he obviously believes he belongs," says Phil Sawyer. "He also seems to have been taking posture lessons from young Jamie. That's now two generations of Redknapp crotches burned into my memory. Does anyone have any mind soap I can borrow? I suddenly feel in need of a good scrubbing."
Out stroll the teams. Holland are in their Beautiful Oranje and Denmark are in their natty white away strip. "I agree totally with your views about the expansion to 24 teams," says John Gibbs. "The World Cup has become a bloated monster played at half pace. Mind you, playing in the summer (Euros or World Cup) is bad news, especially for red men like Scholes."
The teams belt out their respective national anthems and then shake hands. All very respectful. That Alan Parsons Project song whistles out over the tannoy, giving us a handy sense of occasion.
Peep! The third match of Euro 2012 is underway and it's Holland, attacking from left to right, who get us going. It takes 10 seconds for someone to boot Wesley Sneijder up the backside. How do you like them apples, Holland? "I'd waited in great anticipation for the final in South Africa, had suffered the vuvuzela, waded through time zones and weather only to be left distraught by what the Dutch did that night," says Richard Tunaley. "If you know you're not going to win, why even go that far? I doubt I'll ever support Dutch football again, a very sad state of affairs. No apology. No remorse. Just the horror of what they did that night. Come on Denmark!"
2 min: An early free-kick on the right flank for Denmark gives them a chjance to test out the Holland defence. Simon Poulsen curls it in left-footed and Agger, from around 15 yards, flicks it towards the bottom-right corner, bringing a plunging but simple save out Stekelenburg.
3 min: At the age of 18 years and 71 days, Jetro Willems is the youngest ever player to feature in the Euros. He's only played 45 senior games for PSV Eindhoven. So how are the left-back's nerves? There are no nerves, it would appear, not if this is anything to go by. The ball comes to him 30 yards from goal and with barely a moment's pause he belts a fierce drive not too far over the bar.
4 min: "They played the Dutch national anthem much faster than its supposed to be, WTH!" blasts Niek de Groot, who probably has an ear for these things.
5 min: Holland are starting to dominate possession. On the left, Robben hoicks a deep cross to the far post where Van Persie does excellently to turn the ball back into the six-yard box, but Affelay's under pressure and can only awkwardly hook a tame shot over the bar.
6 min: There's a strangely muted atmosphere inside the stadium in Ukraine. This is the first game played there. Yesterday's were both in Poland and both featured eastern European sides. Is this what it will be like for all games featuring sides from western Europe?
7 min: Robin van Persie? He's rubbish. He's no Roman Pavlyuchenko at least, or Georgios Samaras. Robben, who's started on the left, scoots to the byline and pulls the ball back into the area for Van Persie, who slashes a first-time effort wide of the near post from eight yards out. Given his form for Arsenal last season, that goes down as a bad miss.
9 min: Up the other end, Vlaar catches Nicklas Bendtner 30 yards from goal. Christian Eriksen, quiet in these opening stages, takes the free-kick but it's straight into the wall and ultimately leads to nothing but a goal-kick for Holland.
10 min: Holland seem determined to switch their wingers at every opportunity. This time it's Affelay - my player to watch incidentally - who pops up on the left, takes on Jacobsen with a couple of stepovers and then fires a shot over the bar having cut inside on to his right foot.
11 min: This would have been a gorgeous goal and Holland have started very strongly indeed. On the right flank, Van Persie measures a beautiful, curling cross into the area that completely catches out the straining Simon Kjaer. It's just too heavy for Sneijder though and having ghosted into the area, all he can do is head harmlessly down into no-man's area, instead of going for goal.
13 min: A chance now, for Holland, to threaten with a free-kick 25 yards from goal after a foul on Van Persie. He dusts himself down to take the free-kick, but slips as he takes it and knocks it straight into the wall. Denmark are hanging on a bit here though. "I think Spain deserve some of the criticism being passed around for the quality of that final," says Zach Neeley. "Holland fouled too much but they didn't necessarily take all the fun out of Spain's style of play, it can be pretty dire all on its own. 1-0, 1-0, 1-0, sideways pass, sideways pass." Oh definitely. Tiki-taka without Lionel Messi doesn't seem to be much fun. In fact, they're verging on self-parody.
15 min: It's very hot in Kharkiv, I write from Kings Cross, so the pace of this game has been much slower than the two offerings from last night. Stamina is going to be key here. "After 40-odd years in Sweden, I can assure Mark Guthrie that unless the Swedish girl he mentions does not have his guts for garters she is not yet his girlfriend," says Fred Lane.
16 min: Arjen Robben cuts inside from the right, on to his left foot and sends a low shot straight at Andersen from 25 yards out. Never seen that one before, Arjen! Good to see he's got some new tricks up his sleeve for the summer.
18 min: Oh this would have been absolutely superb. With his back to goal on the right touchline, Robben completely bamboozles his marker with a wonderful first-time backheel to Van Persie. He had Daniel Agger up his back, but he turned, aided slightly by accidentally clumping the Danish defender in the fizzog, before slipping the ball back to the onrushing Robben. He steams clear down the right and into the area, but just seemed to want more time than he necessarily needed. He tried to poke the ball to the left to set up either Sneijder or Affelay for a tap-in but the pass wasn't good enough, allowing Kjaer to get a crucial toe-end on the ball and knock it back to his goalkeeper. Holland should be at least two goals up already.
21 min: This has been one-way traffic so far. Denmark have their work cut out just getting into the Dutch half, which is a forbidden land for them at the moment. "Spain deserve a bit of the blame, but only that - a little bit," says PK Adithya. "If their opponents actually press the Spanish midfield, there's no question of their passing being so slow! But most teams are afraid of pressing and leaving space in behind. Which leads to Spain cautiously, patiently probing for an opening." Maybe, but they do have quick players on the bench who could give them more of a thrust going forward.
23 min: Another chance for Holland. Another miss for Holland. Robben slips a pass into the area for Van Persie, who turns Kjaer as if he wasn't there - the defender was far too weak - and then drags a right-footed shot wide of the far post.
GOAL! Holland 0-1 Denmark (Krohn-Dehli, 24 min): Denmark like being the underdogs! Against the run of play, they've taken an unlikely lead after all those missed chances for Holland. Who saw this coming? It came from a marauding run from Simon Poulsen down the left, the Dane trying to inject some vim into his side's attack. He didn't appear to have anywhere to go, and so it proved, as his attempted cross was deflected to the edge of the area to the previously anonymous Krohn-Dehli. But he came up with a moment of virtuoso skill, making Heitinga and Van Bommel look very foolish with a clever dummy, sending the pair of them skittering off into the distance, as if they'd stepped on a load of ball-bearings. He drove into the area and then, from eight yards out, drove the ball through Stekelenburg and into the net! What a lovely goal. What an unlikely goal.
26 min: So what will the Dutch response be like? With the Germans to come in their next game, they simply cannot afford to lose this match. They've certainly created enough chances to be leading.
28 min: I confess I missed this, but Holland suddenly went crazy, appealing for a penalty after a handball by Simon Poulsen. I haven't seen a replay, but Robben in particular was insistent.
29 min: Robben whips a corner into the area from the right, Afellay dashes to the near post and flicks it on but it evades Heitinga in the six-yard box. Close. There's a stoppage in play as Afellay took a blow to the head as he met the ball. He'll be fine, but he's off getting treatment.
30 min: Having seen the handball claim again, I can confirm that Holland can feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty. It was a careless piece of play from Poulsen because he had no one near him but he still controlled the ball on his hand, if only for a moment. Holland had a case. "Who saw this coming?" says Tai Kaku. "Every time you have a "group of death" you have unseen outcomes. Who would have thought Argentina would have failed to come out of their group stage with England and Sweden in 2002. Who would have thought France couldn't overcome Romania in 2008." Not always. And France were rubbish. They would have gone out even if they'd beaten Romania.
34 min: "Not the dreaded seven nation army blaring out after the goal," says Jonny Sultoon. "I thought that had been put to bed after thousands of complaints at club level... Now on the effing international scene too? Stop it." Didn't it first appear at Euro 2008?
35 min: Denmark have an extra spring in their step now. The goalscorer Krohn-Dehli curls a cross to the far post. With Rommedahl lurking, Willems hacks clear in unconvincing fashion. The Danes continue to press, but with space on the left, Poulsen fails to pick out Bendtner, who had intelligently hung back away from the Holland defenders.
36 min: Denmark nearly shoot themselves in the foot as their goalkeeper, Andersen, helpfully passes the ball straight to Arjen Robben when he was under no pressure. What on earth was he thinking of? Luckily there were enough Denmark defenders back there to hold Robben up, but he still made enough space on the edge of the area to get a sight of goal and shape a splendid left-footer around Andersen and on to the face of the left post. A wonderful effort without any reward and a huge let-off for Denmark.
39 min: Holland are getting closer. Affelay sits Agger down with a twinkle-toed run but his shot from 20 yards out is always rising and fizzes just over the top.
40 min: Holland want to be careful here, else Denmark could be out of sight before half time. On the right, Jacobsen stands up a cross to the far post but a lack of communication sees Zimmling volley what should have been Krohn-Dehli's ball when the latter was better placed to score. Zimmling, put off by Krohn-Dehli's presence, doesn't catch it cleanly and Willems blocks it clear.
42 min: Krohn-Dehli is having an excellent half, buoyed after his fine goal. He sneaks clear of the Holland midfield again but places a careful low shot towards the right corner too close to Stekelenburg.
43 min: What a save from Andersen to preserve Denmark's lead! A long ball forward in search of Van Persie was only cleared as far as Sneijder on the edge of the area. He took his time, waited for Van Persie to get back onside and then rolled the ball to the right to the striker, who was clean through on goal. But incredibly his first touch with his left foot let him down, meaning he had to shoot with his right and Andersen was out quickly to deny him with his body, the spirit of Peter Schmeichel in Denmark's win over Holland in Euro 92 invoked.
45 min: As good as they are going forward, Holland's defence is a risible mess. A Denmark corner from the right comes all the way to the unwitting Bendtner who, like any good striker, worth his salt wasn't expecting it. There was still danger for Holland though, the ball clanging off Bendtner's shins and towards the far corner, bringing a sprawling save out of Stekelenburg.
Peep! Peep! The Slovenian referee brings a half that has totally gone against the script to an end. Against all the odds, Denmark lead Holland, whose wasteful finishing has been their undoing.
Half time: Holland 0-1 Denmark. Food for thought for Bert van Marwijk. Denmark are 45 minutes away from another famous upset.
Half time emails.
"I've noticed that this is the second day in a row that the BBC commentators have complained about the additional assistant refs seemingly not making any obvious decision," says George Thomas. "I was under the impression that they're supposed to make inconspicuous calls with the electric wands, and that commentators were making similar poor statements during the champion's league. How do they still not know this?"
"Come now, surely expanding the Euros is a great idea as it means punters would get THREE MBMs a day at the start instead of the current paltry TWO (on top of daily live blog and podcasts of course)?" says Ryan Dunne. "I'm sure you guys wouldn't mind the extra work! Plus, as a fan (ish) of diddy team Scotland, it would be nice to make a major tournament sometime (not sure if an expansion to 24 teams would be enough for this tho. Anyone else think a 48 team tournament might be cool?)"
"How is a man supposed to concentrate on the football?" says David Goldstone. "600 naked people have just cycled past my window on Fleet Street." Oh, is it already the Guardian's summer party?
"I can't wait for England to destroy this tournament," says Adam Hirst. "Until now it has been nice open, attacking, eventful, interesting games, played in a good atmosphere. Wait until Monday. That bus is waiting to be parked, and it isn't any old bus, but a design classic, an English Routemaster Double Decker. We'll show them Euro-types."
"Isn't Robben a bit of a 'flat track bully'?" says John Reid. "He doesn't seem to do enough in the BIG games. He's obviously a great player, but I feel he may look back with disappointment at what he should have achieved by now."
"Recent history hasn't been kind to European countries the next Euro after losing the WC final," says Tai Kaku, who's even provided evidence.
Italy 1996 (group stage)
Germany 2004 (group stage)
France 2008 (group stage)
and if Holland doesn't turn it around
Holland 2012 (group stage)
46 min: Before the second half starts, The Final Countdown blares out over the tannoy, putting me and you in mind of this. It's Denmark, who have that one-goal lead to protect, who start the second half.
"Writing from Copenhagen (btw, what a roar in town when the goal was scored) but being an Italian and an AS Roma fun, I can tell you that the Seven Nation Army song was 'imported' in Italy by Roma funs after having heard it sung by Belgian Bruges supporters during a Bruges-Roma match," says Paolo Rosati. After a few months, it also became the Italian 'hymn' during 2006 world cup."
47 min: Afellay prods a pass into the area to Van Persie, who finds himself blocked off by Kjaer despite his attempt to bundle through. There's the pattern set though.
48 min: Robben tricks his way past Poulsen, cutting inside on to his left foot but his shot from 15 yards out is deflected wide by Krohn-Dehli. He's everywhere, this guy. Van Persie heads Sneijder's corner wide at the near post.
50 min: Oh Robin! He's having a real Mario Gomez of a time. This is everyone's tip for top scorer. He's cursed. He's played through on goal by a piercing pass but just as he's about to shoot, he hits the ball with his standing foot, causing him to fall over his own feet and land flat on his backside. At least he didn't have the cheek to claim for a penalty in his embarrassment. Moments later, Sneijder finds him again but on the stretch he shoots straight at Andersen.
51 min: Van Bommel pummels a shot goalwards from 25 yards out, bringing a fine save out of Andersen, who reacted quickly to brush the ball wide with his fingertips. Brilliant effort, brillianter save. The corner comes to nothing.
52 min: This is a real onslaught from the Dutch at the start of the second half. Willems finds Afellay in the middle and his ominous dash in the space ends with him dribbling a low shot inches wide of the left post from the edge of the area. Andersen may have had it covered though.
53 min: How long can this go on? Surely Denmark are going to crack at some point. Terrible defending from Denmark allows Heitinga a free header from a Robben corner, but he powers his effort over. He should have scored.
54 min: When the opportunity presents itself, Denmark will try to catch Holland out on the break. The persistent Poulsen burrows a way through again on the left and pulls the ball across the six-yard box, forcing the covering Afellay to boot the ball behind with Lars Jacobsen of all people waiting behind him. Denmark make a mess of the corner.
56 min: "Football to one side for a minute, the Danes would hammer the Dutch in a Cheese World Cup every time," says Jon Wilde. "Danbo v Edam? It would be Arbroath v Bon Accord all over again." Maybe, but the Danes win in the bacon category.
57 min: Michael Krohn-Dehli is a very good player. That is all.
58 min: Wesley Sneijder is foolishly dragged to the floor by Kvist 25 yards from goal, a few yards to the left of the D. Sneijder will take the free-kick.
59 min: Sneijder's free-kick is blocked by Kjaer in the wall. Van Bommel responds by booming a cross out of play for a goal-kick. This is all going to plan for Denmark.
61 min: "The Netherlands are a bit flat," says Bill Chilton. Out. I mean it. Get out.
62 min: Might one option for Holland be to withdraw one of De Jong or Van Bommel and bring on, say, Van der Vaart or Kevin Strootman? The two defensive midfielders are making little impression on the game and it's not as if Denmark are doing much attacking.
63 min: This is the year of the smash-and-grab. From the left, Affelay curls a beauty of the cross into the middle and Robben sends an awful free header wide of the right post when it was easier to score from close range. That's Holland's 22nd effort. Only seven have been on target. It's not hard to see where their problems this evening are stemming from.
66 min: Mark van Bommel walks away shaking his head at the injustice of it all after being booked for a clip on Kvist. To be fair, he'd be doing the same thing if he'd took out a bazooka and aimed it straight at the Dane. Was the booking justified? What do you think?
68 min: Indecision in the Holland defence gifts Denmark a corner on the left. It looked like that would be the cue for Holland to bring on Huntelaar and Van der Vaart, but they decided to defend the corner before making the substitutions. Which they did.
70 min: Krohn-Dehli has been the best player on the pitch. He whizzes inside from the left and then smacks a low shot towards the bottom-left corner that Steklelenburg smartly pushes aside for a corner.
71 min: Before the corner can be taken, De Jong and Afellay are replaced by Huntelaar and Van der Vaart. The corner's then taken. Denmark don't score.
73 min: Van der Vaart nearly makes an instant impact, nipping in behind the Denmark defence on the right and fizzing a low cross across the face of goal. A good idea, only Holland's galootish strikers had decided they didn't fancy a tap-in. Jacobsen knocks it behind and Andersen punches the resulting corner clear.
74 min: Andersen is having the game of his life, frustrating Holland for the umpteenth time. Sneijder cut the Denmark defence to ribbons with an outrageous stabbed pass with the outside of his right boot, the ball curving away from Kjaer and taking him out of the picture. Huntelaar brought the ball down, but then got nothing on his attempted dink over Andersen, who got something on it. The ball squirted clear to Van Persie, but Andersen was quick to realise the danger, diving at his feet, injuring himself in the process and winning a free-kick. Meanwhile Christian Eriksen, who's had a quiet game, is replaced by Lasse Schone.
77 min: Andersen has come for and claimed almost every Holland corner. The Denmark goalkeeper has been magnificent. The new Peter Schmeichel, yeah?
80 min: Oh look, Arjen Robben's cut in from the right and had a rubbish shot with his left foot when a team-mate was in a better position. What a clown. When will he learn? Simon Poulsen has been booked for timewasting.
81 min: "I wonder if the new defensive smash and grab tactics from the underdogs will signal a return to the old-fashioned number nines at the top clubs/countries instead of the favouring of the more technical forwards such as Messi and Van Persie?" says John. "Germany don't mess about having the likes of Klose in the side do they?" I see what you're saying: they need Andy Carroll. Kvist is booked for slipping and handling the ball in the mistaken assumption he was going to get a free-kick.
82 min: A penny for Johan Cruyff's thoughts.
83 min: Holland look like they've run out of ideas and are just flinging hopeful balls into the box. They've competely bottled this. "Re the danish keeper, i always felt bad for Kaspar Schmeichal, as he is one Danish keeper who was never called the new Peter Schmeichal," says Hugh Collins.
84 min: Tobias Mikkelsen comes on for Denmark, replacing Dennis Rommedahl.
85 min: The man for a crisis. Dirk Kuyt is on, here to score his regulation one-yard tap-in for Holland. Gregory van der Wiel is the man to make way.
87 min: "Johan Cruyff suggested Kuyt at right back earlier in the week in the Dutch press," says Martyn Pot. "Sounds like a better option than Van der Wiel."
88 min: Holland right-back
Dani Alves Dirk Kuyt effortlessly picks out Andersen with a high cross. Germany next for Holland. They are right in the brown sticky stuff.
89 min: A high ball comes to Huntelaar in the area. He takes it on his chest and then appeals for handball against Jacobsen. Nothing doing, says the referee, but the Dutch bench is enraged.
90 min: There will be three minutes for Denmark to hold on. Van der Vaart wins a corner for Holland on the left. Sneijder sends it in, and between them Vlaar, Heitinga and Huntelaar head it wide.
90 min+2: Denmark definitely got away with one with that handball shout. It did look like a handball from Jacobsen. Holland will feel they should have had two penalties.
Full time: Holland 0-1 Denmark. That's it! Denmark have done it! The first shock of Euro 2012 and Denmark have another famous upset to crow about. Holland are in big trouble now. Their next game is Germany. They could be out after that game. This was a lesson in ruthlessness, Holland missing a string of chances, Robin van Persie particularly culpable, before Michael Krohn-Dehli plundered an excellent goal against the run of play for Denmark. Sure, they rode their luck, not least in getting away with two handballs in the area, and Andersen had to make some excellent saves but Denmark deserved a win that turns Group B on its head. Next up for them, it's Portugal and they've now got a real chance of making it through to the last eight. Oh Holland.