The Netherlands' run through the Euro 2012 tournament is over before it really ever got started. Yesterday's loss to Denmark puts them in a hole that will be nearly impossible to climb out of in the dreaded "group of death."
Being placed in group B along with Germany, Portugal and Denmark, it was clear from the beginning that the Dutch would have to play their best soccer in order to have a hope to advance past group play. Opening up with a 1-0 loss to the Danes leaves the Dutch with no hope whatsoever.
Coming off of the loss, the Dutch must find a way to make a quick turnaround to face a vaunted German squad. The Germans came into the Euro ranked as the third-best team in the country and are riding the momentum of a 1-0 victory over Portugal to open up Euro play. If the Dutch were unable to score goals against the Danes, the likelihood of scoring against the Germans isn't very good.
The last encounter between the Netherlands and Germany ended with a 3-0 victory for the Germans.
Given that the Dutch trail the Germans and Danes by three points, playing for a draw won't be an option. The Dutch find themselves in a must-win against the Germans as a win over the Portuguese won't do them much good with Germany and Denmark in the driver's seat.
The loss to Denmark comes as a bitter disappointment to the Dutch fans. Coming into the tournament ranked No. 4 in the world, most figured that the tough grouping wouldn't phase the Dutch as they advanced through group play.
After just one game, all of that seems to be thrown out the window.
The Danes' upset was huge and the first big surprise of the Euro. Unless the Dutch can pull off an equally surprising upset, it appears that their Euro hopes are already gone.