The powerhouse of Group B was quick to be tabbed “The Group of Death,” and now we know why. Two words for the Dutch: Michael Krohn-Dehli.
The stage is set. A defeat on Wednesday, and the 2010 World Cup runner-ups and Euro 2012 proposed Cup finalists, could wind up taking in the rest of the tournament from the sidelines.
Where: Kharkiv Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Ukraine
When: Wednesday 2:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Anyone can beat anyone, and that was proved on Saturday. The Oranje were upended 1-0 by the no-named Denmark squad, who stifled every attack the Oranje fired. What started well between the wicked attacking foursome of Afellay, Sneijder, Robben and van Persie, didn’t pan out as predicted.
Technically, the Dutch can still entertain a bid into the next round, but there is no level of security as we saw firsthand. Robin van Persie, will never play that poorly of a match again.
Gasping for air, the Dutch appear like they will need the second win to extend their cup hopes alive. They will have to do so by defeating hated rival, Germany.
The inability to convert was what kept the Dutch from propelling themselves over Denmark. Come Wednesday, the Netherlands will need to formulate an array of offensive assaults against Germany’s line to penetrate the issue.
Unlike Denmark, opportunities aren’t going to come falling at will when battling against one of the world’s best. But when you have world-class players on the field, it only takes one moment to make a difference in the outcome.
Down to their last lifeline, the Netherlands have put themselves in a at a terrible disadvantage. If they want any shot at living another day, their tournament boils down to Wednesday. Otherwise, it could be curtains, and a highly disappointing tournament turnout.
The Yankees vs. the Red Sox, the Chargers vs. the Raiders, and here, the Dutch vs. the Germans. What these teams all share in common hatred and history. The gravity of this early group pairing is that of an early round Super Bowl game.
As for the Germans, they know that a victory for them solidifies a spot in the quarter-finals.
Players to watch
The Dutch front line. It is hard to pinpoint any one individual. If the Oranje want to proceed, they are going to need to invest in a total team effort against Germany’s wall. There is still hope, and the Oranje will need to harness every last bit of it.
Germany is just too much for the Dutch and they take it, 2-1.