Netherlands ease past Denmark


Strong contenders the Netherlands launched their FIFA World Cup campaign with a scrappy 2-0 victory over a fighting Denmark in their Group E opener at Johannesburg on Monday.

While the Dutch were gifted a self-goal in the 46th minute to forge ahead, striker Dirk Kuyt produced a goal just five minutes before the final whistle to give his team full points at the majestic Soccer City stadium.

The Dutch, boasting of a star-studded line up, were hardly convincing in their win in a match which seldom rose to great heights.

Denmark, who have not beaten the Dutch, apart from a penalty shootout victory in Euro 92, for 43 years, rarely looked like scoring in a match that never really lived up to expectations.

Although the nature of the own goal was fortunate for the Dutch, they probably deserved what luck was going after being more enterprising for most of a largely poor first half.

Image: Netherlands' Dirk Kuyt celebrates scoring against Denmark
Photographs: Reuters