JOHN HEITINGA labelled Holland’s shock Euro 2012 defeat by Denmark “a miracle” as the setback left the Everton man facing an uphill battle to get through the competition’s group stages.
The Dutch were stunned by Michael Krohn-Dehli’s 24th minute strike as they sank to a 1-0 defeat in Kharkiv.
And Heitinga is all too aware that his side’s mission to progress by beating both Germany and Portugal will not be easy.
“It’s a miracle,” he said. “They only made half a chance and they scored. It’s unbelievable.
“It was a big surprise. Look at how many chances we created. There is no way anyone can say Denmark deserved to win.
“Denmark didn’t play very well. You can’t have played well when you give so many chances away. They didn’t do very much but I suppose they worked hard – even Nicklas Bendtner was playing at centre-back near the end.
“We know now that we have to win both games to stay in the tournament. The game against Germany now is going to be a big, big game.”
Heitinga believed Bert van Marwijk’s side should have been awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Denmark defender Lars Jacobsen late on in the game.
“Sometimes the referee makes a wrong decision and it can hurt you,” he added.
“We know what we have to do. You could tell in the changing room after the game. Everyone was silent. It was sort of shock, the only thing we did wrong was that we didn’t score.
“We’ve got the players, we’ve got the quality and we’ve got the skills. The problem is that we’re bottom of the group.
“Now, we need the score to go in our favour. We don’t need to play any better in the next two games.”