KHARKIV (Reuters) - Denmark’s Michael Krohn-Dehli hasn’t featured on many ‘players to watch’ features for Euro 2012 and a Ukrainian official initially forgot his name at the man of the match award ceremony after his winner against the Netherlands on Saturday.
The 29-year-old attacking midfielder, who scored the game’s only goal in the 24th minute, smiled at the gaffe but his coach, Morten Olsen, seated beside him, was furious.
“Come on, come on,” he snapped while turning to the official, “You’ve got to be better prepared if you are going to do something like that.”
It was a little glimpse of the demanding approach Olsen takes to his players - and to anyone around him who fails to live up to his standards - but it didn’t seem to upset Krohn-Dehli too much.
The Brondby player, who was twice rejected by Amsterdam club Ajax, was surely enjoying a little schadenfreude after sinking the Dutch in the Group B opener.
In two injury-plagued spells with Ajax, before and after a 12 game loan to Sparta Rotterdam, Krohn-Dehli managed just four appearances for the Netherland’s top club.
But perhaps aware of upsetting his Dutch girlfriend, Krohn-Dehli, who was dangerous throughout the game, played down talk of payback.
“Its not like payback but it’s nice when I’ve spent a lot of time in Holland and know a lot of people. I was unlucky with injuries at Ajax and that is part of the game, so there is no payback,” he said.
Olsen was in more generous mood when describing the performance of a player who did what Netherland’s Premier League top scorer Robin Van Persie couldn’t - put away his chances.
“He was unlucky with injuries at Ajax but he was one of our best men in qualification, he is at his prime now and hope will play many years for us,” he said.
The omission that really hurt Krohn-Dehli the most in his career was not being named in the Danish squad for the World Cup two years ago.
Olsen was blunt again when asked about that decision.
“I made a mistake.”
Reporting By Simon Evans in Kharkiv; editing by Patrick Graham