Van der Vaart: German clash is crucial
Rafael van der Vaart said Netherlands' next Euro 2012 encounter against bitter rivals Germany will be 'like a final'.
Bert van Marwijk's side were shocked in their opening Group B match, as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Denmark at Metalist Stadium on Saturday.
And Tottenham Hotspur playmaker van der Vaart said the Dutch must win both of their remaining games - against Germany and Portugal - if they are to reach the next stage.
"The Germany game on Wednesday is now like a final for us," the former Real Madrid man told Goal.com
"We have two finals but if we lose the first one, we are out of the competition.
"It's a massive game. That's all I can say. It's painful because we thought we had to win against Denmark and it was a very hard defeat to take."
The Dutch players were shocked as they lost to Michael Krohn-Dehli's 24th-minute strike despite dominating most of the match and creating several chances.
Van der Vaart admits qualification for the next round appears difficult, but said that the squad will draw inspiration now from the fact that Oranje lost their opening match at Euro 1988, but still won the tournament.
"There were no words in the dressing room," van der Vaart added.
"We are a long way from the next round but I believe we lost the first game in 1988 and that tournament finished well for us.
"Hopefully we can do the same. We can still win but it will be more difficult now."
"It was a shock, people would say that when they compare Denmark with Holland. It's unbelievable. They had one chance, maybe two. It was hard to take because we had so many chances."