Denmark’s Poulsen: ‘This can’t be happening’

Denmark defender Simon Poulsen was having a good game against

the Netherlands on Monday when disaster struck just after the

halftime break.

Poulsen misjudged a seemingly harmless cross. Instead of

clearing the ball comfortably, he headed it into the back of

teammate Daniel Agger and watched it deflect across the goal


“I was just thinking, ‘this can’t be happening,”’ Poulsen


The 25-year-old, who plays club football for Dutch team AZ

Alkmaar, patiently answered reporters’ questions about the

situation and took full responsibility for the game-changing goal.

Denmark had frustrated the Netherlands until that point, but was

forced to relax its compact defense as it chased an equalizer.

“Of course I take it seriously. But what can I do?” he said.

“I can go cry and then they can send me home. But that’s not what

it’s about.

“You have to admit when it’s your fault and today it was my

mistake but I need to go forward.”

The 2-0 loss was Poulsen’s sixth international match for


Denmark coach Morten Olsen, who played for the national team in

the 1970s and ’80s, put his arm around Poulsen as he walked of the


“I said to him that it happened also for me one time in my

career,” Olsen said. “He has to forget it and he has to look

forward to the next game.”

Denmark plays Cameroon next in Group E.