Posts Tagged ‘Netherlands’

I think I said Quarter finals for the Dutch. I don’t care about being wrong this time though. When I realised that the Dutch would be facing Brazil, I thought they’d surely get knocked out. I wasn’t the least bit happy with Van Marwijk’s chosen style of playing either, so I had given up hope for the Oranje.

But they beat Brazil!

The game started off in explosive fashion for the Brazilians and in about 5 minutes Robinho had found the net. Unfortunately for the South Americans, the goal was ruled offside and correctly so. It didn’t matter because five minutes later Robinho knocked the ball into the net again. The ball from Felipe Melo was pure class. (I think I wouldn’t be calling it that if Brazil had managed to win though). The weight on the pass was perfect for Robinho to slot past Stekelenburg.

Stekelenburg impressed further when he kept an effort from Kaka out. What a brilliant piece of goalkeeping. To be honest, the Dutch really struggled in the first half and we were having a fantastic display of football from the Brazilians. They somehow managed to take the game to half time trailing by only one goal.

I don’t know what van Marwijk said to the players at half time but it obviously worked. Sneijder comes up with a beauty of a cross which goes off the head of Felipe Melo. I honestly think Cesar would have got to the ball had Melo not blocked him off/knocked it into his own net. It will probably go down as an own goal, but Sneijder deserves full credit for the goal.

Arjen Robben was meanwhile tormenting Michel Bastos. The full back had already been yellow carded for repeatedly kicking at Robben’s heels. The goal originated at a free kick awarded to Netherlands after Bastos took Robben down. He was really lucky to continue after the foul.

Sneijder doubled the lead for the Oranje in the 67th minute when he headed in Robben’s corner that was flicked on by Dirk Kuyt at the near post. Dirk Kuyt worked his socks off this game and unlike most Dutch players, was also good in the first half and not just the second.

Van Persie continues to suffer from a drought but he’s still playing decently. He still draws a couple of players towards himself and has a fantastic touch and good passing ability, so if he creates space he can still play in someone else, as he played Kuyt in during the first half.

Brazil was clearly getting frustrated by the way things were going and Felipe Melo was sent off for stamping Arjen Robben. Definitely merited a direct red card. The Oranje were getting a bit complacent towards the end when Kuyt broke into the penalty box he seemed a little hesitant to pull the trigger. Another moment occurred in injury time when three Dutch players were in the box and they made a complete mess of the situation.

Van der Wiel and De Jong will both miss the semi-final against the winner of the Uruguay versus Ghana match. I’m sure the Dutch won’t under-estimate their opponents in the next round although I’m sure they fancy themselves to get to the final.

Could this be the year they make it back to the finals for the first time since 1978 when they played hosts Argentina?

I hope so.

I ought to add this. More of an after thought. I think the Japanese referee who officiated the game was pretty good. He’s handled a few other games before and he’s been good for those as well. I don’t think the referee handed the Dutch the game