First off, YEAH!!! WE ARE GOING TO THE WORLD CUP FINALS! It was the most convincing win that the Dutch have displayed in this tournament SO FAR. This is the Oranje that I have been waiting for. Not only did we produce the result, but how they did it fascinated the football world once again. 3-2 to the Dutch side and they will be waiting for the result of Spain and Germany.
At the start of the game, there were little chances created by either side but an unbelievable screamer of a shot from captain Giovanni van Branckhorst saw its way to the top corner. No chance whatsoever for the keeper.
Diego Forlan however equalised just before halftime to pull things level, but in reality, it was a poor goal to concede. The defence was nowhere near him, knowing the threat that Forlan possesses. Stekelenburg was wrong footed as well. It went straight at him, and still no save. Oh well, game on.
At halftime, Demy de Zeeuw made way for creative midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, unarguably my favorite football player in the world. 🙂 Without bias, the Dutch team came to life on the attacking side of the pitch in the opening minutes, with Dirk Kuyt dropping a little deeper to make way for van der Vaart in the attacking half. As I have said before, the combination of Robben-van der Vaart-Sneijder-Robben would create problems to the opposition – and it did. They can exchange positions in transitions freely. van der Vaart nearly made it two with a beautiful play, but it was Sneijder who put the Dutch side ahead, with claims of offside from van Persie. Replays suggest however that he let the ball pass through his feet.
Forlan nearly equalised later with a curling free kick, but this time, Stekelenburg did well to save it at the bottom left corner. Robben then put the icing on the cake with a fine, placed header with a delicious cross from Kuyt. Game over.
What boggles me afterwards is that Forlan was substituted earlier than expected (or was anyone really expecting Forlan being substituted, knowing that Suarez was ineligible to play the game?) Anyway, Robben should have made it four with a breakaway, but that’s just as far as he goes as he heads to the bench for a breather, being replaced by the future of Holland winger, Eljero Elia. Robben played well, especially after facing 2 defenders when on the offensive at most times.
Mark van Bommel had a great game, winning balls out and wide, but he had to go off with an injury of some sort. Let’s hope he’s okay.
Uruguay are not be chalked off early though, as Uruguay pulled one goal back through Pereira in injury time. But that was all they could manage. If Forlan would have been there, it would be a different story. Good thing Mathijsen and Heitinga are winning headers inside the box everytme. Also, Stekelenburg’s positioning may be questioned here. But what’s done is done.
Fine game by Oranje there. We looked more ourselves since that Euro 2008 games and I feel more confident on taking that trophy! But the biggest, biggest, biggest match is yet to come. Stekelenburg will have to console his decisions from their trainer or from van der Sar. Should Spain make it through, shots will fly into his way. If Germany wins it, he will be bombed with one-on-ones with counter-attacks. This should be very, very exciting.
LET’S GO ORANJE!