Posts Tagged ‘robben’

I had expected a 3-2 win for Spain, probably with a rather cagey start.

Boy, was I wrong. The start was a little cagey, with it taking the first twenty minutes for either team to really hit their stride. There were a few flashes indicating what was to come, but few would have expected the ultimate result.

When Jonathan de Guzman gave away a penalty in the 27th minute, there was still more controversy in a Cup which has already seen more than its share. It looked as though Spain striker Diego Costa, already through on goal, put his foot back out to force de Guzman to trip him, thus winning the penalty by less than sporting means. Nevertheless, the penalty was awarded, and set-piece maestro Xabi Alonso coolly buried it in the bottom corner from twelve yards.

It looked at that point as though Spain were going to add to their collection of victories – in World Cup games, they had won each of their previous four by a scoreline of 1-0.

The goal seemed to galvanise the Dutch into action, though, and they looked increasingly dangerous as the half wore on.

David Silva also made it two for Spain in the closing minutes of the half, but some smart play from Cillessen in the Dutch goal kept the scoreline safe. The ball was launched back down the field, and made its way to the head of Robin van Persie, whose headed chip in surely the best goal of the 15 this tournament has featured so far. 1-1.

The half-time whistle blew, and the game was wide open. Both teams started the second half with a mission. Iniesta tested Cillessen early on, but the Ajax man was again equal to the task.

At the other end of the field, Arjen Robben received the ball with a sublime first touch to move the ball onto his left foot and then lashed it into Spain’s net. 2-1.

Van Persie had a glorious chance to make it 3-1 a few minutes later, his fierce shot cannoning back off the crossbar. Instead, the Dutch had to wait a few more minutes, and Stefan de Vrij was the next name on the scoresheet.

The game was becoming a rout, and it became a question of how many more goals the Oranje could put away. A second for van Persie followed in the 72nd minute, and Robben doubled his own tally in the 80th.

An unexpected result, but an absolute masterclass from a disciplined and dangerous Netherlands side. Both teams are still expected to qualify out of their group, but it may be that the Dutch take the top spot after all, and avoid a meeting with probably group A winners Brazil in the next round.

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