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Posts Tagged ‘Holland’

World Cup Final 2010: Spain 1-0 Holland (aet)

World Cup 2010 Final (Sunday 11th July 2010, K.O. 19:30 BST)
Venue: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Conditions: Cloudy and dry. Temp: 14c, Wind 5.0m/s

Spain: 1 (Iniesta 116)
Holland: 0

Casillas (C), Capdevila, Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Sergio, Alonso (Fabregas 87), Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro (Navas 60), Villa (Torres 106).
Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Bronckhorst (C) (Braafheid 105), Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bommel, De Jong (Van Der Vaart 99), Sneijder, Kuyt (Elia 71), Robben, Van Persie.

Referee: Howard Webb (Rotherham, England)
Linesmen: Darren Cann & Michael Mullarkey

Spain beat Holland 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup final in Soccer City, Johannesburg to win the tournament for the first time in their history. Both teams had chances to win the game in normal time but an extra half hour was needed to separate them and Andres Iniesta crowned a magnificent performance with the winning goal only four minutes from the end.

There were no surprises in the Dutch line up for their third final appearance. Right-back Gregory Van Der Wiel returned from his one match ban to take the place of Boulahrouz and defensive midfielder Nigel De Jong was back from his suspension to replace De Zeeuw in the engine house of the Holland team meaning that coach Bert Van Marwijk was able to name his strongest eleven. Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque had a selection dilemma in attack, eventually opting for Pedro, who impressed in the semi final, ahead of Fernando Torres, who has struggled since rushing back from injury to be fit for the finals. Therefore, Spain fielded an unchanged team from their win over Germany. On the celebrity front, Nelson Mandela was present in the stadium for Africa’s first final and Michel Platini made it too, having fainted in a restaurant on Friday night. Most importantly of all, Paul the Octopus predicted a Spain win, and he hadn’t been wrong yet this tournament. Unfortunately he couldn’t attend in person. England’s Howard Webb was appointed referee for the big occasion, three days before his 39th birthday.

Holland kicked off and their game plan was clear from the start, with three fouls conceded in the opening minutes. The first real chance came early on too, with Xavi whipping in a free kick from the right following one of those fouls. Ramos met it with his head and Stekelenburg needed to make a fine save to protect his clean sheet. Dirk Kuyt managed Holland’s first shot on target a couple of minutes later but it wasn’t hit hard enough to trouble Casillas. Ramos was having a busy start and he got forward again in the 11th minute, beating Kuyt as be broke into the box and struck a shot towards the far post, which was diverted over the bar by Heitinga. Villa had a shooting chance after the resulting corner and hit the side netting as Spain piled on the pressure. The Dutch were already struggling to keep up with the slick movement of their Spanish counterparts and Van Persie was booked for his second bad tackle on the quater hour mark when he took out Capdevila.

Carles Puyol demonstrated that Spain can mix it in a physical encounter when he brought down Holland’s danger man Arjen Robben a minute later to earn himself a yellow card and Wesley Sneijder was presented with his first chance to aim a free kick at Casillas’ goal. His powerful shot beat the wall but was too close to the Spanish ‘keeper. Mark Van Bommel got his own, much anticipated, booking in the 22nd minute for a terrible challenge from behind on Iniesta, and Ramos was similarly punished a minute later for a foul on Kuyt as the yellow card total began to mount up. De Jong claimed the fifth caution in the 28th minute and he was probably lucky not to be dismissed for a studs-up high foot into Alonso’s chest. The game calmed down a bit towards the end of the half with little more than a few long range efforts to note, the best of which was a snap shot from Robben following a corner but Casillas turned it around his near post to ensure parity at the interval.

Spain had an early chance in the second half with Puyol again dominant in the opposition box from a corner. His downward header across goal went through the legs of the Capdevila when any sort of touch could have found the net. The Spanish seemed to have come out of the dressing rooms with instructions to raise the tempo and accordingly Holland returned to their spoiling tactics with Van Bronckhorst and Heitinga both picking up cards to take the Dutch total to five. Del Bosque replaced Pedro with winger Jesus Navas, perhaps wanting to introduce a player who would run at defenders inducing fouls and potentially red cards.

The best chance of the game thus far came in the 62nd minute when Robben broke through one on one with Casillas and had plenty of time to pick his shot. However, the Spanish ‘keeper narrowed the angle well and saved with his right leg as Robben aimed a low shot towards the bottom left corner. With hindsight the Dutchman will probably wish he had tried to round the ‘keeper. Van Persie was the next player to nearly get in behind the Spanish defence but he was upended by Capdevila and the left back became the eighth man to enter the referee’s book.

Navas made his first major impact on the game in the 69th minute when he beat his man and played the ball low across the Dutch goal mouth where Heitinga could only deflect it into the path of David Villa. Spain’s top scorer was presented with perhaps the easiest chance he will get this tournament but his shot from point blank range was blocked by a desperate lunge from Heitinga. A corner from Xavi with a quarter of an hour to go presented Ramos with his third chance of the game as he rose unchallenged yet again to thump a bullet header just over the bar.

Robben had an almost identical one on one with Casillas in the 83rd minute when he easily outpaced a sluggish Puyol to steal the ball and bear down on goal although he was pulled back by the burly defender and could have gone down for a free kick which might have seen Puyol dismissed. However, he opted to stay on his feet and this time did try to go round Casillas but the ‘keeper was again off his line quickly and dived at Robben’s feet to gather the ball. Robben was then booked for his protests as he tried to convince the referee to bring back play for the foul.

Five minutes into extra time Spain had their own one on one opportunity when a superb through ball from Iniesta picked out substitute Cesc Fabregas but the midfielder couldn’t beat the outcoming Stekelenburg, who saved well with his legs. Fabregas returned the favour for Iniesta three minutes later but Iniesta was too slow to shoot and the ball was whipped away from him by Van Bronckhorst. Navas then had a shot from the corner of the box deflected off Van Bronckhorst and into the side netting with Stekelenburg diving the wrong way and yet another great chance went begging. All that last ditch defending must have taken its toll on Van Bronckhorst’s thirty-five year old legs as the Dutch captain was replaced by Edson Braafheid just before half time in extra time. It was his 106th and last appearance for the national team and the final professional appearance of his long and distinguished career as he retires following this tournament.

Vicente Del Bosque played his last card at the start of the second period of extra time, bringing on Torres for Villa in a bid to freshen up his attack. However it was Iniesta who forced the first mistake in the Dutch defence when he was pulled back by Heitinga chasing a ball over the top and the centre back received his second yellow card of the game to leave Holland with ten men for the final ten minutes. Xavi put the resulting free kick over the bar. Heitinga’s second yellow and one for Van Der Wiel minute later raised the Dutch total to nine.

The breakthrough finally came in the 116th minute when Fabregas found Andres Iniesta free in the box and the midfielder finally managed to put a shot past Stekelenburg. Spanish jubilation in one corner of the field was countered by Dutch protests in another as they argued they should have had a free kick for a foul on Elia but there was no chance of having this goal ruled out and there was hardly any time left for a Holland fight back. Spain held on and deservedly claimed the trophy with their fourth 1-0 win in a row.

World Cup 2010: Holland 3-2 Uruguay

World Cup 2010 Semi Final (Tuesday 6th July 2010, K.O. 19:30 BST)
Venue: Green Point Stadium
Conditions: Clear and dry. Temp: 11c, Wind 5.0m/s

Holland: 3 (Van Bronckhorst 18, Sneijder 70, Robben 73)
Uruguay: 2 (Forlan 41, M Pereira 90+2)

Holland: Stekelenburg, Boulahrouz, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst (C), Van Bommel, Kuyt, De Zeeuw (Van Der Vaart 46), Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben (Elia 89).
Uruguay:Muslera, Godin, Gargano, Victorino, Caceres, A Pereira (Abreu 78), M Pereira, Perez, Arevalo Rios, Cavani, Forlan (C) (S Fernandez 84).

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)

Holland edged out Uruguay in an exciting semi final at the Green Point stadium in Cape Town to qualify for their third World Cup final and they will hope to make it third time lucky after losing out in 1974 and 1978. Two goals in three second half minutes did the damage and they survived a late scare to hold on for a 3-2 win although Uruguay will claim that the crucial second goal should have been disallowed.

Holland were compelled to make two changes to their starting line up, with coach Bert Van Marwijk selecting Stuttgart defender Khalid Boulahrouz and Ajax’s Demy De Zeeuw in place of the suspended Gregory Van Der Wiel and Nigel De Jong. Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez was of course forced to make do without the services of striker Luis Suarez, following his controversial handball against Ghana in the quarter finals, and also defender Jorge Fucile, who had picked up two yellow cards. Ajax striker Suarez was a particularly big loss seeing as he had scored three of Uruguay’s goals thus far in the tournament and was also top scorer in the Dutch  league last season.

There was an early chance for the Oranje – playing all in orange -  after just three  minutes when Muslera’s punch out from a Robben cross only reached the edge of the box where it was picked up by Dirk Kuyt, who fired just over the bar. There followed a fairly open fifteen minutes of play where both teams gently probed and tested each other’s defences and created a couple of half chances at either end. Just as it looked as though the pattern of the game had been set, Dutch left back and captain Giovanni Van Bronckhorst unleashed a real pile driver of a shot from all of thirty five yards and it fairly flew past Muslera into the top right corner of the net to make it 1-0 to Holland.

The Dutch enjoyed a good spell of possession after the goal, playing keep-ball as they sat on their lead, but Uruguay gradually worked their way back into the match as they recovered from Van Bronckhorst’s thunderbolt, and they got back on level terms thanks to an equally spectacular strike from their own captain in the 41st minute. Diego Forlan notched up his fourth goal of the tournament with a left-footed shot from a central position thirty yards out. His curling effort just evaded Stekelenberg to dip under the bar in the centre of the goal, but the Holland ‘keeper will be disappointed he didn’t do better. Two wonder strikes in a half of few real chances meant the teams returned to the dressing rooms for the interval with the game nicely poised at one apiece.

The second half started in much the same manner as the first had been played, minus the long-range goals. Both teams building up their attacks from deep but never really creating any clear cut chances. Uruguay perhaps had a slight territorial advantage during the first quarter of an hour of the half but there wasn’t much in it. The game came alive again in the 67th minute when Forlan took a direct free kick after yet another foul by Mark Van Bommel. His dipping shot was fisted away by Stekelenberg diving low towards his right  hand post. Almost immediately Holland responded through half time substitute Rafael Van Der Vaart. His shot across goal necessitated a smart save from Muslera and Robben was unable to hit the target with the rebound.

A couple of minutes later Holland did regain the lead, albeit in contentious circumstances as Wesley Sneijder’s shot from the corner of the box deflected off a Uruguay defender and in off the far post. However, the ball’s trajectory took it within millimetres of Robin Van Persie, who appeared to be standing in an offside position and seemingly made an attempt to divert the shot into the opposite corner, narrowly missing the ball with a flick of his right foot. It was marginal, but television replays suggested the Dutch striker was just offside and it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t interfering with play. The Uruguayan defenders were certainly outraged that the goal was allowed to stand.

That second goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Uruguay and they conceded another just three minutes later when the magnificent Arjen Robben headed a Dirk Kuyt cross into the corner of the goal. The Dutch had numerous chances to add to their lead as they repeatedly outnumbered the game-chasing Uruguayans on the break, but couldn’t convert any of them. The South Americans looked beaten when Forlan trudged off with six minutes to go but they did manage to rally at the end and set up a grandstand finish when Maxi Pereira curled a shot through a crowded penalty area and past the unsighted Stekelenberg deep into injury time. The Dutch box was under siege for the next couple of minutes but the ball never quite fell kindly enough for Uruguay and Holland snuck into the final.

World Cup 2010: Holland 2-1 Brazil

World Cup 2010 Quarter Final (Friday 2nd July 2010, K.O. 15:00 BST)
Venue: Port Elizabeth Stadium
Conditions: Warm, dry and sunny. Temp: 24c, Wind 6.6m/s

Holland: 2 (Felipe Melo o.g. 53, Sneijder 68)
Brazil: 1 (Robinho 10)

Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Ooijer, Van Bronckhorst (C), Van Bommel, Kuyt, De Jong, Van Persie (Huntelaar 85), Sneijder, Robben.
Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio (C), Juan, Michel Bastos (Gilberto Melo 62), Felipe Melo, Gilberto Silva, Luis Fabiano (Nilmar 77), Kaka, Robinho, Daniel Alves.

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)

Holland sensationally came from behind to win their World Cup 2010 quarter final against Brazil in Port Elizabeth and book a place in the semis for the first time since 1998. A match against the winners of Uruguay against Ghana is now all that stands between the Oranje and a place in the final. Brazil had the better of the first half and took a deserved lead through Robinho but the Dutch dominated the second 45 minutes, scoring twice to turn a thrilling game on its head.

It had the makings of a World Cup classic. Two traditionally attractive attacking teams with plenty of exciting players competing for a place in the semi finals. Holland came into the game having played four, won four at this World Cup, without quite having hit the highs of which we know they are capable, and Brazil were unbeaten with three wins from four games, having shown us glimpses of their glittering best. There was a setback for the Dutch just before kick off when centre-back Joris Mathijsen was injured in the warm up and had to be replaced at the last minute by PSV’s veteran defender Andre Ooijer. Brazil were still missing the injured Elano and the suspended Ramires’ place went to Felipe Melo.

The early exchanges were timid with both teams slowly feeling their way into the game. The Brazilian camp had made it clear before the game that they weren’t going to allow Holland’s star man Arjen Robben any time on the ball, and they were true to their word, with the Dutch right-winger tightly marked from the off and victim of some rugged challenges. Holland’s makeshift central defensive pairing of Heitinga and Ooijer looked vulnerable under pressure and Brazil were able to profit from that with one of their first attacking moves of the game. Midfielder Felipe Melo picked up the ball in the centre of the park and threaded a superb long range pass through the Dutch defence to pick out Robinho’s well-timed run. One on one with Stekelenburg, the Brazilian striker had no trouble stroking the ball into the back of the net.

Holland were shaken but they responded well, with Kuyt producing an effort on target a minute later, after which the Dutch managed a few spells of possession inside the Brazilian half without ever finding enough space to really threaten Julio Cesar’s goal. Brazil’s left-back Michel Bastos received a yellow card in the 37th minute for yet another foul on Robben, which meant that he would have to take extra care in marking the Dutchman for the remainder of the game, something which seemed to particularly annoy his coach Dunga, obviously acutely aware of the risk of a second yellow later in the game.

Brazil had two great chances to double their lead before the interval, first with Kaka’s curling shot from the left producing a fine save from Stekelenburg after a great passing move involving Robinho and Fabiano. They ended the first half with a period of pressure culminating in a great chance for Maicon, who burst forward down the right and shot hard towards the bottom corner but Stekelenburg tipped it around the near post.

The half time break came at the right time for the Dutch and after the fifteen minute interval they emerged from the dressing rooms determined to take the game to their opponents and with instructions to bring Robben into the play at every opportunity. The plan bore fruit almost instantly, with Robben running Brazil ragged down their left flank and Michel Bastos was extremely lucky to remain on the pitch following another rash challenge on the winger. However, he didn’t go entirely unpunished as the free-kick lead directly to the equaliser. The ball was played down the right and then cut back to Sneijder, who played a cross-come -shot high into the Brazilian box. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar came to punch it clear but missed the ball as Felipe Melo got in the way and deflected it into his own net with the side of his head.

The equaliser was like a shot in the arm for the Dutch and they went on to enjoy their best period of the game. The hapless Michel Bastos was mercifully withdrawn from his struggle to contend with Robben and replaced by Gilberto Melo at left-back. For the first time in the tournament, Brazil were rocking, and fifteen minutes later an uncharacteristically lame attempt at defending a corner saw them go behind for the first time in South Africa 2010. Robben’s inswinging corner was flicked on at the near post by Kuyt and headed in unchallenged by Sneijder.

Five minutes after that goal things got even worse for Brazil as they were reduced to ten men following yet another foul on Robben, who was by now at the centre of every Dutch move. Felipe Melo brought down the Dutchman and followed up his challenge by stamping on Robben’s midriff to earn a straight red as tempers of both sides began to flare up. The Brazilian players’ frustration was visibly increasing as they struggled to make headway against the well-organised Dutch resistance and Dunga decided to make an attacking change, introducing Nilmar in place of Luis Fabiano to shake up his forward line.

Holland had a big scare with ten minutes remaining when Stekelenburg flapped at a corner and was relieved to see it fly all the way across his goalmouth without any Brazilian forwards attacking the ball. The Dutch then had a good chance to wrap it up at the other end when some good work by Van Persie created an opening for Sneijder, whose shot was well saved by Cesar. Brazil broke up the other end with Kaka, but he was well shadowed by Ooijer and couldn’t get a shot on target. A Dani Alves free-kick in the 88th minute presented Brazil with their best chance of an equaliser, but his shot slammed into the Dutch wall and the ten men had nothing more to offer. Indeed, Holland had a golden chance to make it 3-1 in the three minutes of stoppage time but substitute Huntelaar dallied too long over it and his cut back was intercepted. However, it mattered not as the Japanese referee blew up shortly afterwards to trigger colourful scenes of orange jubilation.

World Cup 2010 Warm Up: Holland 4-1 Ghana

Holland made it two out of two in their World Cup warm up fixtures with an impressive win against fellow finalists Ghana in Rotterdam. Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk fielded a strong team and they responded well, producing a result that gives substance to the claims of some that they could go a long way in South Africa.

Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt opened the scoring in the 30th minute after some good defending by Ghana had made it tough for the home side to create clear cut chances. To their credit, the Ghanaians hung on until well into the second half in the face of a lot of attacking pressure from the Dutch. Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac made several changes at the interval but it didn’t upset the rhythm of the game and it was only in the last 17 minutes that the floodgates opened and Holland racked up another three goals. First Rafael Van Der Vaart made it 2-0 before Ghana rallied five minutes later through Asamoah Gyan. The fightback didn’t last long however, as Wesley Sneijder and then Robin Van Persie both struck to make it an emphatic 4-1 to Holland.

Having already beaten Mexico 2-1 last week, the Dutch now have one more fixture ahead of the finals. They will face Hungary in Amsterdam on the 5th of June before flying to South Africa to acclimatise for their opening game against Denmark on the 16th of June in Johannesburg.

Perhaps Ghana can be forgiven for looking a bit rusty because this was only their first warm up friendly. They are due to play Latvia in Milton Keynes on the 5th of June before they too head to South Africa for the finals. They will expect a much better result against the Latvians and better performance is a must to give them confidence ahead of their opening Group D fixture against Serbia in Pretoria on the 13th of June.

Holland 4-1 Ghana (01/06/2010)

Starting Line-ups:

Van Bronckhorst
Van Der Wiel
De Jong
Van Bommel
Van Persie

45 Boschker for Vorm
63 Van der Vaart for Afellay
73 Babel for Kuyt
83 Elia for Sneijder

Richard Kingson

45 Mensah for Vorsah
45 Gyan for Amoah
45 Ayew for Muntari
45 Tagoe for Owusu-Abeyie
45 Adiyiah for Appiah
77 Asamoah for Annan

Kuyt (30)
Van Der Vaart (73)
Gyan (78)
Sneijder (81)
Van Persie (87)

Ruud van Nistelrooy set to snub Premier League for a switch to Hamburg

Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is set to reject a return to the Premier League and instead join Bundesliga side Hamburg on a free transfer. The 33 year-old Dutchman has been linked with moves to West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City, but now it appears he is set to move to Germany despite some big-money offers from the English clubs.

van Nistelrooy has failed to win back a place in the Real Madrid side following lengthy injury lay-offs during the last 18 months. The Spanish club have allowed him a free transfer in order for him to be able to try and push for a place in the Dutch national squad for the forthcoming World Cup this summer after reversing his decision to retire from the international scene after Euro 2008.

The star striker has not been short of offers since becoming available, with half the top flight clubs around Europe vying for his signature. And that’s hardly surprising given his goalscoring record. During his club career, his has amassed 326 goals from 514 appearances and has scored 33 times from 64 appearances for the Netherlands.

Despite receiving better financial offers from elsewhere, including a reported offer of £100,000 a week from West Ham United’s new owners, van Nistelrooy is about to put pen to paper on a transfer to Hamburg.

Spanish sports daily Marca, believe that the main reason behind van Nistelrooy’s decision to snub the Premier League is that he doesn’t believe he is at the same physical level as he was when he was at Manchester United. The less physical demands of the Bundesliga may suit him much better.

A deal between the two clubs is believed to have been concluded and van Nistelrooy will travel to Germany over the weekend to finalise personal terms and complete a medical before signing for the Rothosen.

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