After a quick power nap and some delicious lunch of chicken and rice, it is on to the next match for today’s set of three. Already saw Mexico win in a 1-0 victory after overcoming the controversial calls the referee’s made taking away two of their goals due to offside claims. Very interested to see how these two teams turn out!
Match Three: Group B, Spain and Netherlands, 6.13.14
7th minute — GREAT run from Sneijder (10) and great set up. Ready to see more of that from the Dutch (and the Spanish better be prepared if they are caught that flat-footed on the back line again). Commenting now after seeing the final, I think the Spanish weren’t prepared for that kind of lashing.
10th minute — Shot attempt by Iniesta (6), solid attempt.
12th minute — So far, I have quite enjoyed watching both sides as I feel like there is a calm energy from both sides; a calm intensity that allows them to play their own game each, actually completing plays and splaying with competence that I haven’t really seen in the previous two matches of the cup. Very nice. I can’t really describe this very well, I don’t think, but compared to the other matches I have watched, this match just seemed so much more…natural to the feel of what I expect of a World Cup match. Despite Spain getting destroyed, I think both of them played a lot better than the teams we have seen previously on the pitch and was definitely the most enjoyable match to watch (especially after getting six goals out of it)!
17th minute — Diego Costa (19) shoots it wide after a well-timed run.
19th minute — Great defense by the Dutch to stop Silva and Alonso! People who know me know that I am a huge fan of a solid defense.
21st minute — Corner for Spain after battle in the box; left open in the box, but cannot control the header.
24th minute — De Guzman (8) gets a yellow for grabbing Iniesta of Spain, blatantly going after body instead of ball.
25th minute — Spain earns a PK (though honestly, I think the lad slipped; and upon looking at the replay, it is a pretty poor call; good trickery by Spain player). Alonso takes the PK for Spain and GOAL, sending a solid shot into the bottom left of the net, directly below the keeper. Well placed. Sometimes, you have to do what you are able to do in order to get help make something happen. Even if it is bringing out that secret theatre degree no one knows you have in order to get a PK. And that is exactly what Spain did here. Good job by Alonso, regardless!
30th minute — Netherlands just need to stick with it; good attempts are being made on their attacking half. They just need to stay consistent (beautiful cross, just missed Van Persie (9) in the 31st minute). What did I say? They stayed consistent and played hard, and more importantly, played smart, and look what they got: five goals to prove for it. Fantastic job!
34th minute — De Jong (6), solid shot from outside the box; on goal, stopped by Spanish keeper, Casillas.
36th minute — Not a fan of the latest call for the ref. Seems to be giving a lot of calls in favor of the Spanish side. On second thought, they may have needed the help. 😉
38th minute — Another offside for the Netherlands. Very tight by these referees. Not sure if I’m a huge fan of this kind of offside calling across the board.
40th minute — Another yellow for the Dutch, De Vrij (3). Disagree once more. Toughen up, Spain!
44th minute — Van Persie with an AMAZING header into the back of the top from pratically the top of the box. All tied up, 1-1. Very nice pass to Van Persie, as well! Might have been one of my favorite goals scored by the Netherlands. Can’t decide yet.
One minute of stoppage time added.
HALF: Spain 1, Netherlands 1.
Rain greets us in the second half, adding another element for the teams to fight or use to their advantage.
49th minute — Iniesta shoots, good stop by Netherlands keeper, Cillessen.
51st minute — Robben (11) shoots a BEAUTIFUL goal, shooting past Pique, Ramos and the Spanish Keeper! Great ball, great ball movement, good fight and the Netherlands take the lead, 2-1. This is a fantastic match. I also really loved this goal.
52nd minute — Headbutt by Diego Costa against Martins Indi (4); bit dramatized by the the Dutch, but no card, surprisingly, for blatant headbutt.
59th minute — So beautiful, Netherlands! Van Persie just off the top of the post! Come on, keep it up! Very close attempt here!
Subs: Dutch (8) for (20)
Subs: Spanish Costa (19) coming out for Torres (9) and Alonso (14) coming off for Rodriquez (11)
63rd minute — DUTCH GOAL. De Vrij off of the set piece after a Pique handball. 3-1 up to the Dutch!
65th minute — Yellow card for Van Persie, Dutch Captain.
67th minute — Offside goal taken away from Silva of Spain. Casillas given a yellow for talking.
69th minute — Good attacks by Holland. Why not extend the lead by three goals? Still 3-1, though; like how the Dutch are playing, though, very much.
71st minute — VAN PERSIE GETS A GOAL. How beautiful. 4-1 Netherlands!!!
74th minute — Free kick for Spain just outside the box; Ramos shoots wide.
Sub: Dutch De Vrij comes off for Veltman (13).
Sub: Silva coming out for Fabregas (10).
Sub: Van Persie coming out for Lens (17), pausing off the Captain’s armband to Robbens.
79th minute — ROBBEN GOAL! 5-1 Netherlands! What a run and Robben’s was just playing with them down in the box, staying confident and poised!
82nd minute — Corner for Spain, keeper comes away from the ball.
86th minute — Two fantastic saves for Spanish keeper; two solid, hard shots for the Dutch.
90th minute — Torres is taken after he gets past Dutch keeper by defense and Spain *still* cannot score!
Four minutes of stoppage time added.
First off, sorry for the lack of analysis really for this one. I was just so invested and so interested in this match, I barely got the major details down. This is a match that you just need to watch for yourself.
My favorite part about this match (which has been the best match out of the three that I have seen so far, both teams considered) is how the Netherlands played. They play *exactly* in the manner that I think a soccer team should play: always playing the match as if the score is 0-0. Maybe they are simply hungry and want more goals; maybe they just love the feeling of completely demolishing the reigning champions. Regardless of what it was, they always continued to attack and defend with heart, dedication and a lot of work. And that is the kind of play I expect from a national team on the biggest stage in the world. In my last post, I claimed that I would prolly root for Spain, but I wanted the Netherlands to win; I wanted the upset.
I think I got one. Beautifully done, Netherlands! Thank you for a brilliantly played match!
PS: And while I am normally against this, I am definitely going to be a bandwagon fan after how this match was played by the men in blue; stoked to see what else they do in this tournament!