Netherlands 2-0 Chile: Depay and Fer on target for Group B-topping Oranje

Monday June 23, 2014 - 21:04:07 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Netherlands 2-0 Chile: Depay and Fer on target for Group B-topping Oranje

    Waagacusub.net -Netherlands secured top spot in Group B in Sao Paulo as they beat Chile 2-0 to finish with a 100% record in the group stages, with two substitutes sealing the points for the Dutch.

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Waagacusub.net -Netherlands secured top spot in Group B in Sao Paulo as they beat Chile 2-0 to finish with a 100% record in the group stages, with two substitutes sealing the points for the Dutch.

With both teams already qualified having won both of their opening fixtures, there was only the matter of the standings to decide in this final match and the two sides were initially separated by an unlikely source, as Norwich midfielder put a season of relegation behind him to score the opener after coming off the bench for Louis van Gaal’s side.

Netherlands made the points safe in stoppage time as Arjen Robben’s late sprint gave Memphis Depay a tap-in, as they wait to see if this victory does indeed ensure that they avoid Brazil in the round of 16.

Both teams made changes going into the match, with Netherlands’ most notable alteration seeing Robin van Persie miss out due to suspension and youngster Jeremain Lens given a starting opportunity, while Liverpool cult hero Dirk Kuyt was also named in the first XI to win his 99th cap.

Chile gave a rest to Arturo Vidal as he continues his recovery from knee surgery, but it changed little in the way Chile played, with Felipe Gutierrez still as energetic in the centre of the park, with Netherlands unable to get a foothold in the game.

With Brazil yet to play and the final standings of Group A yet to be finalised, you wonder whether the lack of that knowledge impacted the tempo of the game, with top spot in Group B yet to determine whether they will in fact avoid Brazil in the next round.

This led to a scrappy and slow start to proceedings, with both sides more intent on trying out tactics to neutralise the other, as opposed to launching attacks of their own in the opening half an hour, Netherlands packing the defence to stop Chile’s attack and Chile swarming around the midfield zone to stop the supply going the other way.

A number of half chances came and went without any excitement, only Felipe Gutierrez’ snapshot from a well-worked corner raising the pulses slightly, with 35 minutes going by before Stefan de Vrij got on the end of Wesley Sneijder’s delivery, only to head narrowly wide.

That snapped the game out of it’s tactical slumber somewhat and injected a bit of life into the game, with Alexis Sanchez unsuccessfully claiming a penalty, before Netherlands’ own talisman Robben going on a trademark run before dragging a left-footed shot just wide of the far post.

Guttierez had a golden opportunity to send Chile into the break with the advantage a minute before the break, but after being gifted a free header from Sanchez’ free kick, he headed poorly off target to ensure the two sides went into half time level pegging.

The break unfortunately killed any momentum this game was building, the second half retreating back into it’s shell, as neither side appeared too concerned with going for the win, with only Sanchez’ long range drive capturing the attention of a disillusioned audience in the first 15 minutes, his effort playing far too high to bother Jasper Cillessen.

Robben finally brought one of the goalkeepers into action as another run into the box saw the angle go against him as Chile closed him down en mass, with his shot firing into the body of Claudio Bravo, who gathered at the second attempt.

Both sides made changes with 20 minutes remaining to suggest they were going to go for the throat and claim the victory, with the ineffective Lens making way for Depay for Netherlands, while Chile replaced the defender Francisco Silva with playmaker Jorge Valdivia in an attempt to open the game up.

It certainly sparked a little extra life as Dirk Kuyt soon headed wide, before Depay stamped his mark on the game with a stinging shot that forced Brave into a finger tip save.

The warning signs were there now and Netherlands soon made Chile pay, as Fermarked his first touch since replacing Sneijder by rising highest to thump a header past the helpless Bravo from six yards out with 15 minutes remaining in the game.

A bizarre sequence of events nearly led Chile to getting a a quick equaliser as Nigel de Jong headed towards his own goal, only to find a Chile man on the line saving him from an own goal, but Netherlands were to extend their lead late on instead.

A breakaway from the Dutch saw Robben race clear from the Chile defence and showed great awareness to square the ball across the face of goal for Depay to secure the victory and top spot in the group.

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