Monday, 28th June 2010
Holland Take It Easy
Holland vs Slovakia
Slovakia had already sent the world champions, Italy, home and
were now seeking to do the same to Holland.
Slovakia started the game with confidence and fired the first warning
shot across the Dutch bows in just the second minute of play, in Durban.
The first real Dutch threat came in the seventh minute, through a
deflected header by Robin Van Persie.
Holland were at it again three minutes later; Van Persie unselfishly
feeding Wesley Sneijder.
Arjen Robben then took Slovakia apart all alone; sprinting down the
right onto a Wesley Sneijder lob, then cutting in on his left behind Jan Durica and
Miroslav Stoch, and shooting for goal past the sliding foot of the incoming Martin Skrtel.
That took the wind out of Slovakia's sails and they struggled to get
back in the match; as the orange shirts could afford to position themselves deeper and
block Slovakia's route to goal.
Slovakia might have wanted to get level early in the second-half but
it was Jan Mucha who had to work twice in a minute to keep Holland out; Arjen Robben and
Robin Van Persie both looking to make things happen in and around the Slovakian penalty
area with just five minutes of the new half played.
Maarten Stekelenburg had very little to do for Holland, then had to
make two crucial saves in the space of a minute from Miroslav Stoch and Robert Vittek.
With seven minutes left to play, Slovakia lost the plot. Martin Skrtel
conceded a needless free-kick and Jan Mucha came rushing off his line. Dirk Kuyt had
plenty of time on the left of the area and just waited for Wesley Sneijder to come into
osition in the middle; with an empty net at his mercy.
A consolation goal for Slovakia when Robert Vittek converted from the
penalty spot with the last kick of the game; after Martin Jakubko invited Maarten
Stekelenburg to catch his leg.
Holland 2 Slovakia 1
1.0 Arjen Robben (18 mins)
2:0 Wesley Sneijder (84 mins)
2:1 Robert Vittek (94 mins) - penalty.
Man of The Match:
Arjen Robben - Even in second gear, Robben looks a class act.
1 Maarten Stekelenburg, 5 Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, 4 Joris Mathijsen, 3 John Heitinga, 2
Gregory Van Der Wiel; 11 Arjen Robben, 8 Nigel De Jong, 6 Mark Van Bommel, 7 Dirk Kuyt; 9
Robin Van Persie, 10 Wesley Sneijder.
1 Jan Mucha; 5 Radoslav Zabavnik, 16 Jan Durica, 3 Martin Skrtel, 2 Peter Pekarik; 15
Miroslav Stoch, 17 Marek Hamsik, 19 Juraj Kucka, 7 Vladimir Weiss; 11 Robert Vittek, 18
Alberto Undiano (Spain)
71 Mins (Holland) - 17 Eljero Elia on for 11 Arjen Robben
72 Mins (Slovakia) - 20 Kamil Kopunek on for 18 Erik Jendrisek
80 Mins (Holland) - 21 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on for 9 Robin Van Persie
87 Mins (Slovakia) - 10 Marek Sapara on for 17 Marek Hamsik
87 Mins (Slovakia) - 14 Martin Jakubko on for 5 Radoslav Zabavnik
31 Mins - Arjen Robben (Holland)
40 Mins - Juraj Kucka (Slovakia)
72 Mins - Kamil Kopunek (Slovakia)
84 Mins - Martin Skrtel (Slovakia)
93 Mins - Maarten Stekelenburg (Holland)
0 Red Cards.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams although Holland did beat
Czechoslovakia (3:0aet) in Le Havre at France 1938.
To the Quarter-final in Port Elizabeth.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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