Mexico – Cameroon
A game played in what can only be described as torrential rain which may, or may not, have contributed to the numerous errors made by the officials.
Cameroon showed glimpses of inspiration but nowhere near enough commitment to challenge realistically. They have an uphill struggle to make it out of the group stages now, while Mexico will take some confidence into the games with Croatia and Brazil.
Unlike game 1, the Dutch and Spanish have the luxury of playing in dry weather. Just like the the Mexicans, the Dutch can feel that the officials are favouring the other team with some bizarre decisions. Yellow-card happy referee and a dubious penalty are the dominant features of a half that ends 1-1.
Xabi Alonso stepped up to bury the penalty awarded to Spain after Diego Costa lost his footing and fell over the Dutch defender with authority in the 27th minute. Personally I think the goalkeeper should have at least got a hand to it as it was not all that well placed.
David Silva should have made it two nil with a neat chip shortly after but Cilessen made a fantastic fingertip save to deny the little maestro.
Just before half time Robin van Persie (44) made a late run from half way to head a quite spectacular goal into the top corner from the edge of the area leaving Casillas stranded.
Search Youtube for the Video, worth it!
The rain came streaming down during the interval. The Dutch came out of the dressing room fired up.
They upped the tempo and passing accuracy and in the 53rd minute worked the ball forward for Robben to score. The Dutch kept hold of the ball for an unusual length of time for a team playing against Spain, which included being pressed all the way back to their own penalty area, before playing a splendid through-ball for Robben to twist and turn his way between Ramos and Pique before slotting a low drive past Casillas.
In the 60th minute Robben lead another quick break down the center of the field which lead to a volley chance for Van Persie who rifled a thunderbolt against the crossbar with Casillas no more than a spectator.
Spain lack a proper defensive hard man since Puyol retired. The Dutch upped their game and Spain were stuck in 2012, their simple passing game just not hitting the notes on the day. Spain’s squad collectively have more than 1400 caps, the Dutch only have 600 between them but speed and enthusiasm count for a lot.
Casillas was sloppy in possession, van Persie pinched the ball and punished Spain by scoring his second and the Netherland’s fourth. In the 80th minute Robben flies down the right hand side of the pitch, outsprinting Ramos before turning him inside out, beating the deflated Casillas and then thumping the ball into the top right hand corner. Magnificent!
Could this be the tournament where he puts the demons of missing easy chances against Spain in the final of 2010 to bed?
Wesley Sneijder will feel he could have contributed more with two excellent chances, one in either half that he fluffed. The first would have been more influential with the scores tied at nil – nil, the second after the second half routing of Spain was complete.
More goals conceded in this game than they did in the whole of the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros combined. How do the Spanish come back from this?
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