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Match Report NED v BRA

I cannot believe it.  I have seen most of the game twice over now.  I still find myself cheering even though I know how it ends.  When Kuyt was put through I still throw my hands up in despair because I can’t believe he didn’t get the third.

I’m thinking back in my life and looking over the great matches or great performances I’ve seen.  I think of Netherlands v Argentina in 1998 with the glorious goals by Kluivert and that goal by Bergkamp followed by Netherlands v Yugoslavia and that ridiculous 4 goal haul by Kluivert.

Today while we saw some great performances it is the fantastic result that stands out.  Can you bloody believe it?  Totally outstanding as a team and Robben and Kuyt were sublime.

As the game began the Dutch were terribly overmatched.  It appeared to the Brazilians were comfortable from the start and it could very well have been 3-0 in the first half.  There was one goal chalked off for offside and while that should have been a warning the Dutch were caught unawares for the opening goal.  The moans from Dutch fans were heard around the world when Mathijsen picked up an injury and was replaced by the bag-o-rice on two pegs Andre Ooijer.  Ooijer was largely at fault for the Brazilian goal as he played Robinho onside and was found unavailable to mark the runner as Heitinga was committed forward.  Credit to Melo though: that pass was out of this world.

The second though!  Wow, can you believe how that turned out?  The Dutch had some early pressure and it paid off as a defensive mistake by Melo and Cesar allowed the Dutch an equaliser.  Sneijder whipped in a cross from the right and both Melo and Cesar went for it with Melo being the unfortunate player who flicked on the ball into his own net.  The equaliser was a basic corner flicked on by Kuyt at the near post to Sneijder who whilst standing in the area was able to direct a good header past Cesar.

From then on the Brazilians seemed completely out of the match.  While they continued to push forward the could not find a way past the Dutch and Kuyt and Robben both enjoyed a lot of room down the flanks – something this writer didn’t dare to dream of twenty-four hours ago.   Critically the Brazilians were reduced to 10 men with about 20 minutes to go when Felipe seemingly lost the plot and took a kick at Robben as he went down under a foul.  Really strange stuff but this effectively killed off the game as a contest and allowed the Dutch to breathe and settle within themselves.

 It should have been 4 though with Kuyt being put through but appearing to be completely exhausted and unable to muster a proper shot.  A better chance was offered much later with three Dutch players standing – yes standing – in a triangle around the keeper yet somehow managing to not score.

Let’s be honest: I’m over the moon.  This result is without a doubt one of the greatest I can recall.  How far can they go?

Player ratings

Stekelenburg – 8

van der Wiel – 7

Heitinga – 6

Ooijer – 5

van Bronkhorst – 6

de Jong – 6

van Bommel – 7

Robben – 9

Sneijder – 8

Kuyt – 9

van Persie – 7

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