Dutch claw victory in drab game

2010-06-19 16:33

Veteran British sports journalist Keir Radnedge writes in the 2010

Fifa World Cup book that Dutch supporters always ask themselves “Will it be

different this time” whenever the tournament comes around.

The likes of Johan Cruyf and Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol, who

were members of that 1974 World Cup dream team who played what came to be known

as “total football”, must have watched with utter dismay today.

But coach Bert van Marwijk said there was nothing his charges could


“It all depends on the opposition,” he told the post-match media


“There is nothing you can do if they just park at the back.”

Marwijk who purpots to be an admirer of attractive football,

further said that much as he would like his team to play such a game, he doesn’t

mind winning “ugly”.

“I said two years ago when I took over as coach that I would rather

win ugly than play beautiful football but end on the losing side,” he


He actually asked a Dutch journalist what they would be saying to

him after the game if his team had played “beautiful football but lost


On the game itself there was nothing to write home about, except

the stunning shot that Wesley Sneijder sent in to score in the 83rd minute,

breaking the deadlock and bagging his second man of the match award of the


Japanese coach Takeshi Okada said all he needs now is to get his

players’ heads up before their ultimate group stage game against Denmark in

Rustenburg on Thursday.

Okada threw everything into this game as he made a double

substitution with 14 minutes to go having introduced the experienced Shunsuke

Nakamura 10 minutes before.

However, this failed to bring the desired results and Japan were

left hoping that they beat Denmark in their ultimate Group E match.

That the Netherlands enjoyed a massive 61% ball possesion was a

clear indication of how the two countries approached the game.


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