With all the weapons in their arsenal the Netherlands really made
things difficult for themselves.
They could have closed this affair quite early, yet left things to the last minute.
it was going to rain goals – just as the pitch had been watered before
performance earned him the man of the match award.
have changed this game.
Maarten Stekelenburg in the 65th when his shot was parried over the crossbar for
a corner kick.
when Stoch turned provider and sent the former through with a deft pass. With
only Stekelenburg to beat, Vettek blasted the ball straight at the goalkeeper
and thus went a chance and the match.
Kuyt rounded off the defence, drew goalkeeper Ján Mucha out of his goal and laid
a pass for Wesley Sneijder that he could have scored with his eyes closed.
their goal with grit.
booking way into injury time and Vittek slotted home, it was just too
question on the Dutch supporters’ minds must have changed from the usual: “Will
it be better this time?” to “Could this be the time?” as they marched to the
thought would be an indication that it was to rain goals never became a
speculative shot from range that missed the target with quite a margin two
minutes into action.
where the sticks are as he let fly with his right boot following a brilliant
pass he received from Robben four minutes later.
arena, Slovakia captain Marek Hamšík had other ideas and silenced those draped
in orange with a screamer that missed Stekelenburg’s right post by a few
seventh minute but his header came off the back of a defender’s head to go for a
corner to the relief of goalkeeper Mucha.
right-footed grounder from chief tormentor, Sneijder.
Netherlands half of the field on the right flank, swivelled past two defenders
and unleashed a ground shot that went into the bottom left-hand corner of
when he used his hand to stop the ball.
book for a rough tackle on Nigel de Jong.
it 2-0 before half time when he positioned himself nicely between two defenders
but shot straight at the goal-minder.