Monday, June 28, 2010

Oranje all the way !!!

14:00 GMT, June 28, 2010
Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa

2 - 1

Arjen Robben made an immediate impact on his first start for the Netherlands as he scored early on to sink Slovakia. Wesley Sneijder made the game safe in the final ten minutes as the Dutch progressed to the quarter-finals, before Robert Vittek netted a penalty with the last kick of the game.

Holland have now won all four games at the World Cup and will meet the winner of Brazil's clash with Chile on Friday in Port Elizabeth.

The game at the Moses Mabhida stadium offered two contrasting styles, with Holland pursuing a patient passing game while Slovakia adopted a more direct approach to try to utilise Vittek's pace.

Scoring Summary

Arjen Robben (18')Robert Vittek (pen 90')
Wesley Sneijder (84') 

Man of the Match: Wesley Sneijder


  • Man of the Match: Wesley Sneijder - Arjen Robben made the headlines when enjoying his first start of the tournament and scoring a lovely opening goal, but it was another gorgeous pass from Sneijder that set him free. The Inter Milan playmaker controlled the game throughout and his goal with six minutes remaining was just reward. Few in world football are as decisive as Sneijder with the ball at his feet and he appears to be flourishing at just the right time for Netherlands.

  • Netherlands verdict: After their opening win over Denmark, Rafael van der Vaart said: "We played like the Germans [usually do] and they played like us." That assessment continues to be a perceptive one. While Joachim Low's side sauntered into the second round, it is the Oranje who are grinding out victories and doing just enough to progress - two qualities usually associated with their Germanic rivals. Netherlands are yet to draw any Total Football comparisons, but having maintained their 100% record, they will be keen to pick up the German habit of making the final, even if there is more to come from this side.

  • Slovakia verdict: A step too far. Few fancied Slovakia to make it out of the group stage before Vladimir Weiss oversaw a stunning 3-2 win over reigning champions Italy, but Netherlands are a different prospect entirely to the ageing Azzurri. Slovakia should have equalised when Maarten Stekelenburg denied Robert Vittek and will rue the glaring miss from their star striker, but they did not deserve to progress against a talented Dutch side.

  • Could do better: Marek Hamsik - The Napoli midfielder was supposed to showcase his talent to the watching world in South Africa but instead a relatively low-key campaign has come to a disappointing end. He suffered in comparison with Sneijder who showed his opponent how to run a game.

  • Stat attack: Robert Vittek is now Slovakia's all-time leading goalscorer having surpassed Szilard Nemeth with his 23rd goal for his country.

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