Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Cup 2014 : Spain vs Netherlands 1-5

In a repeat of the Last World Cup finals, Spain took on Netherlands in their opening game.....touted to be one of the most grueling encounters of the World Cup, the match was truly electrifying.....& against all predictions, Netherlands tore into the Spanish Armada, winning the game with ruthless ease at 5-1..... the highest defeat margin for a World Cup Champion in their opening game of title defense.
The match looked even in the first 25 minutes, as both sides looked tentative & probing..... surprisingly Bosque had fielded Diego Costa in the opening eleven, despite news of his niggling hamstring.....& he looked under par from what we had seen of him in La Liga this season. Iniesta, Xavi, Silva looked in control midfield & Spain looked to dominate with their customary possession game.... on the other hand, Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben were gradually getting into the stride for the Orangie.
Against the run of play, Costa earned a penalty for Spain & Xavi Alonso converted calmly to take a 1-0 lead. The pace picked up after that, as the Dutch came hammering at the Spanish defence & just minutes before the half time whistle, Van Persie connected Daley Blind's beautiful cross pass with an astonishing flying header into the box past a bewildered Casillas, the Spanish goalee & skipper to level the score 1-1. It was breathtaking piece of football & the Dutch had got the much needed booster.
After the lemon break, Netherlands just steamrolled the Spanish defence, which looked increasingly ragged, & hammered in four goals to win the match 5-1. Had it not been for Casillas's brilliant saves, the scoreline could have been much more embarrassing for the defending champions. They tried their best & came close to scoring twice, with Silva netting from offside....but it was not their day. The famed tikitaka was tactically shredded by Van Gaal's team, & Del Bosque had not answers to the Orange onslaught.
De Jong was incredibly good in midfield for the Dutch, as the Spanish team looked off steam. Robben & Sneijder were incredibly fast in the flanks & kept tearing into the Spanish goalmouth, with Van Persie lurking dangerously, catching the Spanish defense off guard. Robben & Van Persie scored twice each, & were a treat to watch....incredible goals, toying with the defence & scoring at will.
It could have been an off day for the defending champions, but their game today would raise serious doubts about their ability to go the distance....in fact, now even if they draw against a Chile, they might have to exit in the group stages itself...... it indeed is a uphill task from here on for them.....& even if they qualify, they are most likely to face Brazil in the knockout stages.
The Netherlands look in ominous form ahead......

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