In the most anticipated game of the group round, Spain faces off against Netherlands in a rematch of the 2010 World Cup Final. Where Spain defeated Netherlands with only four minutes left in extra time to win 1-0.
Both teams started by feeling each other out. The Dutch (Netherlands) had an early opportunity when the Spanish were caught flat footed. The Spanish goalkeeper was able to make an easy save.
Minutes late Spain would create a few chances of their own. Each time the Dutch defense would step up and stop them. No shots were taken on goal.
In the 25th minute, the Dutch player De Guzman received a yellow card for his pull down of a Spanish player.
Seconds later Costa was tackle illegally in the box awarding Spain with a penalty kick. Alonso converted on the penalty kick (27th minute) giving the Spanish side the first goal of the game.
The penalties have been advantageous towards Spain to this point in the game. Though their play could be better, they have put together quality runs in the game.
De Vrij was awarded a yellow card for his late hit on a Spanish attacker in the 41st minute. Nothing seems to be going the Dutch way.
Silva had a break-away chance and tried to chip the keeper. Cillessen stayed on his feet to deflect it our of bounds for a corner. A corner in which Spain could do nothing with. The Dutch went on attack. Persie got a beautiful through ball and was able to head it over Casillas to get the equalizer for Netherlands (44th minute). It was the perfect ball for the perfect header. The Dutch are able to tie it just just before heading into halftime.
Halftime score: Spain 1-1 Netherlands
Rain enters the equation as the second half got underway.
They again felt each other out at the beginning of the half. After a throw-in the Dutch push the ball upfield to Robben. Robben makes a couple of moves after receiving the ball and buries the ball into the back of the net (53rd minute). Giving the lead to the Dutch for the first time, this was Robben’s moment after failing to score on a chance in the 2010 World Cup.
In the 60th minute, Robben carried the ball fast towards goal.. Passing it and eventually ending up with Persie. Who took a shot that went off the top cross bar and out of bounds. The Dutch have been looking strong on the counter-attacks.
Finally after all game, calls have started going the Dutch way. The Dutch got a hand ball call against the Spanish which set up a free kick. The ball was crossed in and was headed down by De Vrij who also hit it with his foot and into the net. Netherlands took a commanding two goal lead. Casillas tried to argue a foul that was never committed and received a yellow card. All this happening in the 64th minute.
Right after the following kick-off, Netherlands Persie got a yellow card for his hard tackle.
Spain attacked after the yellow card on the Dutch. A strong header towards goal produced a rebound for Spain’s Silva who pounded it into the net only to have it called back for offsides.
Spain’s Casillas took a touch on a ball played back to him that was a bit to much. Persie was right there ready for the mistake. Taking a touch of his own and scoring in the 72nd minute for his second goal of the night. Spain has been embarrassed this game by the Dutch.
Robben has done it again. Embarrassing Spain’s keeper Casillas by playing around with the ball in the box. Not once, not twice, but three times before taking the shot and scoring in the 80th minute. it is the dagger that will keep any hopes and dreams of coming back in the back of Spain’s mind.
Spain has not been able to answer the Dutch goals in any way. In the late stages the Dutch got a good opportunity to make it six. Though the great saves by Casillas kept it at five.
In stoppage time, Spain had the opportunity to get a goal with an open net after Cillessen was forced out. The Spanish continued their embarrassment by not even getting a shot on goal and turning the ball over. This all happened in the six yard box (small box). The four minutes of stoppage time could not come any sooner.
The Netherlands look like they are out to get revenge on not being able to win the World Cup in 2010. Look for them to make a strong push in hopes of reaching the finals for a second straight tournament.
Were you surprised by the way the Spain player?
Final score: Spain 1-5 Netherlands
27 (P) Alonso
44, 72 Persie
53, 80 Robben
64 De Vrij