Friday, June 13, 2008

Game 14: Brilliant Orange

Outside of about 45 seconds after France scored their first goal to get back in the match, Holland continued to play the best soccer of any side in this tournament, bar none. Though France played better than their opening snooze fest against Romania, they were no match for the Netherlands beautiful, attacking, and explosive soccer. Dirk Kuyt opened up the scoring early in the 9th minute with a powerful header from a well struck Giovanni Van Bronckhorst corner kick, and the Dutch never looked back. France was able to stay in the match throughout the first half, and Edwin Van der Sar came up with some big stops to preserve the 1-0 lead. Out of the half the Dutch began to lay back a little bit, and protect their lead, however France turned up the pressure, and Marco van Basten responded by bringing a fully fit Arjen Robben, and Robin Van Perisie on to provide more offense. Van Basten's efforts were quickly rewarded as Robben took an excellent pass from Van Nistelrooy and streaked down the left flank crossing a low ball into Van Persie who slammed it off of French keeper Gregory Coupet and into the back of the net. To their credit, the French continued pressing, and Thierry Henry deflected a pass from Willy Sagnol into the side netting, giving Les Bleus their first goal of the tournament. This score line lasted all of 45 seconds when Arjen Robben made another streaking run down the left flank, beating Lilian Thuram and roofing a shot over Coupet to ignite the Dutch supporters, and put the game away for Holland. Just as it looked like the game would end 3-1, Wesley Sneijder took a pass from Van Persie, spun around and chipped Coupet, hit the bottom of the cross bar and officially ended the beating. Holland secured the group of death's top position and now has the luxury of being able to rest their players in the final match against Romania next Tuesday.


farris said...

Next Topic:

Is this, or is this not, the wettest tournament you've ever seen in your life. Has there been a game yet that it hasn't rained?


mark said...

I've been there in the summer and they do get storms...having to watch it on tv here instead of being there is brutal though. Dutch look very, very good.