World Cup 2014: Netherlands v Chile

NED 2 – 0 CHI: Netherlands made it three wins and ten goals from their three games in Group B with a deserved win against Chile who had their moments in a rather feisty encounter in Sao Paulo. With both teams already through to the knockout stage neither team wanted to give anything away and the game lacked the attacking vigour that has characterised both these sides in the opening games of this World Cup. The Dutch made three changes to their side with the experienced Dirk Kuyt, the exciting Georginio Wijnaldum and FC Dynamo Kyiv striker Jermaine Lens earning their first starts of the tournament. But it was their substitutes that won them the game in a second half that was more worthy of the quality that these two teams possess. It was probably a little harsh on Chile who controlled possession throughout and never let the Dutch settle into a rhythm albeit by employing some string arm tactics to foul whenever the Dutch had a break away. Indeed they should have taken the lead when a clever Alexis Sánchez corner found young FC Twente midfielder Felipe Gutiérrez who could only blast his shot over the bar from ten yards out. Chile’s resistance ended somewhat limply when an intricate corner routine finally found its way into the box and was met by the head of Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer who finished emphatically. The Dutch added a second in stoppage time when Arjen Robben, who never stopped running at the Chile defence and was the best player on the pitch for me, led a counter attack by running two thirds of the pitch and putting in an inch perfect ball for the lively PSV forward Memphis Depay to convert and score his second goal in as many games. The pact forward looks a real talent and could be a secret weapon for the Dutch for the rest of the tournament. Chile will be disappointed to lose the game after winning the possession battle. They will now most likely face Brazil in the Second Round. The Dutch will be watching the drama unfold in the Group A games to come and will probably come up against Croatia or Mexico.

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