Final Score: Australia 2, Netherlands 3
It wasn’t the most technical of games but it was one of the best of the tournament. Australia took the lead deep into the second half but the Dutch rallied to score twice through RVP and Memphis Depay to claim the victory. The Aussies can go home with their heads held high. One of their greatest players, Tim Cahill, has played his final World Cup game, his yellow card means he won’t play in his team’s final Group B game against Spain.
Here’s how it went down:
Arjen Robben Scored First to Make it 1-0
Arjen Robben made it 1-0 to the Netherlands after 20 minutes. The Bayern Munich winger drifted into the box, typically. The Australian defenders were unable to close him down as he got the ball onto his left foot, he finished the ball beautifully under Maty Ryan.
Tim Cahill Made it 1-1 Straight Away
70 seconds after Arjen Robben’s goal, Tim Cahill got Australia back in the game with an outstanding volley from just inside the box. Nothing happened in the game for the first 20 and then bang two goals in just over a minute. The stadium announcer was forced to announce the goals as one because they happened so close together. Cahill’s volley was technically genius, coming from an over-the-top long ball that the New York Red Bulls midfielder hit perfectly and powerfully. Just before Cahill showed the other side of his character when he got a needless yellow card meaning he will miss Australia’s last group game.
Australia Was the Better Team in the First Half
Despite the pre-game hype, it’s Australia who had the best attacking possession. Throughout the game, the hard running of Mark Bresicano and Tim Cahill has made the Dutch defense look panicked. Although neither player has really trouble the goalkeeper, the Dutch team didn’t get near Maty Ryan’s goal in the first half after Arjen Robben opened the scoring for them. Just before half-time, Louis van Gaal brought in Memphis Depay for Bruno Martins. At the half time, betting sites didn’t think Australia could win, the best odds you could get has them 6/1 with Sky Bet.
Australia Won a Penalty on 52 Minutes
Australia won a penalty after Janmaat was adjudged to have handballed in the box. The penalty was confidently scored by Mile Jedinak, after some half-hearted protests from the Dutch players, the Australia team captain sent Cillessen the wrong way. Here’s the penalty call:
Robin van Persie Equalized After 57 Minutes
Australia’s lead lasted for three minutes. Robin van Persie fired the Netherlands back into the lead on 57 minutes. He got in one-on-one with Ryan and fired high into the Aussie goal. The Manchester United striker was played onside for the goal by Australia defender Jason Davidson, the rest of his defenders stepped out leaving three Dutch players in goalscoring positions. The ball broke to van Persie who did what he does. The Dutch are going to miss RVP in their final game against Chile after he picked up a yellow card.
A Bizarre Goal Gave Netherlands the Lead With 20 Minutes Left
Memphis Depay scored a long range goal for the Dutch that swerved a little but squirmed through the hands of Mathew Ryan in the Australia goal.
A strange goal, it’s a pity for Australia to fall behind to a goal that hugely fortunate and dependent on a goalkeeping error. After the goal, the Dutch took control of the game with the Australians looking like beaten men.
The Ref Was Djamel Haimoudi
Today’s ref was Djamel Haimoudi, a native Algerian, who is known for officiating African Nations Cup finals. He’s considered an outsider to ref the final in July.
Dutch Fans Were Outnumbered 5 to 1
Despite the betting making them huge underdogs for this game, Australia fans outnumbered their Dutch counterparts by 5 to 1 inside the Estadio Beira-Rio.
— Mason Wheeler (@wheelermason) June 18, 2014
Estimates indicate that there is around 14,000 Aussies in the 43,000 capacity Estadio Beira-Rio stadium.
Although I suspect the Dutch fans don’t really care:
Here’s how they lined up:
Australia: Mathew Ryan, Ryan McGowan Alex Wilkinson, Matthew Špiranović, Jason Davidson, Mile Jedinak, Matt McKay, Mathew Leckie, Mark Bresciano, Tommy Oar, Tim Cahill.
Netherlands: Jasper Cillessen, Daryl Janmaat, Ron Vlaar, Stefan De Vrij, Bruno Martins, Daley Blind, Jonathan de Guzman, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel De Jong, Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben.