Start     National Team     History     Euro 2012       Partners

"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
Search
 

Holland squeeze past Japan

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Netherlands - Japan 1-0

Robin van Persie didn't play a great game, yet he was involved in Holland's only goal

The Netherlands have won their second group game at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and now lead Group E with six points after two games played.

The Dutch could be the first to qualify for the next round if the game between Denmark and Cameroon, later today, ends undecided.

Holland again didn't impress. The play was slow and lacking creativity, yet it was well organized, not giving away much. The only slightly exciting moment was when Dirk Kuyt connected with a Van Persie cross from the left. But his bicycle kick was blocked by a Japanese defender.

Apart from that Holland's forward play was slow, lacking depth and creativity against the compact Japanese defense. Bert van Marwijk's team didn't give away much either and so a very sterile game developed; not very entertaining and perhaps only interesting for those with Dutch and Japanese interests.

Towards the end of a weary first half Japan urged forward a bit more and Holland were struggling for control. But the Japanese too had trouble setting up anything decent. A reason for that? Perhaps the dry pitch, perhaps the ridiculous ball? Who knows. We might get explanations later on, but the picture is emerging that all teams are having trouble dealing with certain factors in South Africa.

Holland started the second half a bit better. Van der Vaart stayed wide - instead of constantly cutting inside - and gave Sneijder and Van Persie more space to operate in. It paid of in the 53rd minute. Van der Vaart had a bit of room down the left to to put a ball into the box, where Van Persie was unable to get a shot on goal, yet his neat flick to Sneijder gave the Inter player enough time to aim his shot well from just outside the box. The ball seemed to fly to the corner, but as it suddenly swerved to the center it took the Japanese goal keeper by surprise and went in.

Japan straight away left their defensive positions and put more pressure on the Dutch defense. This left Holland with more space up front, without Holland's play getting that much better. Twice Oranje almost took advantage though, but each time substitute Ibrahim Afellay (on for Sneijder) was denied by Kawashima.

Although Japan saw more of the ball after Sneijder's opener they too had trouble putting together any decent moves. Holland stayed upright without much effort, yet in stoppage time they had to allow Japan one big chance. Shinji Okazaki aimed his shot too high from some 10 meters out and Holland added three points to their total.

Bert van Marwijk agreed that Holland didn't play very well, but said it was tough against a well-organized opponent like Japan. "We can and we must improve our game, but we have six points after two games. So I'm happy."

Goals

1-0 - 53' - Sneijder  
 

Cards

36' G. van der Wiel  
 

Lineups

M. Stekelenburg   E. Kawashima  
G. van der Wiel   M. Tanaka  
J. Heitinga   Y. Komano  
J. Mathijsen   Y. Nakazawa  
G. van Bronckhorst   Y. Nagatomo  
M. van Bommel   K. Honda  
N. de Jong   M. Hasebe 77' S. Okazaki
R. Van der Vaart 72' E. Elia Y. Endo  
W. Sneijder 83' I. Afellay Y. Abe  
D. Kuyt   D. Matsui 64' S. Nakamura
R. van Persie 88' K. Huntelaar Y. Okubo 77' K. Tamada

 

| More

Latest

Robben: "Hard to grasp"
Van Bommel after defeat: "I'm a little speechless"
Van Marwijk: "In no mood to get negative"
Flat Dutch don't know what to do with 20+ chances
Netherlands-Denmark: lineup
Joris Mathijsen recovering well
Cruyff: "Kuyt at right back"
Mathijsen still uncertain - could miss entire tournament
Holland and Denkmark: head-to-head
Van Persie seems worth the confidence
Van Marwijk again opts for Van Persie instead of Huntelaar
Huntelaar: "Upset is not the right the word"
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"
Van Marwijk: "We remained disciplined"
Ibi and Rafa show manager he has options
Ibrahim Afellay Oranje's Zidane?
Van Marwijk looking for certainties
Cruijff: "Not enough depth in your game is asking for trouble"
Bouma: "I've gone through the desert"
Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"
Euro 2012 finals squad
Mathijsen strains muscle
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
Ola Toivonen's goal sees Sweden beat Holland and qualify
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sinks Moldova
Oranje maintain perfection, beat Finland
Netherlands thrash San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifier
Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands
Oranje trash Hungary
Sweden no match for Oranje
Van Marwijk: "We left them without chance"
Dirk Kuyt out for months
"We are prepared for all scenarios"
Minimal but easy win for Holland in Moldavia
Van Marwijk: "We played very well"
Holland want result after tumultuous week
Van der Vaart to replace De Jong
"This case only has losers"
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
Holland & Moldavia: head-to-head
Holland & Sweden: head-to-head
Wisgerhof replaces Maduro
Bouma back on the radar
Netherlands - Finland 2-1
Van Marwijk: "We were late all over the pitch"
Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"
Heitinga: "That can not happen"
Van der Vaart unhappy with role on the side
Kuyt and Boulahrouz out with injury
"It all revolves around Jari Litmanen"
Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"
Alonso: "No hard feelings"
Van Marwijk: "Second half was better"
San Marino-Netherlands 0-5
Oranje: a new mission
Older