World Cup tickets within reach
Saturday 28 March 2009
The Dutch national football team
have made a big step towards the 2010 World Cup in South
Africa by beating Scotland 3-0 in Amsterdam.
The victory now sees Holland leading
number 2 Iceland in group
9 by eight points.
The result of the game seemed decided
after only 45 minutes after Robin van Persie doubled
the 1-0 margin shortly before the half-time whistle
The Arsenal forward was given all
the space in the world by the Scottish defense to head
home an Arjen Robben corner from close range.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar had put the
hosts ahead on the half hour.
The center forward, who had scored
8 for Real Madrid in his last 6 appearances, had no
trouble at all converting a long Mark van Bommel cross.
The two goals were a very generous
reward for a poor first half.
Apart from the first fifteen minutes
- with a massive chance for Kenny Miller - the Scots
seemed unable to cause Holland any problems and on the
other side Holland lacked the creativity to punch any
holes in the black and white defense.
When the home team did create any
danger it was through solo efforts of Arjen Robben,
who was by far the most dangerous Dutch forward.
Holland's offensive problems were
mainly caused by the fact that all four forwards wanted
to play close to the Scottish goal with no one dropping
back to collect a ball in-between lines.
The one player occasionally trying
to get closer to holding midfielders Nigel de Jong and
Mark van Bommel was actually the only one who shouldn't:
The result was a lot of a long
balls that were an ease pray for the towering Scottish
center backs and as such the game had very little entertaining
After the break the depleted Scots
were unable to renew their efforts and try to cause
a small upset.
The one time they did get close
to Holland keeper Maarten Stekelenburg - and actually
scored - the referee spoiled the fun for reasons unclear
to most in the stadium.
Holland seemed willing to give
the home crowd of some 50,000 at least a decent score,
but the real motivation against an opponent that was
simply unable to do more than limit the damages was
Kuyt made it 3-0 from the spot
after Huntelaar was fouled in the box and that basically
sums it up.
The result means that when Holland
beat Macedonia on Wednesday and Scotland and Iceland
decide to draw at the same time at Hampden Park; Holland
have officially qualified.
More than a year ahead of the start
of the tournament that would of course be tremendous
news for Van Marwijk and his staff, as it would seriously
lengthen the preparation period for the World Cup.