Perhaps one of the most anticipated matches of the group stage in the ongoing FIFA world cup was the clash between the rejuvenated Oranje army and the defending champion La Roja. This match was the replay of the 2010 FIFA World Cup final which the Netherlands lost courtesy to an extra time goal by the talismanic Andreas Iniesta. Vendetta was what the Dutch were playing for and oh how they got it!
Revenge is sweet, at least that was what was written on Louis Van Gaal’s countenance post the match. The Oranje brigade completely ran over the Spanish team with a thumping score line of 5-1 in their opening Fifa World Cup encounter. Del Bosque had fielded his best players with the like of Brazil-born Diego Costa giving a much needed impetus to Spanish strike force. During the early minutes of the play Costa had a good run showing glimpses of dexterity and skill. His efforts were ultimately rewarded, though indirectly, when he was fouled by a Dutch defender inside the penalty area.
The ensuing penalty gave Spain the lead, courtesy to a clinical finish by Xabi Alonso.
The goal seemed to give a boost to the opponents as Netherlands became more aggressive in the after play. What followed was burly defending, and searing play in the midfield by the Dutch. In the 44th minute, Van Persie showed his class. A superb long-range pass by left back Blind was headed into the goal by the Flying Dutchman. He lived up to his nickname, as he literally flew across the Spanish defenders to head the ball over Casillas. Sheer ingenuity. That ended an ecstatic 45 minute of football with Van
Persie providing the equalizer.
The second half of this Fifa World Cup encounter totally belonged to the Dutch. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd had famously sung “To martyr yourself to caution, is not going to help at all”. This prophetic line sealed the fate of the Spanish fleet. A cautious and dovish approach in the midfield by veterans like Xavi and Iniesta gave the perfect opportunity to the opponent for a lead. Within few minutes, Arjen Robben did give the lead when he deftly shot the ball past Casillas, responding to a brilliant long ball by Blind. The marauding play of the Dutch continued, as De Vrij nudged the ball into the Spanish goal, after receiving a spot kick from the wily Wesley Sneijder. The Dutch were 3-1 up by then.
It didn’t seem to slow down the proceedings as a horrendous mistake by the classy Casillas allowed Van Persie to score his second goal of the match. The Spanish Armada was damaged beyond repair and gradually it was blown apart by the ravishing canon in the form of Robben. Robben sprinting in from the midfield, outsmarted the weary Spanish defenders to score his team’s fifth goal and his second for the match.
That was it for the champions as they were handed a four goal drubbing in the second half of the Fifa World Cup opening game. That summed up the match with two contrasting scenes emanating from the different camps. Del Bosque seemed to be consoling his team and Van Gaal on the other hand could not contain his glee. The Spanish captain was very upset as 5 flew in Iker’s nest 😛 . It is worth mentioning that he did some brilliant stops to deny the Dutch a brace more. Spain now have to restructure their tiki taka to get past the Chaffing Chile and the adamant Australians in their remaining group matches. On the other hand, there seems no stopping the upbeat lions. General notion says that Love is the sweetest feeling, but the Dutchmen would certainly beg to differ and place Revenge before Love.
NOTE: Well, I didn’t write this on my own. I would like to credit my friend who helped me heavily with this article, spending two painstaking hours over it. Thanks a lot, Nishan Chakrabartty! I would never have gotten past the first few lines without your help. 🙂
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