Well, the Dutch did get through, but not after a listless 2nd half which threatened to turn the situation the other way round. If Ivory Coast were to win, then it’s the Dutch facing the wrong end of the table,depending how much the Ivorians scored.
When van Persie scored, it looked like the Dutch team of old has finally resurfaced. What a freekick! Theo Walcott may have to work his ass off to get to this level for the Arsenal. Great stuff, Robin. Good for Holland, even better for the Arsenal.
Van Nistelrooij’s pained face after scoring his made in heaven goal revealed how much strife he’s endured so far following his well-documented bust-up with Alex Ferguson. My 2 cents, he may stay at MU. He’s a fighter. Stam wrote something derogatory about the Scotsman behind the veil of mass media and was put paid for being a traitor and somewhat coward. At least the horse-faced Van Nistelrooij had the balls to say it in Ferguson’s face what he thinks of Ferguson’s two-timing tactics. Nothing wrong being a real man for once in life.
Ok…what goes on at MU’s shower rooms are none of my concern. It’s van Nistelrooij’s state of mind for Holland which matter though,and he scored the great winner. Dank je wel! Hartelijk dank!
Then almost immediately, the White Elephants ran amok. After Ivorian first goal from a rocket of a shot, they never look like stepping their foot of the pace of the game. And it was so straining to watch. It’s almost like the Arsenal-Barcelona Champions League final. The Arsenal scored 1st and then defended deep. Holland came to that situation when they need not have to, but I’ll take the final 3 points anyway, despite yellow card cautions to so many key players like Robben, van Bommel and Khalid Boulahrouz. Man, I’m beginning to like this Boulahrouz cannibal. This guy exhibits less nerves and more concentration than Joris Mathijsen. Andre Ooijer was ok at the back as usual. Wondered why Marco van Basten didn’t take Theo Lucius of PSV along.
The Ivorians shot holes in the Dutch inexperienced defence but came away with only the solitary goal to salvage. For a performance like this, I’d vouch for them to go far, but the Dutch did score 2 wonderful goals and progressed. As it should be.
In the Japan v. Croatia game, nothing goes to prove that the Japanese have what it takes to go far and it shows. If I were Zico, Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi would have taken the first flight back to Japan. Looking at the Australia match again shows that he was largely responsible for the OZ’s first goal when he came too far off his line and so too for the last goal. Then he saved a penalty against Croatia and nearly tracked the ball into his own goal not long after. Goalkeepers are madcaps and madcaps only qualify as goalies but even if one is a madcap, there’s no need to show it so blatantly as that one. He might have qualified as an American quarterback. They’re all psychos and loving it.
To describe the Japan-Croatia match is to fish for words fit for the ubiquitous English drunkard causing havoc in drunken stupor. Bad thing it was, but aren’t we all prepared for it since it was common sight?
Provided the OZs draw or win their unlikely game against the equally dour Brazilians, this group has already been pretty much decided.
But Ghana was wunderbar!
Gyan’s early goal unsettled the Czechs but throughout, the Ghanaians displayed amazing wastefulness in front of goal. Can’t blame their meager strikeforce yet their midfield did enough to provide for the two goals.
The Czechs aren’t down yet. They can come back, but only if they shed off their over-reliance on Jan Koller and get down and play their game. Simple as that. All materials are there…it’s up to them to prove themselves. Meanwhile, expect the Ghanaians to run riot against a US side devoid of footballing creativity. They have the graft and the mental strength but this ain’t American football where grunts with blood and brawn counts.
Mexico are also one helluva entertainer. Long-range artillery are omnipresent in their arsenal but credit to Angola’s unemployed goalkeeper, Joao Ricardo for those inexplicable saves. Hope the Mexicans follow through and ensure an exciting knockout round.