FIFA World Cup: Netherlands 2, Chile 0
Leroy Fer scores the winner
The Dutch played for a draw, and ended up with a win anyway.
The Netherlands took down Chile 2-0 on Monday to win Group B in the teams’ final match before the knockout round at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Leroy Fer scored the winner in the 77th minute to ensure the Dutch entered the Round of 16 with a perfect record. Memphis Depay scored the Oranje’s insurance goal one minute into injury time.
Both teams had already clinched a spot in the Round of 16 before the match. Chile needed to win in order to overtake the Netherlands for top spot in Group B.
Chile held 64 per cent of possession in the match, to the Netherlands’ 36.
Against the general run of play, the Dutch scored on a defensive lapse in the 77th minute by La Roja. Fer was unmarked in the six yard box on a Netherlands free kick, and had all day to slam a free header home past Claudio Bravo to claim a Dutch victory.
Man of the match
Arjen Robben. Yes, him again. He’s too good to ignore. Was the most dangerous Dutch player in attack, drove Chilean defenders insane with his pace and, ahem, “cagey” play, and set up the insurance marker. As long as Robben keeps flying, the Dutch will keep winning.
The Dutch are 21-2-3 in World Cup history when scoring the opening goal.
What this means
Netherlands. The Dutch likely avoided the most dangerous opponent in Brazil, namely the hosts, by winning Group B. After their bright performance in the group phase, you have to like their chances to make another big run. They’ll face the Group A runner-up on Sunday (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, Noon ET), likely Mexico or Croatia.
Chile. A phenomenal group phase has seen La Roja knock out the defending champions and move on to the knockout round. Many pundits think Chile is capable of making a deep run at the World Cup, but the team will play the Group A winner, likely the opponent nobody wants to see in the Round of 16 – Brazil. But the hosts do look vulnerable, so if that matchup is in the cards, there’s serious potential for a major upset in the making. The match is slated for Saturday (CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, Noon ET).