World Cup pre-game: Netherlands vs. Chile

While the Netherlands has impressed with goals galore, Chile's inspired play is turning heads as the sides battle for top spot in Group B on Monday. (CBC,, 11:30 a.m. ET).

Winner will play Group A runner-up

Arjen Robben of the Netherlands has tallied three goals in two games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He'll look to strike again when the Dutch take on Chile for the top spot in Group B on Monday. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Group B: Netherlands vs. Chile

  • 12 p.m. ET, Monday, June 23
  • CBC TV,

What’s at stake

Group B’s top spot is on the line. The runner-up will play the winner of Group A.

The Netherlands had a brief scare against the Socceroos. But they found another gear and came away with full points.

While both teams have surprised, Chile is really impressing many people through their inspired play.

It’s been ages - 86 years to be precise - since these teams played their only previous head-to-head. It ended in a 2-2 draw, but the Dutch were declared winners after drawing lots. [Yes, they did that back then.]

Impact players

Netherlands: Arjen Robben. One of many superstars on this team, Robben - with three goals - is having the best tournament of his career.

Chile: Eduardo Vargas. He scored Chile’s first goal against Spain, playing a key role in getting his team through to the next round regardless of what happens against the Dutch.

What to watch for

Long passes and fast breaks. Both teams like doing these. And this style of play makes for excellent football for those following all the action.

Van Persie has two yellows and is sitting this game out. But while he had two phenomenal games so far, his team has depth and breadth.

Chile’s manager Jorge Sampaoli said his team needs to indeed play like a team to beat the Netherlands. Individual performances will help - but he wants his 11 players to be tight.

They said it

"We were careless, took too many risks, played too many short passes when we should have played it long, we went forward too little. We had to change that.” Louis Van Gaal, manager for the Netherlands, speaking bluntly to reporters about his team’s game against Australia.

"Against Holland, we will have the same approach knowing we need to win to be first in our group," Chile’s Sampaoli told reporters in looking ahead to his third game.

The big number

8 — The Dutch have conceded eight penalty kicks at the World Cup since 1974, two more than any other country, according to Opta statistics. Drawing a PK may be a good way for Chile to score.

Obligatory fun fact

Van Persie’s first football club was Excelsior, which he joined at the age of five. He has said that he wants to finish his playing career at Manchester United, then return to Excelsior as a mentor for young talent.


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