RVP header gal­vanised Dutch

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - SPORT -

the Swiss four years ago, but what hap­pened at Arena Fonte Nova in Sal­vador on Fri­day evening was an­other story al­to­gether.

We are talk­ing about the most dom­i­nant na­tional team in re­cent his­tory, and to see them get dom­i­nated the way they did, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half, was just un­be­liev­able.

We were all hop­ing to see a dif­fer­ent match to the World Cup fi nal of 2010, and boy, didn’t we get one! It was a strange game in more ways than one, as it’s im­por­tant to note that Spain were, by far, the bet­ter side in the fi rst half.

Af­ter Wes­ley Snei­jder missed a great chance to put the Dutch ahead, Spain be­gan to dom­i­nate pro­ceed­ings even if they were lucky to break the dead­lock from the penalty spot. I didn’t think it was a penalty when I first saw it, and it seems like the ref­er­ees are hav­ing a tough time in these early days of the World Cup.

If I had to pick a turn­ing point, it would have to be that sen­sa­tional goal from Robin van Per­sie. It came against the run of play be­cause, only a few min­utes ear­lier, David Silva squan­dered a golden op­por­tu­nity to give the reign­ing cham­pi­ons a two- goal cush­ion.

So, from be­ing this close to at­tain­ing a 2- 0 lead, Spain ended up con­ced­ing a goal. That’s what makes foot­ball such an un­pre­dictable sport.

Clearly, that goal gal­vanised the Dutch and they were a trans­formed side when the match re­sumed af­ter the break.

I was sim­ply amazed at the enor­mous space the Dutch at­tack seemed to be fi nd­ing with ab­so­lute ease, and they used it to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect.

De­lighted as I am for my coun­try, I just hope we haven’t hit our peak too early and that there are a few more sur­prises in store.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.