COMMENTARY | I suppose that the sky will fall on a different day.
That an overwhelmed and over-matched Indonesia squad held world power Holland scoreless for almost an hour on Friday evening wasn't nearly as shocking as one might think. The international friendly was twice stopped so the players could hydrate on what was a hot and humid evening, and the Dutch would have entered the break up three or possibly even four goals if not for the offside flag and also the stellar play of a goalkeeper who was, until today, largely unknown to the worldwide audience that tuned in expecting to see a blowout. A duo of Siem De Jong headers and one final match highlight created by a Bayern Munich hero gave the Netherlands the result they deserved, and Holland will now prepare for a showdown with China that will take place on June 11.
Indonesia 0-3 Holland: MOTM
Indonesia goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga probably believed that he was in for a long night after Wesley Sneijder found the back of the net one minute after kickoff. He was given second life when the assistant's flag immediately went up, however, and he took full advantage of the correct decision by putting in a man of the match performance. Meiga stoned Manchester United star Robin van Persie on multiple occasions in the first half, and the 23-year old showed the type of confidence in coming off of his line and leadership when speaking with his defenders that you would expect to see from any top class 'keeper. Truth be told, Meiga deserved better than the 3-0 scoreline.
Indonesia 0-3 Holland: Not his night
The previously mentioned Van Persie was set to put on a show for the thousands of supporters who had made the trek to GBK Stadium to see some of the world's top footballers. He ended his 45-minute shift having not played a part in a single tally, but it certainly wasn't due to a lack of effort. What would have been an assist was erased when Sneijder was correctly called offside, and Meiga did well to deny Van Persie whenever the Dutch striker put the ball on frame. RvP himself was responsible for bottling his two best scoring chances, firing one into the side netting and heading the other over the bar.
With all of that said, this wasn't a classic "Van Persie struggles in Oranje" night for the Golden Boot winner. He was more a victim of bad luck and a goalkeeper determined to keep a clean sheet as long as humanly possible than he was out of form. Getting these types of nights out of the way now before the meaningful international contests resume is in the best interests of Van Persie and the Netherlands.
Indonesia 0-3 Holland: Quality
Arjen Robben expected to play no more than a half of football on Friday, but he was called upon in the 14th minute after Jeremain Lens picked up a knock. The man coming off of Champions League glory didn't let down those in attendance who had specifically bought tickets to see him. Robben was an attacking presence within minutes of entering the match, even displaying what some may call uncharacteristic unselfishness in the attacking third. Then, with the match winding down, he ran onto the ball on the halfway line before streaking toward the Indonesia goal. Robben beat two defenders and then fired a rocket into the top portion of the net that even a red-hot Meiga wasn't stopping, and the Dutchman then politely acknowledged an audience that had risen to their feet to applaud the European champion.
Robben can be an extremely frustrating player in that he has often been his own worst enemy during his career. Despite all that the 29-year old has achieved, I saw Friday's exhibition as a reminder that Robben actually could have been so much more for club(s) and country. I would go so far to say that Robben is, when fully focused and fully motivated, the most underrated player in all of world football.
Zac has been covering Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer, the USMNT and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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