Roughly five minutes into Saturday's Netherlands vs. Northern Ireland match, the visitors surprised many with a counterattack that resulted in them earning a corner. That set piece ended in nothing, however, the Dutch then opened the scoring five minutes after the corner was cleared from danger, and Holland were off and running. The 6-0 result, while not surprising, doesn't even tell the whole story regarding the dominance of the Netherlands. Simply stated, a Northern Ireland side largely made up of reserves never stood a chance, and they only escaped giving up 10 goals thanks to some help from the woodwork and a few solid and needed stops from goalkeeper Roy Carroll.
3 thoughts on Holland 6-0 Northern Ireland: Nice to see
The friendlies leading up to Euro 2012 have not been all that kind to the Netherlands. Joris Mathijsen, Wilfred Bouma and Wesley Sneijder all picked up injuries in the past couple of weeks, leading me to wonder if Holland's European Championship hopes were fated to be derailed before the official start of the competition. Dutch football fans had to feel at least a little relief upon seeing Sneijder listed in the team's starting lineup on Saturday. He then offered proof of his fitness in the 15th minute, when he curled a free kick into the left corner of the net for Holland's second goal of the match. Sneijder played 70 minutes before being subbed off for Dirk Kuyt, and, unlike this past Wednesday, he had a smile on his face upon leaving the pitch.
3 thoughts on Holland 6-0 Northern Ireland: Another solid performance
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar may get louder cheers from the Dutch faithful during matches, but I can't help but wonder if Arsenal star Robin van Persie won't be the difference maker for Holland starting next week. Van Persie looked very sharp in Holland's final two Euro warmups, and he was my man of the match on Saturday despite playing less than an hour of football. Van Persie opened the scoring 11 minutes into play, when he started his run at the perfect time and beat a back line that was far too busy ball-watching right as the previously mentioned Sneijder played a brilliant back post ball. RvP rose up and slammed the ball into the back of the net, giving the Netherlands an early 1-0 lead.
Van Persie put Holland up 3-0 around the half-hour mark when he sent goalkeeper Lee Camp the wrong way on a converted penalty. Eight minutes later, Van Persie had an attempt to finish off the hat-trick while on the outskirts of the penalty area. Instead, he selflessly teed the ball up for Ibrahim Afellay, and Afellay scored the first of his two goals of the match. Van Persie assisted on Afellay's second goal of the match six minutes into the second half. This time, RvP played a pass from within the box, and Afellay, positioned a few steps outside of the penalty area, curled an stoppable strike into the right portion of the net.
3 thoughts on Holland 6-0 Northern Ireland: Survived the day
Sometimes luck isn't on your side to the point that it is actually impossible to escape a match without somebody picking up some sort of injury. Holland are the most recent example of this, but they shouldn't have too much to worry about regarding the most recent knock. Jetro Willems began favoring his hand around the hour mark of play, and it appeared that he had dislocated a finger, an injury that was easily remedied by a team physician. For the first time this spring, Holland made it through an international friendly without having to worry about a lineup mainstay missing any future playing time because of a worrisome injury. The squad now has a full week to get rested and healed before taking on Denmark in their first match of Euro 2012.
- Sports & Recreation
- Northern Ireland
- Wesley Sneijder