Group B: land of contrasts. It wasn’t, might we date to venture, supposed to end up like this. Going into the first of the final round of group matches, it was supposed to be all about the tension and the excitement of two simultaneous matches being played, but the way in which this group has panned out means that we kick off the final round of group matches – and the sleep deprived amongst us are at least cheering the fact that the last of the eleven o’clock kick offs has now come and gone – with matches that could, if viewed through one prism, be viewed as dead rubbers.
Viewed through another, however, there is interest to be had here. We’ll be focusing on the match between the match between the Netherlands and Chile. Both teams have maximum points so far so something has to give, but with hosts Brazil facing one of these two in the next round of the competition and no-one yet knowing where they will finish in their group yet (although with Brazil playing the so far terrible Cameroon tonight we can probably hazard a guess), the question becomes one of which coach may stick and which may twist.
The other match may go some way towards establishing what sort of psychological damage has been done to Spain as a result of their recent shellackings at the hands of the aforementioned two. They play Australia in the group’s effective third-place play-off. Join Richard Grinham and I shortly before five to see how it all plays out.
I just flicked over to Spain-Australia for a couple of minutes. Fer fucks sake.
I take it back. Leroy Fer has scored with his first touch.
The Netherlands appear to be shutting shop here with Leroy Fer coming on for Wesley
Kuyt has played really well here. Covering acres of the pitch as usual and playing every position confidently.
I also don’t think Brazil will finish top. Cameroon will want to go out with a bang and have the strength and speed to pull something off.
It’s be a fairly tepid first half from the Netherlands and Chile. Neither team are really pushing but the second half may provide more excitement. Robben is finding his feet but Chile need a win to take top spot (because of the goal difference)
Both of these games have been poor so far. Nothing to split either tie and it doesn’t look like we’ll get much action before half time.
I’m sure the coaches use some rubbish excuse like “streamlining the players to increase speed”
It’s been pretty standard so far. The Dutch are looking to his Chile on the break so they aren’t seeing too much of the ball (I think it’s intentional at least).
Australia are playing the opposite game against Spain – lofting in a floater at ever opportunity.
And the Netherlands finally get to wear their all orange kit…
Australia are very much the crowd favourites today.
It’s worth noting that Vidal isn’t in the Chile line up today.
Australia pressing hard against the Spanish already. They are getting a lot of bodies in the box.
Really pleased to see Dirk Kuyt getting a run out. He’s been very influential this season and has the legs to cover at the back.