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4 June 2014
• Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: B. Yildirim
• Attendance: 51000
A. Robben 32'
J. Lens 76'
I'm Alex Moretto, and I'd like to thank you all for joining me here today. Good bye!
FULL-TIME: NETHERLANDS 2-0 WALES. Although they didn't look great at times, the Dutch head to Brazil in style with a convincing 2-0 victory over Wales. Arjen Robben is your man of the match, scoring and assisting on the second, while creating a number of chances in attack. A depleted Welsh side held their own, but managed very little up top which proved to be their undoing.
90' + 3'
That's it! The final whistle sounds as Wales try on last attack, unsuccessfully. The fireworks go off as the Dutch head to Brazil with a second consecutive victory!
90' + 1'
The Dutch try and finish off in style as we enter the first of three minutes of added time. Martins Indi's cross is cleared as far as Sneijder, who gets into a good shooting position but fires over the bar. He should have done better there!
Great stuff from Williams and De Vrij. The young City midfielder is at it again, showing his pace to cut through the heart of the Dutch defence. De Vrij is caught flat footed, but does an excellent job of reaching in with his left foot and dispossessing him at the vital moment.
STRAIGHT AT THE KEEPER! Another chance for Lens now as he takes a pass that he appeared to control with his hand, and rushes into the area. He opens up and tries to curl it into the far corner, but hits it straight at Hennessey who makes an easy catch.
Fantastic ball played into the box from Janmaat, as Lens crosses it back across the face of goal with his first touch. Hennessey collects, with Huntelaar kicking the ball free, conceding a foul, much to the delight of the home fans.
Newcastle defender Paul Dummett is introduced now in place of Neil Taylor, with teammate Tim Krul letting out a rye smile from the bench as Dummett's name is announced via the stadium loudspeakers.
Clever that from Huntelaar, who has already provided the Dutch with more of an aerial presence in the box. He takes a cross and tries to head it into the path of Robben, but it just runs too far and behind for a goal kick.
CLOSE FROM DE VRIJ! Once again the goal seems to have breathed new life into the Dutch squad. Good build-up play sees the ball come out to Martins Indi on the left. His cross is cleared, but only as far as De Vrij who tries a shot from 25 yards out, narrowly missing at the far post.
Nigel De Jong
Assist Arjen Robben
Goal Jeremain Lens
GOAAAAAL! Well this should bring the crowd back to life! So very characteristic of the Dutch, who can strike at any moment. Robben makes a great run along the right and uses his pace to get behind the defence, before sending a perfectly weighted pass across the face of goal that Lens taps in at the far post.
Far from impressed with the play of his team in the second half, Huntelaar runs across the sidelines trying to pump up the crowd and get them back behind the team. It's been very pedestrian from the Oranje since the break, summed up by the most recent attempt from Ron Vlaar, firing well high and wide of the goal from 40 yards out.
WHAT A START FROM GEORGE WILLIAMS! The 18-year-old takes his first touch and dribbles past Blind before splitting Janmaat and De Vrij inside the area. He gets past three defenders but just can't get his shot off as Vlaar slides in with a last ditch tackle.
Young Fulham midfielder George Williams, just 18-years-old, set to come on now for his international debut. Crystal Palace midfielder Jonathan Williams the one to give way as play comes to a halt with Wales winning a corner. Lovely defensive work from Blind, however, to stay with his man and prevent a cross from getting through.
G. B. Williams
Nearly a disaster here for Wales as Taylor's headed back pass nearly sends Lens through on goal, but Gabbidon is there to rescue the play. Still, chances are few and far between at both ends in this second half as we approach the final 20 minutes.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR EASTER! Just seconds after coming on, Gunter picks out a long pass to send the Milwall striker in alone, catching the Dutch sleeping at the back. Cillessen charges out of his goal smartly though, cutting off the angle and making the save.
Netherlands seem to have been lulled to sleep here, standing and staring as Wales pass it around at the back. We're just past the hour mark now and fatigue may be starting to set in for both sides as the pace has been sucked out of the match.
Janmaat and Robben link up well on the right, and the latter tries to switch the play to Martins Indi who appeared to have gotten behind the defence. The pass is off the mark, however, and the ball rolls out of play. Wales take the stoppage to make their second substitution, bringing Manchester City youngster Emyr Huws on in place of Joe Ledley.
First substitution now for Wales as Cardiff City's Declan John comes on to replace Robson-Kanu. Meanwhile, Sneijder tries a shot from long range and wins the Dutch a corner kick.
STAT ATTACK: Jasper Cillessen has kept four clean sheets in his seven matches in goal for the Netherlands.
Confident defending from Gabbidon. Robben runs in from the right and makes his way into the box. Gabbidon takes away the shot and stays with the Bayern forward, sliding in and preventing a cross.
Lazy stuff from Lens. The striker does well to get on the end of a pass and charges in from the right. He picks out Sneijder with a pass, but it's a bit behind him preventing the shot. The Galatasaray midfielder gives him a return pass, but Lens failed to move back into an onside position as the whistle sounds and yet another attack fizzles out at the vital moment.
Great ball from Wijnaldum to pick out Sneijder. His first touch takes him by a defender, but Gunter streaks across to make a last-ditch tackle and sniff out the attack. Great defending there on what looked like a promising move from the hosts.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR WILLIAMS! Wales switch the play to the Palace midfielder on the right. Martins Indi is the closest to the ball, a good 20 feet away. Williams runs into the box and had King charging forward, begging for a pass that he never gets. Williams tries to do too much and ends up passing it to De Vrij who makes an important clearance.
Possession again in the hands of the Dutch. Wijnaldum lays off a pass for Robben, then gets it returned to him. He tries to push forward but loses control, giving Wales a throw-in. Holland look a bit too relaxed at the moment, with no sense of urgency in their passing attack.
Robin van Persie
Netherlands kick-off and the second half is underway! Two changes for the hosts at the break with Georginio Wijnaldum and Jeremain Lens on to replace Leroy Fer and Robin van Persie. Wijnaldum should provide the Dutch more of an attacking presence moving forward. No changes for Wales at the break.
STAT ATTACK: In their last 15 games against opposition from the UK, Holland have lost just once (9W, 5D), via Opta Stats.
HALF-TIME: NETHERLANDS 1-0 WALES. The visitors can take some satisfaction from the fact that they have made life a bit difficult on Holland in midfield, creating a number of turnovers. Van Gaal's side have created a number of chances with their possession, but are lacking some finishing at the moment which has kept this scoreline respectable heading into the break. The visitors have posed little threat in attack, and manager Chris Coleman may want to consider bringing on another striker to provide the Dutch with a bit more of a challenge at the back.
45' + 1'
Just one minute of added time as the Turkish referee sounds his whistle, as we head to the break with Arjen Robben's lone goal the main talking point after 45 minutes.
The Dutch continue to keep possession, with Wales seeing very little of the ball in the past 15 minutes. The hosts seem to have gotten into their stride now and appear to be comfortably passing their way to half-time.
Again the right-back makes an exceptional run, and Fer picks him out. Janmaat controls the pass and crosses it into the area, but there's no orange shirts in site as Wales manage to scramble it clear and out for a throw.
INCHES WIDE! Another good bit of movement from the Netherlands. Janmaat makes a nice overlapping run, catching Robson-Kanu sleeping. He cuts it back for Van Persie who hits it first time, narrowly missing the top corner.
A nice move from Holland is broken up by a superb tackle from Neil Taylor. Blind plays a ball through for Janmaat to chase along the right, which he gets to, but Taylor slides in firmly and gets a favourable bounce to win his team a goal kick.
Another giveaway now in midfield for the Dutch and Wales get back in possession. Williams surges forward and is taken down by Blind, winning a free kick in the attacking half. It's taken quickly, but eventually worked back to Hennessey. More negative play from the visitors who seem to be lacking in imagination once they break into the final third.
The goal has certainly got the crowd back into things now as the noise level increases yet again. It's also helped with the confidence of the home side who are passing it around with purpose at the moment.
Goal Arjen Robben
GOOAAAAAAAAAAAL! Arjen Robben puts the Dutch in front with his 23rd international goal! Van Persie beats Gunter along the left and drives a low shot in from a tight angle. Hennessey makes the initial save, but the rebound falls for Robben who hits the bouncing ball first time, beating the keeper and breaking the deadlock.
Play is back underway and it's Holland who continue to apply the pressure. Robben dribbles his way past a defender from the right and cuts in onto his famous left foot. His shot takes a deflection, with Hennessey frozen to his spot, but trickles just wide of the near post.
A bit of comedic relief here at a stoppage in play as Robson-Kanu has a rip in his shorts that needs to be dealt with. He makes his way to the sidelines and changes his shorts, as the crowd howls and jeers in his direction. When in Amsterdam...
Much better from the Netherlands now. They're beginning to pass open the Welsh defence. Robben gets onto the end of a pass and inside the box, but can't get his cross past Gabbidon as he has to settle for a corner.
INCREDIBLE GOAL LINE CLEARANCE! Finally some possession for the Dutch in the attacking third and they make the most of it. Sneijder and Robben work a lovely one-two, and the Bayern Munich winger gets into the area. He freezes Hennessey with a stutter step, then cuts to his left where he appears to have a goal, but Chris Gunter miraculously clears it off the line to save a goal!
After a confident start from the Oranje, they haven't been able to find their rhythm in the last 10 minutes. Sloppy passing has led to a number of giveaways in midfield, preventing them from getting into attack with any success.
IMPORTANT CLEARANCE! Robson-Kanu streaks down the left on a counter for Wales and sends a low cross into the centre for Church. The striker looks to have a tap-in at the far post, but Martins Indi slides in and smartly puts it behind for a corner with little margin for error.
The Dutch get back in possession but can't pass it up the pitch with Wales keeping all 11 players behind the ball. They opt for a long ball towards Van Persie from the back, but Chester is in good position to pressure him, preventing him from bringing the ball down cleanly and it's back the other way.
Play has slowed to nearly a stand still at the moment with the ball being passed around in defence by Wales. An errant pass intended for Martins Indi gave Wales possession and they seem eager to try and keep it, showing little intent to move the ball up the pitch. Holland are chasing the play a bit at the moment.
Vital touch by Cillessen there! The corner is whipped into a dangerous area with Chester and Gabbidon attacking the ball, but the Ajax keeper just gets a hand to it to divert the cross.
Back on the ball are the visitors. Captain Joe Allen sends a good ball towards Jonathan Williams on the right, and the Palace midfielder wins a corner as his cross deflects off Martins Indi and out of play.
Wales manage their first pressure of the match, gaining possession inside the penalty area. James Chester gets on the ball and looks to make a play, but the central defender, hardly known for his skills on the ball, gives it away cheaply and is forced to sprint back in defence to prevent a counter attack.
NARROW MISS FROM ROBBEN! A fantastic ball from Stefan de Vrij puts Arjen Robben behind the defence. A lovely first touch allows him to bring the ball down nicely, but he hesitates for just a second and pulls the ball wide of the far post with is lethal left foot!
STAT ATTACK: Netherlands have won all previous six of their H2H matches against Wales, outscoring them 19-3.
Holland making life very difficult on Wales early on, keeping possession well thanks to some good pressure in midfield. Blind, Fer and De Jong are so quick to get on the ball, giving the Welsh players little time to make a pass.
WHAT A RUN BY VAN PERSIE! The Manchester United striker takes a pass from Daley Blind following a turnover in midfield. He runs along the left and weaves his way into the box past a few defenders before taking a shot with his weaker right foot, but Hennessey gets down to his left and pushes it aside. Good early pressure from the Dutch.
Wales kick-off and we're underway in the Dutch capital! The visitors, moving right to left, are wearing their white tops and red shorts, with the Netherlands in their classic Oranje home kits.
There's an absolutely cracking atmosphere in the Amsterdam ArenA as the Dutch fans give their team a nice send off to Brazil. Nice moments in the lead up to the match as Mark van Bommel is honored for his service with the national side, with many of his former teammates in attendance. Just a few short moments till kick-off!
Wales line up with four Crystal Palace players in the starting XI, which should help with chemistry, while all 11 of their starters are based out of England's top two divisions. Hull City centre-back James Chester earns his first international cap, while Joe Allen captains the team in the absence of Ashley Williams, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
WALES SUBS: John, O. Williams, Richards, Roberts, Vaughan, Huws, G. Williams, Easter, Nyatanga, Tudur-Jones, Dummett, Lawrence.
WALES XI (4-2-3-1): Hennessey; Gunter, Chester, Gabbidon, Taylor; Allen, King; Williams, Ledley, Robson-Kanu; Church.
The Dutch will line up today in a more conventional 4-4-2 formation, with something of a narrow diamond in midfield. The Feyenoord trio of Janmaat, De Vrij and Martins Indi make up three quarters of the back line, with Vlaar slotting in between them at centre-back. Nigel de Jong holds down the fort as defensive midfielder, while Leroy Fer and the versatile Daley Blind playing just in front of him. Wes Sneijder fills in more of an attacking role, and has the ability to stay forward with a multitude of defence minded players behind him. Arjen Robben gets the start at striker alongside Robin van Persie.
NETHERLANDS SUBS: Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Lens, Veltman, Huntelaar, Depay, Vorm, Verhaegh, Kongolo, Krul.
NETHERLANDS XI (4-4-2): Cillessen; Janmaat, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi; De Jong, Fer, Blind, Sneijder; Robben, Van Persie.
The teams have been announced, so let us have ourselves a look at the starting XIs:
Wales will not be participating in the World Cup, and are in tough tonight without many of their top players. Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, James Collins, Ashley Williams, Adam Matthews, Ben Davies and Sam Vokes have all been left out of the squad, with the Real Madrid forward pulling out less than a week ago as a result of a leg muscle injury. This leaves manager Chris Coleman to travel to Holland with what many would consider their 'B' team. Despite that fact, he's not making any excuses ahead of the match, telling the media: "We've got to stamp our authority on this game and let them know, as good as they are, and we're not there to make numbers up regardless of who's missing."
The Dutch face their final test tonight against Wales, ahead of their first World Cup group stage match. While Van Gaal has been putting work into implementing a 5-3-2 system, the tactician has decided to go with a more conventional 4-4-2 formation this evening in an attempt to provide striker Robin van Persie with some much needed support up top. The Oranje have struggled to score of late, finding the back of the net just twice in their past four matches. The 4-4-2 formation will also allow for a greater amount of wing play, better utilizing the strength of some of their top players.
Good evening footy fans around the world, and welcome to today's match from the Amsterdam ArenA, as Netherlands take on Wales, who are without star forward Gareth Bale. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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