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May 31, 2014
• 2:30 PM
• Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam
Referee: Carlos Miguel Taborda Xistra
• Attendance: 51117
R. van Persie 5'
That's all that we have time for from Rotterdam, as Netherlands defeated the Black Stars 1-0 at the Stadion Feyenoord. I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
Robben had the majority of chances for the home side, but was denied by some poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Kwarasey. Ghana's defensive problems continue with the lack of a clean sheet and a late injury to central defender Jerry Akaminko.
FULL TIME! Netherlands win 1-0 in their penultimate game at home ahead of the World Cup, with Robin van Persie's goal the difference between the two outfits. Van Gaal's men should have put Appiah's men to the sword, but just couldn't find the second.
90' + 4'
90' + 4'
Play continues, with Akaminko still on a stretcher on the side of the pitch being checked over by physios. De Guzman whips in a free-kick for the Dutch, but Lens nods over from six yards out, big chance!
90' + 2'
We're going to have a lengthy stoppage in play, as Akaminko won't be able to continue for the Black Stars. The replays don't make good watching, the central defender could easily have badly sprained or broken his ankle.
90' + 1'
AYEW! It's Andre Ayew again, but the Marseille man's effort is deflected into the waiting palms of Cillessen. He's been a good catalyst since coming on and isn't afraid to shoot. Akaminko goes down injured, with his fellow players showing immediate concern.
Into the dying embers of the game, with Oranje's dense defensive line plugging plenty of gaps. Boateng tries to beat Vlaar for pace down the left wing, but the Aston Villa man isn't prepared to take any prisoners, sliding in to win the ball before shielding it fiercely.
ANDRE AYEW! The substitute is found in a pocket of space on the edge of the 18-yard box, but can't keep his effort down. Cillessen watches yet another attempt head over the crossbar, he's had a very easy time of it.
DEPAY! The young forward tries his luck from the edge of the box, but skews it narrowly wide. Ghana then break, before Boateng is nearly picked out by a clever long ball - but Janmaat is alert to cover and defuse the situation.
Netherlands are looking to break, with their incisive passing getting them upfield in quick time. Still Kwarasey remains relatively untested, with both Depay and Lens quiet since coming on.
Narrowly over five minutes left to play, with Ghana still keen to press forward until the end and look for an equalising goal. Netherlands are still looking solid, but there are more spaces opening up in behind for Oranje as the visitors push on.
Sneijder is substituted for the home side, receiving warm applause as he leaves the field of play. Jeremain Lens replaces him, presumably being given a free role behind Depay and Robben.
Boateng ambitiously tries his luck from a 30-yard free-kick, but cannons the ball off the wall and behind for a corner. Ghana will be keen to push for an equaliser in the dying stages of this game, but the Black Stars' set piece delivery is headed clear.
Only ten minutes remain in this contest, with Afful felled by a strong challenge from De Jong. It was a vicious, bullish tackle from the Milan midfielder, who believes that the Ghana substitute ran into him.
ROBBEN! Another save from Kwarasey! The Ghana goalkeeper guards his near post effectively, standing tall to palm away a powerful effort which was certainly heading goalwards. He's put in a good performance this evening.
Good defending from Vlaar. The experienced defender clears up the scraps, robbing Andre Ayew of the ball as he looked to break through on goal. Netherlands counter, but Blind's cross from the left is cleared with ease.
VLAAR! The central defender rises highest and is in an excellent position to head home, but can only plant his attempt a few yards wide of the upright! How the Dutch have only scored one is a miracle.
Janmaat releases Robben, before the Bayern man is clipped cynically by Boateng. He hasn't had the most enjoyable of evenings, missing a few chances and being kicked around the pitch. Just over a quarter of an hour remains.
Robin van Persie
Vlaar meets the resulting corner, but the Aston Villa captain can only plant a weak header wide of the target. Kwarasey collects with ease, as Van Gaal yells at his side to continue to pile on the pressure. Oranje need another goal.
Incisive break forward from the hosts! In two passes, they change defence to attack, with De Guzman released down the right flank. The Swansea midfielder tries to whip in an early cross, but Afful makes the block.
Depay is readying himself on the bench, taking some tactical instructions from the coaching staff. This game has gone a little bit stale, with the young forward presumably ready to bring a bit more vibrancy and flair to proceedings.
Schlupp is replaced by Afful for the away side, as the Leicester City man takes his leave. He hasn't given a great account of himself tonight, but will hope that his ability to be a utility man might work in his favour when it comes to the Brazil-bound squad.
Intelligent idea from Boateng, but Martins Indi heads the Schalke man's cross away from danger. The pieces are picked up by Ghana, before a 30 yard effort loops over the crossbar with Cillessen a happy spectator. The away fans are really getting behind their team.
Boateng is penalised for shoves on both Martins Indi and De Vrij, as Ghana still try to put themselves about and test Oranje. While Depay warms up on the sidelines, Robben is nearly put in behind by an intelligent clipped ball from De Guzman, but can't quite reach the pass.
Robben attempts to break away down the left hand side, but Akaminko is quick across to the danger and clears with a very strong sliding challenge. The Dutchman has been roughed about a bit during this contest, he'll be glad to reach Brazil in one piece!
Robben is found on the left hand side, before attempting to clip a cross into the path of Sneijder - but Inkoom makes the interception. It's not been a night to remember thus far for the Dutch forward. Still no changes for the hosts.
Half an hour remains, with this game heading into a bit of a lull. Ghana are still struggling to string attacking moves together, with the likes of Sneijder and Van Persie starting to have more of an effect from deep for Oranje.
VAN PERSIE! The Man United striker's curling effort from the edge of the area is blocked by Sumaila, as the combative Ghanaian defender is getting on the end of everything. Kwarasey was unsighted and dived despite the ball not making its way through to him - he was certainly worried.
ROBBEN! Another chance goes begging for the Bayern man! Sneijder slips another excellent ball through to his teammate, but Robben can only steer an effort narrowly wide of the far post with his extended toe from ten yards. He's getting closer, though.
Abdul Majeed Waris
Good defensive header from Janmaat, before the rebound is flighted back into the Dutch penalty area. Sumaila challenges for the second delivery, but an Oranje head manages to get on the end of it. Ghana are readying an offensive substitute on the sidelines.
Netherlands press well once again, forcing Schlupp into a misplaced ball up the line. The Leicester left-back has had a torrid game, making plenty of needless errors. Van Gaal's men continue to look the better of the two sides, though Blind hasn't been able to get forward as regularly as he may like.
The first five minutes of the second half have passed without much in the way of incident, as Netherlands hold onto the ball. Cillessen has been forced into a couple of long clearances, but the young goalkeeper still hasn't had to make a save this evening.
ROBBEN! Narrowly over the crossbar from the former PSV winger! He lines up an effort which looked set to nestle in the top left hand corner, but Kwarasey is happy to let the Dutchman's strike whistle just over the target.
Robben races through towards the penalty area after a mistake from Schlupp, with Akaminko forces into felling the flying Dutchman. Netherlands win a free-kick 20 yards from goal, but the referee has to spend time organising a jostling wall.
A couple of half-time changes for Ghana, as Kevin-Prince Boateng comes onto the field in place of Atsu, with Afriyie Acquah replacing Michael Essien in midfield. A positive switch for the away side.
We're back underway in the second half! Netherlands will be unhappy that they're merely a goal to the good, but they've now got another 45 minutes to rectify the current scoreline. Ghana have fought courageously, with plenty of players still keen to impress and make the final squad.
Be sure to rejoin us for all of the second half action in ten minutes time, as the Dutch attempt to give the home crowd plenty of optimism heading into the World Cup. They've been the better of the two sides, but a few more goals would ease some nerves.
Netherlands have looked solid and reasonably potent on the break, while Ghana have slowly fought their way back into the game. The Black Stars haven't threatened going forward, but have some first-team options on the bench should Appiah wish to take the game to Van Gaal's men.
HALF TIME! The referee calls time on the opening 45 minutes, with the Oranje heading in with a slender 1-0 lead over Ghana. Robin van Persie grabbed the early opener, but the hosts have been unable to put their opponents to the sword, with Robben missing a hatful of chances.
45' + 1'
ROBBEN! The Dutchman ghosts towards the edge of the penalty area, before firing a powerful effort across goal from 20 yards. Kwarasey is equal to it, beating it away from danger well.
Ghana have ended the half in a much-improved fashion, but still have plenty to do if they are to find an opening goal. Adomah tries to stand up a cross towards the back post, but the winger's delivery curls behind harmlessly for a goal-kick.
Important clearance from Janmaat, as the right wing-back covers across well to ensure that Ghana don't grab an equaliser just before the break. Ayew's run into the box was as close as the visitors have gone to finding a shot to test Cillessen, giving their supporters behind the goal something to cheer about.
Atsu is robbed of the ball by Robben, before the ball is worked backwards by the Bayern forward. Blind is picked out by a crossfield ball, but the Ajax wing-back's attempted delivery from the byeline is blocked.
A lull in the game, with neither goalkeeper being called into testing action. Van Gaal remains engrossed in the game with his notepad at the ready. Ghana are beginning to press really well, with their battling spirit in the middle third causing Oranje a few issues.
Less than ten minutes to go and Van Gaal's men will be keen to head into their dressing room with more than a one goal cushion. Ghana are creeping back into this game as a contest, with Robben's missed chances perhaps set to come back and bite the hosts.
The Dutch are being forced into a few rushed clearances by intelligent pressing by Ghana, with Cillessen the main culprit - the Ajax man's options are being shut down well. Though they're frustrating the hosts, the Black Stars aren't threatening.
Netherlands continue to look fairly comfortable, with Cillessen still to make a save for the home side. Ghana are beginning to hold their own in midfield and defence, with the likes of Sumaila and Asamoah unafraid to get stuck in when required.
Yellow Card Jordan Ayew
Martins Indi is gingerly back to his feet, but Van Gaal might not take the risk of throwing the Feyenoord man back out onto the field. Netherlands have a few players who are labelled as injury-prone and Oranje won't want to lose any more personnel tonight.
Half an hour is on the clock, with this friendly having more bite to it than most. Ghana are really throwing their weight around, which isn't sitting well with a Dutch side who are taking some knocks. Martins Indi goes down injured, after over-extending during a clearance.
Asamoah tracks back to make a good covering challenge, as Van Persie tries to break down the right hand side. An even contest thus far, though Netherlands could be 3-0 up if Robben had taken his two golden opportunities.
Important clearance from Sumaila, who manages to hook the ball away from just inside his penalty area with Dutch forwards lurking. The central defender then throws himself into another forceful challenge on Robben, which the Bayern man really isn't happy about. Clean, but risky.
Netherlands are happy to hold onto possession for a period, with Ghana sitting off and inviting their opposition forward. It could be a ploy from Appiah's men, as the Black Stars have only really threatened when Ayew and Atsu have been put in the space behind Van Gaal's back five.
ROBBEN! Good save from Kwarasey! The former Chelsea man is found in space in the penalty area once again, but this time the Ghanaian goalkeeper makes himself big to make the save! Robben has wasted a couple of good chances thus far, Oranje should be comfortably ahead.
Ayew is fed in behind the Dutch defensive line once again, but Cillessen is able to come off his line quickly and claim. From here, the hosts might look to spring a counter attack.
A few needlessly powerful challenges flying in, in the opening half an hour. Blind is felled by an elbow by Essien, but the Ajax utility man is quickly back to his feet. It would be a real shame to see anyone else sidelined for Oranje, they've already lost Van der Vaart and Strootman in midfield.
Blind breaks down the left effectively once again, but the wing-back's cross is dealt with scrappily underneath the Ghanaian crossbar. The away side concede a corner, but Kwarasey is able to claim the resulting set piece with ease.
ASAMOAH! Inkoom rolls the ball back to Adomah on the right flank, before the winger whips in a cross, looking to isolate Asamoah against Vlaar. The Juve man manages to reach the delivery first, but can only head way wide.
Awful stuff from Adomah, as the winger surrenders possession with a terrible first touch, after seemingly attempting a step-over. Netherlands look to break as a result, but Essien slides in well to halt the counter in its tracks.
Contrasting managerial styles from both managers, as Appiah has spent the start of the game on the edge of his technical area, while Van Gaal is perched on his bench, feverishly scribbling notes. There is a stoppage in play as Robben is hacked down by Sumaila - the Bayern man isn't happy with that type of challenge in a meaningless friendly.
The Oranje will be pleased with what they've managed to do thus far. Keeping disciplined and in shape, the hosts have circulated possession well and been able to break quickly when Ghana are caught upfield. There are plenty more goals in this contest.
ROBBEN! WHAT A MISS! Netherlands break upfield at great pace, before the ball is worked out to Blind on the left flank. The Ajax man picks out Robben with an excellent back post ball, but the former PSV forward can only skew his effort over the crossbar from six yards out! It was easier to score!
AKAMINKO! Asamoah whipped in a free-kick delivery for the away side, after Schlupp was brought down by Janmaat, with the Ghanaian central defender managing to divert a header towards goal. It flashes wide at the back post with Cillessen having his angles covered.
Van Persie has another half chance for the hosts, after Blind intercepted a stray pass and fed Robben with a first touch pass. The Bayern Munich forward stabs the ball back into the path of his strike partner from 25 yards out, but Van Persie fails to control.
Cillessen has had nothing to do in the opening stages, as Van Gaal's system looks to be frustrating the Black Stars. Plenty of bodies in defence for the Dutch, meaning that the likes of Ayew and Atsu are struggling to use their pace to find gaps to exploit.
Almost immediately after kick-off, Robben is fed in behind the Ghana defence via a long pass, but Kwarasey is alive to the danger and quick off his line to pick up the scraps. The home crowd will be pleased with what they've seen thus far.
Assist Wesley Sneijder
Goal Robin van Persie
GOOOOOOAL! VAN PERSIE OPENS THE SCORING! Robben and Sneijder exchange a one-two on the edge of the box, before Sneijder squares a good ball to the back post for Van Persie to pass home. Schlupp slips over in an attempt to clear the cut-back, leaving the Manchester United forward with the simplest of finishes.
Both sides are putting out the feelers and measuring up their opponents in the opening stages, with Ghana possessing pace to hurt the Dutch. Jordan Ayew is fed in behind the Netherlands defensive line. Van Gaal's men will have to keep an eye on the quick forward.
A panicked start from Ghana, as the Netherlands sit in their shape well and force the away side to keep possession while being pressed effectively. Janmaat and Blind are pushing right up on either flank, with the two wing-backs providing vital width.
We are underway in the first half! The Oranje are donning their new navy home kit, while Ghana are in their white first strip. Plenty for individuals to prove ahead of the World Cup, as there isn't long left for players to convince their respective managers that they can perform at the level required at an international tournament. A vibrant and large crowd watches on.
We are minutes away from kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action, as a strong Netherlands side looks to make their way to Brazil with their morale and momentum unscathed. Van Gaal is sticking with his defensive five, meaning that Ghana may face a tough test in Rotterdam this evening.
Appiah appears to be continuing to test out the peripheral players of his squad, before naming the Ghana squad which will travel to South America at the start of next month. Plenty of first-team players are named on the bench, however, meaning that the Black Stars can change things around drastically if the game isn't going quite as planned.
Ghana substitutes: Acquah, Gyan, Waris, Accam, Opare, Agyemang-Badu, Dauda, Afful, A. Ayew, Boye, Mensah, Adusei, Boateng, Otoo, Brimah, Adams, Muntari, Muburak.
Ghana starting line-up: Kwarasey; Inkoom, Sumaila, Akaminko, Schlupp; Adomah, Essien, Rabiu, Asamoah; Atsu, J. Ayew.
Netherlands substitutes: Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Clasie, Lens, Veltman, Huntelaar, Fer, Depay, Vorm, Verhaegh, Kongolo, Krul.
Netherlands starting line-up: Cillessen; Janmaat, De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Blind; De Jong, De Guzman; Sneijder; Robben, Van Persie.
TEAM NEWS: Jeffrey Schlupp is passed fit for the Black Stars, with Michael Essien named in holding midfield as captain. Plenty of changes from the expected starting line-up in Brazil from Kwesi Appiah, as the likes of Akaminko, Inkoom, Sumaila and Rabiu come into the side. Atsu and Jordan Ayew are given opportunities to impress in the forward line.
TEAM NEWS: Van Gaal opts to continue the testing of his back five system, naming Daley Blind as left wing-back and a central three of Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi. Jonathan de Guzman slots into midfield in place of the injured Kevin Strootman or Rafael van der Vaart, with Wesley Sneijder deployed further forward. Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are the two danger men for the Oranje.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be leading you through proceedings in Stadion Feyenoord, as tonight's hosts look to give their native fans some hope ahead of the incoming World Cup. Netherlands have been thrown into a tough group alongside the likes of Chile and Spain, meaning that good preparation is key. Ghana name Michael Essien as captain, as they too look to reach the tournament in winning fashion.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Netherlands' international friendly against Ghana, as Oranje aim to gain some momentum against World Cup standard opposition. Louis van Gaal has named a very competitive side, with the Black Stars taking the opportunity to try out some different options before their flight to Brazil.
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