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WC Qualification Europe
September 10, 2013
• Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella, Andorra la Vella
Referee: A. Vučemilović
• Attendance: 1100
R. van Persie 50', 54'
Two goals from Robin van Persie got them there, and what Andorra would give for a striker like him as they again failed to find the net in this qualifying campaign. For the Netherlands though, they now know they will be in the hat for the World Cup draw later in the year. I've been Tom Maston and thanks very much for joining me this evening.
NETHERLANDS QUALIFY FOR WORLD CUP 2014! The final whistle blows and a 2-0 win in Andorra coupled with Romania's loss to Turkey means the Dutch can begin to prepare for a trip to Brazil. Plenty of celebrating amongst the visiting supporters as they take another step towards their first World Cup win.
90' + 2'
Lima has had a good game at the heart of the Andorra defence, and he almost marks his display with a goal, but his 40-yard free-kick is straight at Vorm who catches the swerving effort well. Into the final minute.
Into three minutes of stoppage time in Andorra la Vella. Can van Persie get that third goal for his hat-trick?
The Oranje supporters are beginning to unveil their 'Brazil 2014' scarves as they get ready to celebrate their side's passage to the summer finals. Not a vintage display to get them there but the result is all that matters.
Kuyt almost gets lucky as an Andorran clearance bounces off van Persie's head into his path. The Fenerbahce man can't control though, and the home side eventually get it clear.
José Manuel Ayala
Third and final substitution for the home side as Pujol is replaced by Ayala for the final five minutes.
The Dutch continue to keep possession as they move ever closer to World Cup qualification. Andorra have provided a test but van Gaal's side look like passing it at present.
Van Persie is still searching for that third goal as Vlaar plays a through ball down the middle looking for the striker. The pass is just too heavy though and Pol can collect.
Yellow CardRon Vlaar
First Dutch yellow card of the evening as Vlaar is penalised for bringing down Martinez.
Another decent save from Pol, and this time it is Lens who is denied as his shot is parried by the goalkeeper before the winger's follw-up is volleyed wide. Kuyt replaces Sneijder in the meantime.
Still no hat-trick for van Persie as Pol again pulls off a fine save. This time he gets down well to his left to push away a powerful downward header from the former Arsenal man.
Vorm comes, and though his punch is unconvincing, he wins a free-kick after Moreira barges into him.
Andorra still pressing for their first goal of the qualifying campaign, and Pujol is over another free-kick out wide on the left.
The final whistle has gone in Romania where Turkey doubled their lead in stoppage time. That result means a Netherlands win would see them qualify for the World Cup as Group D winners. They have 17 minutes to hold on. Should be a formality.
Another Lens cross evades everyone as Andorra make their second change. Riera is the man to come off, with Moreira on in his place.
Another chance for van Persie as Schaken's cross finds him but his header is directed wide. Those five minutes early in the second half apart he hasn't been at his absolute best tonight.
Van Persie is searching for the match ball now, and he goes close to securing it as Sneijder's pass finds him in the box. His shot with his weaker right foot is sliced, however, and is well wide.
Lens has been a real handful this evening, and he tests Pol this time as his cross from the byline is tipped away from under his crossbar by the goalkeeper. Dutch dominating and creating plenty now.
Van Persie has really stepped it up since the break, and he plays a wonderful pass into the path of the onrushing Lens on the left-hand side of the area. The winger can't get the ball out of his feet though and his scuffed shot dribbles wide.
Netherlands happy to just keep the ball now. There is little time left in Romania and with the home side still behind the job may be already done for van Gaal's men.
First change for the home side as Lorenzo is replaced by Moreno.
GREAT SAVE! Andorra's defence is all over the place now, and after van Persie fails to connect with a Lens cross, Sneijder strikes a wicked effort that Pol gets down well to turn behind. Made up slightly for his earlier error there.
Yellow CardMarcio Vieira
Bookings aplenty for Andorra as Lorenzo and Vieira both go into the referee's book. Andorran frustrations now starting to show after such a good first half.
Yellow CardIvan Lorenzo
GoalRobin van Persie
GOAL!!! The floodgates may have opened now both for the visitors and van Persie. This time he has Pol in the Andorra goal to thank as he parries a Janmaat cross straight to the striker who can tap into an empty goal. Should be a formality now for the Netherlands.
Andorra respond by winning a corner, but the Netherlands defence can easily clear as they look to take full control of this one.
GoalRobin van Persie
GOAL!!! Finally a breakthrough for the Dutch and it's that man van Persie who finds the back of the net with a superb curling effort from the edge of the area. Despite a frustrating evening that moment of magic could be the goal that qualifies the Dutch for the World Cup in 2014.
Sneijder, Strootman and van Persie link up well on the edge of the Andorra area, but the offside flag is raised just as Lens breaks through. Dutch still finding their feet here.
Netherlands get us underway and they have made a change at the break, with Maher replacing Willens.
The players are making their way back out onto the field of play. Romania remain behind against Turkey, so a win for the Dutch would see them through as it stands.
Van Gaal's side have had the better of the chances, but they haven't tested Pol anywhere near enough. Andorra have threatened from set-pieces and they will be delighted with their evening's work thus far. I'll be back in ten minutes for all the second half action.
The half-time whistle blows and somewhat surprisingly the deadlock is yet to be broken between these two sides.
One minute of stoppage time added on at the end of the first half.
Andorra look to create something as a ball over the top finds Martinez. He cannot find space though and the move breaks down. Into the final minute of normal time in the first half.
Again the Netherlands pass it well but just as they look to create some space Schaken is unable to latch onto van Persie's pass. Van Gaal will have plenty to say at the break you feel.
Strike it he does, but it is deflected out for a corner which is eventually cleared by the resolute Andorra defence.
Yellow CardIldefonso Solo Lima
Opportunity for the Dutch here as Lima dives in on van Persie but only takes the man. The Andorra skipper is booked and the free-kick is in a good position for van Persie to strike.
A short stoppage as Martinez stays down after a challenge from Willens. He remains on the ground for some time but eventually gets to his feet.
Sneijder seems determined to score tonight as he again threatens Pol's goal. The midfielder goes for goal from a long range free-kick but the goalkeeper can watch it fly harmlessly over the top. Dutch getting frustrated now.
Van Persie wins a free-kick in a central position just outside the Andorra box, but the striker cannot find the target from the dead ball as his side-footed shot flies wide. A let-off for the hosts.
Action at the other end now as Lorenzo fires in from outside the area, and though his shot is a weak one, Vorm needs two bites of the cherry to get it under control.
Sneijder is certainly causing a goal threat for the Dutch as his corner is cleared back to him. The former Inter man decides to shoot from a tight angle but his effort flies well over the bar.
A first sign of right-back Janmaat in an attacking sense, and the defender shows he can be dangerous with an excellent cross into the area. Sneijder is the man on the end of it but his header trickles harmlessly wide.
Andorra are certainly proving a tough nut to crack, with the Netherlands repeatedly being forced to play the ball back into their own half. Good possession for the visitors but little to show for it.
At last some god interplay from the Netherlands allows Sneijder to cut inside from the left. The midfielder makes room for a shot but Pol gets down well at his near post to save with his feet. Lens' follow-up then goes wide, though the winger was offside anyway.
Yellow CardMoisés San Nicolás
Good chance for Anodrra as Pujol whips in a corner and Garcia gets up almost unchallenged. He can't control his header, though, and it loops well over the bar. More encouragement for the unfancied home side.
Van Persie is certainly not having things his own way as yet. The prolific forward tries to turn towards goal but Garcia shuts him out and Andorra move forward themselves.
The corner is delivered to the back post where Sneijder is waiting, but good pressure from the Andorra defence wins a goal kick. The hosts will be enocuraged by their start to this one.
Schaken wins a corner on the right-hand side as the visitors continue to press for an opening goal.
Even though we are still early in the game you feel Dutch sides of old would have been provided much more of a goal threat against such lowly opposition. The current vintage aren't quite at that level yet as another move breaks down.
The Dutch remain dangerous on the break, though, and Lens this time pops up on the right and lays a cross back for van Persie. The Manchester United man's shot is well blocked though and the resulting corner is cleared.
Andorra certainly creating enough in these opening stages. They go close again as Pujol's free-kick from the right is met by the head of Lima, but his glanced effort is off-target and wide of the post. Andorra fans strike up a rendition of 'You'll never walk alone' as their side grow in confidence.
Half appeals for a penalty from Andorra as Riera breaks into the box, but de Vrij clearly won the ball and the referee correctly waves the request away.
Lens is again causing problems on the left, and he again tests Pol as he cuts inside and takes a low shot with his right foot. The goalkeeper is always behind it and easily holds on. Van Persie was waiting in the middle and may have been a better option.
Andorra win a free-kick within shooting distance of the Dutch goal, but Pujol's effort is very poor and curls well wide of Vorm's post. If they are to score their first goal of the qualifying campaign their finishing will have to improve on that.
Finally the home side get their foot on the ball, but as they look to create something in the visitors' half Riera's touch is poor and Netherlands can clear.
Sneijder wins a free-kick around 30 yards out on the left-hand side, and the Galatasaray man picks himself up to take the kick, but his low effort is just wide of Pol's near post. Not sure if Andorra have had a touch as yet.
Already Lens is causing a problem down the left for the Dutch, with the winger first seeing a cross cleared before making a run for goal that is stopped by a lunging Pol in the Andorra goal.
Andorra kick-off and we are underway.
There is a good atmosphere in Andorra despite the status of the home side. A good number of away supporters in as the players line-up and await the referee's whistle.
The players have made their way out onto the pitch in Andorra la Vella, and with the national anthems now over, we are very close to getting underway. Can anyone see a shock this evening? I, for one, certainly can't.
In total Netherlands make two changes, with Schaken replacing Robben while Vlaar comes in for Martins Indi, who disappointed against Estonia earlier in the week.
So no Robben for the Netherlands, but Wesley Sneijder retains his place while Robin van Persie, whose last minute penalty resuced a point against Estonia, again starts up front. It wouldn't be a shock to see him fill his boots this evening.
Netherlands: Vorm, Janmaat, Willems, Vlaar, de Vrij, Strootman, Schaars, Sneijder, Lens, Schaken, van Persie.
Andorra: Pol, Martinez, Miramontes, Nicolas, Renom, Lima, Vales, Lorenzo, Riera, Vieira, Pujol.
The teams are in ahead of this one....
The Oranje know that a win coupled with anything other than a victory for Romania over Turkey will see them secure their place in Brazil for the summer, and despite their shock draw in Estonia on Friday, they will be confident of defeating an Andorra side without even a goal in qualifying. Arjen Robben is suspended for the Dutch, but they should still have more than enough to win comfortably.
Hello and welcome to live commentary of Netherlands' trip to Andorra as the Dutch look to book their place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A win for Louis van Gaal's side could see them qualify today, and they are hot favourites for victory against one of the minnows of European football. I am Tom Maston and I will be guiding you through all the action from this Group D encounter.
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