‘Super-Subs’ score as Netherlands beat Chile 2-0 to top group
Substitutes Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay converted brilliant assists provided by Arjen Robben as The Netherlands beat Chile 2-0 to finish on top of group B in the World Cup here today
Sao Paulo: Substitutes Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay converted brilliant assists provided by Arjen Robben as The Netherlands beat Chile 2-0 to finish on top of group B in the World Cup here today.
Fer scored with his first touch of the match in the 77th minute when Robben curled one inside the box and he outjumped everyone to angle his header perfectly beating seasoned Chilean goalie Claudio Bravo as regular captain Robin van Persie applauded from the stands.
Young Memphis tapped home the second goal in the second minute of stoppage time as Robben sprinted down the left wing virtually unchallenged before keeping a nice low cross for the the 20-year-old to score.
Netherlands finished on top of group B with nine points while Chile also went into the round of 16 with six points.
Having scored 10 goals in the group league engagements, the Dutchmen also hold an envious record of scoring two or more goals in their last 13 international engagements.
It was a twin substitution from the Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal that worked wonderfully for the winners.
Norwich City’s Fer and PSV Eindhoven’s Memphis’s introduction in place of off-colour Wesley Sniejder and Jermaine Lens worked wonders for the ‘Oranje’ brigade.
Just before the strike, it was Memphis whose 25-yard pile driver was brilliantly fisted by Bravo for a corner. In the next move, the goalie wasn’t lucky though.
The Dutch certainly missed their in-form skipper Van Persie upfront but the match was played on even keel with both teams trying to measure each other’s midfield ammunition.
There was a lot of pressure on Arjen Robben and he almost delivered a stunning goal in the 40th minute. With a superb diagonal 60-metre sprint, Robben beat Charles Aranguiz and Gary Medel with sheer speed before his angular left-footed placement was just inches wide off the target.
Chile could have got the lead at the stroke of half-time when unamrked Felipe Gutierrez failed to nod home a Marcelo Diaz free-kick.
Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez was active down right for the South Americans but couldn’t provide the decisive result for his team.
He did vociferously claimed for a penalty in the 37th minute when it he claimed veteran stopper Dirk Kuyt brought him down inside the box but Gambian referee decided otherwise.
The Dutch could have got the lead in the 35th minute when Robben curled in one inside the Chile box which Stefan de Vrij headed out. Locked goalless at the break, Sanchez came out with renewed vigour as he posed a few problems for the ‘Oranje’ back four.
In the 65th minute, Sanchez showed flashes of brilliance as he hoodwinked forward Jeremain Lens, who had to fall back in defense, by cutting past him putting the ball between his legs and running through his blind side before his shot was parried away by Dutch goalie Cilessen.
In the very next minute Robben reached the opposition box on the counter and unleashed a low left-footer without proper placement.
With Lens turning out to be a poor substitute of Van Persie, coach Louis van Gaal had no other option but to pull him out and introduce young PSV Eindohoven forward Memphis which changed the course of the match.