About That Recreation: Spain 1-5 Netherlands (2014)

About That Recreation is a sequence trying on the knowledge tales underneath pinning basic matches. This version seems to be again at Spain vs. Netherlands on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, an unforgettable recreation between the finalists on the earlier World Cup in 2010.

It is very uncommon to see the 2 World Cup finalists from one version play towards one another once more on the subsequent World Cup. In actual fact, it has solely occurred 3 times in World Cup historical past. England and West Germany famously met in 1970 after their Wembley closing drama in 1966, and so did the Netherlands and Germany in 1978. The third time, nevertheless, was arguably essentially the most spectacular recreation between two very latest World Cup finalists. In 2014, the Netherlands and Spain have been drawn to play their first World Cup recreation because the 2010 closing towards one another. However this time Spain, who had gained the 2010 closing, have been on the top of an absolute battering by the revitalized Dutch.

Since their encounter within the 2010 closing, Spain had confirmed to be top-of-the-line sides in world soccer. They gained the European Championship in 2012, conceding just one objective in your complete match, reached the ultimate of the 2013 Confederations Cup, and altogether gained 40 of their 54 video games between the 2 World Cups. Naturally, they have been prime of the FIFA world rankings, as they’d been for more often than not since 2008.

In Might 2014, simply earlier than the World Cup, the Champions League closing was performed between Actual Madrid and Atlético Madrid, that includes 12 Spanish gamers. And as if that wasn’t sufficient, they even managed to get the Brazilian Diego Costa to vary nationalities and play as a striker for the Spanish nationwide crew in 2014. A smoother lead-up to the largest match on the planet is hardly possible.

How totally different the scenario was for the Netherlands. Euro 2012 went horribly for the Dutch, dropping all three video games within the group stage on their approach to an inglorious exit from the match. That appeared to mark the top of an period. Coach Bert van Marwijk was changed by Louis van Gaal, who inherited an growing older squad. The Huge 4 of the Dutch Nationwide Crew (Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart) had not delivered at Euro 2012 and could be 30 years or older in the beginning of the 2014 World Cup. The remainder of the crew was largely crammed with gamers from the Dutch Eredivisie, who have been gifted however not fairly “there” but. Generally, it was a crew that appeared to have misplaced loads of high quality in comparison with the one which received all the way in which to closing in South Africa 4 years prior.

This prompted Louis van Gaal to experiment with the formation. Realizing that Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin van Persie might make the distinction, however that his protection was inexperienced and weak, Van Gaal opted to make use of a 5-3-2 formation. It was a giant shock for a Dutch public that was used to its Orange enjoying in 4-3-3 because the starting of time. The brand new tactic was closely criticized in anticipation of the World Cup, however for Van Gaal, it made sense. Van Persie, the pure striker, and Robben, the inimitable dribbler, might be supported by the passing Sneijder from the quantity 10 place, whereas the remainder of the crew needed to give attention to not conceding targets.

And so, the Netherlands confronted Spain’s Barcelona-esque 4-3-3 in a newly established 5-3-2.

In a bunch that was accomplished by Chile and Australia, it was extensively anticipated that holders Spain could be one of many groups advancing to the knockout phases. Few may have had the Spanish as third or fourth their 2014 World Cup predictions. So, when referee Nicola Rizzoli began the sport between Spain and the Netherlands, there was a transparent favorite.

Surprisingly sufficient, it was the Netherlands that received the primary shot of the sport. After a nifty by way of ball from Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder discovered himself one-on-one with Iker Casillas, solely to shoot the ball straight on the Spanish goalkeeper. Though it was not an enormous probability, it was actually a promising begin for the Netherlands.

After that try by Sneijder, it was Spain who took management of the sport. Throughout the first half, they turned dominant in possession and brutal of their urgent. Between the tenth and fortieth minute, the Netherlands have been not more than spectators as Spain’s metronomic passing recreation performed out underneath the blistering Brazilian solar. Within the first half, the Spanish accomplished over twice as many passes because the Netherlands (332 to 135) and throughout your complete match, solely twice did a crew full extra passes in a primary half than Spain did towards the Dutch.

Logically, it was Spain who took a deserved lead. After 26 minutes, Diego Costa latched onto a by way of ball, carried the ball into the field and located Stefan de Vrij in his manner. Costa in the reduction of inside onto his first foot, earlier than cunningly dropping to the grass to win a penalty for his new nation. The skilled Xabi Alonso had no bother changing towards Jasper Cillessen, who had by no means stopped a penalty in his skilled profession at that time.

A objective down and being completely dominated by the reigning European and World Champions. How have been the Dutch ever going to beat this?

Easy. All it took was an ideal, 40-metre cross from Daley Blind onto the pinnacle of a hovering Robin van Persie to equalise. It turned an immediate iconic World Cup objective. The Flying Dutchman made actual on the soccer pitch.

On the brink of half-time, the rating was 1-1 and towards all odds, the Netherlands have been nonetheless within the recreation. The anticipated targets learn 1.40 for Spain, 0.50 for the Netherlands.

The second half began the way in which the primary had ended: with an excellent help from Blind. The left-back, who would switch to Manchester United along with Louis van Gaal after the World Cup, discovered Arjen Robben between Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique with a superb cross within the 53rd minute. Robben’s management was flawless and after efficiently taking up Pique, he was medical in ending previous Casillas. The Netherlands, who had solely had 4 makes an attempt at this second within the recreation, discovered themselves forward.

Because the under anticipated targets race chart illustrates neatly, it was at this level that the sport shifted dramatically in direction of the Dutch. In a span of 20 minutes, Orange created a number of good probabilities, scoring three targets and operating out snug winners. Helped by an surprising and arguably undeserved 2-1 lead, Van Gaal’s males have been glowing with confidence.

A spectacular right-footed half-volley from Van Persie not lengthy after Robben’s objective hit the bar, however the subsequent Dutch objective was solely a matter of time. The third adopted within the sixty fourth minute. A free kick from Wesley Sneijder, making his one hundredth look for the Dutch Nationwide Crew, was whipped in direction of the again publish and met by Stefan de Vrij who bundled the ball over the road. It was De Vrij’s first worldwide objective, and a giant aid for Louis van Gaal who had put his belief within the 22-year-old who was plying his commerce at Feyenoord on the time.

In a matter of minutes, Spain had not solely misplaced their 1-0 lead but additionally their confidence and power. After the sport, Sneijder would state that the Spaniards have been exhausted, whereas the Dutch might maintain going. That exhaustion might effectively have been psychological, too, as Iker Casillas made an enormous error for the Netherland’s fourth. San Iker, who was already Actual Madrid’s second selection ‘keeper in La Liga 2013-14, determined the sport within the 72nd minute. A poor first contact was intercepted by a lurking Van Persie, who was fast sufficient to push the ball over the road earlier than Pique might intervene.

The icing on the cake was but to come back, and it could be delivered by Robben. By no means earlier than was Robben in such nice kind for the Nationwide Crew, and by no means once more would he attain that degree after the 2014 World Cup. In opposition to Spain he tried 9 dribbles, hit three photographs heading in the right direction, and scored two targets, whereas additionally creating two probabilities for team-mates. Later within the match, Robben would document 44 carries towards Costa Rica, a better quantity than another participant in the course of the 2014 World Cup, clearly benefitting from the liberty he was granted by Van Gaal.

The ultimate nail in Spain’s coffin, the fifth objective, was once more arrange by Sneijder. A protracted move from his personal half was directed at Robben, who began to dash in direction of Spain’s objective. Though Sergio Ramos had fairly a head begin, Robben ate up within the floor very quickly with an lung-busting dash, measured by FIFA at 37 kilometers per hour on the time, which might have been a “world document” based on the affiliation . Though this was shortly corrected to a extra common 31 kilometers per hour, the dash actually appeared prefer it was quicker. Robben outpaced your complete Spanish defence, dribbled round Pique and Casillas after coming into the field, and convincingly smashed the ball within the prime nook.

So, what was the deciding issue within the shock outcome? It may need been a mixture of various components. On the one hand, Spain have been capable of play their passing recreation for a considerable a part of the sport. They ended the match with 64% possession.

Have a look at the highest 10 gamers to take advantage of passes in the course of the recreation, and the primary 9 are all Spanish.

Most passes spain vs.  netherlands 2014

On possession alone, one may need thought the Netherlands have been fortunate to have scored just a few unbelievable targets towards a really dominant opponent. Suggesting that will not inform your complete story although. It will ignore the tremendous counter-tactic employed by Van Gaal, which made the best possible of Sneijder’s passing and Robben’s tempo. Even worse, it could ignore the anticipated targets metric as effectively. Within the second half, Spain solely managed to muster 0.3 xG, whereas the Netherlands amassed 2.3 xG after half-time. Sure, they overperformed that by scoring 4 targets, however is not that only a signal of getting nice finishers in prime form?

Spain 1-5 Netherlands xG shot map

The blow was too large for Spain to beat. A loss towards Chile on the second matchday (2-0) meant that La Roja have been eradicated after two video games. Notably, Spain gained their final group recreation towards Australia (3-0) whereas enjoying with Fernando Torres and David Villa up entrance, who each scored. Spaniards at this time nonetheless surprise what might have been, had Vicente Del Bosque performed with these two strikers as an alternative of the only Diego Costa within the first two video games. We’ll by no means know.

The Netherlands’ good from continued, defeating Australia (3-2) and Chile (2-0) within the different group video games. A late win towards Mexico within the spherical of 16 (2-1) and a penalty win over Costa Rica (after a 0-0) ensured the semi-finals for the Netherlands. There, towards Messi’s Argentina, it was once more a 0-0, however this time the penalties introduced no development. Van Gaal and his males ended the match in type, beating hosts Brazil 3-0 within the comfort closing.

They are saying historical past repeats itself, and this winter, there is a large probability you may expertise some deja vu on the World Cup in Qatar. Once more, the Netherlands might be managed by Louis van Gaal who will, once more, play with a 5-3-2 formation. Gamers like Jasper Cillessen, Stefan de Vrij, Daley Blind and Memphis Depay have been there in 2014 already. This time nevertheless there might be no Robben, Van Persie or Sneijder.

These are some large footwear to fill for the present squad, however at a World Cup, because the Dutch proved on that sweltering day in Salvador, who is aware of what can occur?

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