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Netherlands v Australia

 

World Cup 2014: Netherlands celebrate victory over Spain

                

                                           Netherlands v Australia 
                                  Team badge of Netherlands  18:00  Team badge of Australia

MATCH PREVIEW

After the extraordinary 5-1 win over world champions Spain, the problem now for the Netherlands is managing expectations.

The Dutch have suddenly gone from unfancied also-rans with no more than a "20% chance" of reaching the quarter-finals according to their coach Louis van Gaal, to having a superb opportunity of topping Group B and avoiding a probable second-round clash with Brazil.

Captain Robin van Persie, though, is keen to temper the hopes of a nation that skyrocketed in the space of those 90 incredible minutes. "This is my fifth (major) tournament and I know how these things work," he said. "The euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears."

Play media
Netherlands striker Robin Van Persie says his side could have scored eight after the Dutch beat World Cup holders Spain 5-1 in Brazil
 

Spain 1-5 Netherlands: It could have been eight - Van Persie

The Dutch camp is all smiles, and that's not something you can say about them very often at a major tournament. Van Gaal, it appears, is not just a master tactician but also a master psychologist capable of unifying a squad that is traditionally one of the most fractious in world sport.

"I'm bringing the wives and girlfriends again to the team hotel," Van Gaal said. "All through my career as a coach I am interested in the psychological state of my players. If my boys are happy, then I am happy."

Facing a buoyant Dutch team spearheaded by an in-form van Persie and Arjen Robben must be a daunting prospect for Australia.

However, they really grew into their match with Chile and battled back well from a horror start in which they looked like the youthful, inexperienced side they are.

Tim Cahill once again proved to be their inspiration and a 3-1 defeat was a little harsh on reflection. The facts are, though, lose in Porto Alegre and their World Cup will be all but over.

The loss of Ivan Franjic, the only recognised right-back in their squad, to injury is the last thing the Socceroos need with Robben ready to run at them.

Media reports say that Robben set the fastest sprint ever recorded by a footballer of 37km per hour when he outpaced Sergio Ramos to eventually score his second goal. Not bad for a 30-year-old.

 

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • This is the first time Australia and the Netherlands have met in the World Cup.
  • Australia are unbeaten in their three previous meetings against the Netherlands (W1, D2). Their last encounter was on 10 October 2009 in a friendly which finished 0-0.

Australia

  • Australia have won just two of their previous 11 World Cup matches.
  • They have only won one of their six World Cup encounters with European sides (2-1 v Serbia in 2010). They have never kept a clean sheet in any of these games.
  • Against Chile, Tim Cahill became the first Australian to score in three World Cups. No other Australian has scored in more than one tournament.
  • Australia have scored a total of nine World Cup goals - Cahill, with four goals and one assist has now been involved in 56% of them.
  • The Socceroos had nine shots in the second half of their opening match against Chile, only one fewer than the Chileans managed in the whole match.

Netherlands

  • The Netherlands are unbeaten in their last 11 World Cup group matches, winning eight and drawing three. Their last group stage defeat came back in 1994 versus Belgium.
  • Robin van Persie has scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances for Netherlands, and Arjen Robben has seven in his last seven.
  • Following their goals against Spain, Van Persie and Robben became the first Dutchmen to score in three different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014).


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