The Oranje is Starting to Look Pretty Darn Lekker!

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Oranje

Before this game, the Dutch players had started talking about the chance of winning the World Cup. "We might have the best national side ever," proclaimed striker van Persie and captain van Bronckhorst and it felt bold. After all it's a bold statement from "the best national team that has never won the World Cup" (silver '74 and '78) and with living legends like the de Boer brothers, Kluivert, Bergkamp, Cocu and of course, creator of the best football ever invented, Mr. Johann "Total Football" Cruyff it is kind of, yes, bold. Bold but not foolish. Because this Dutch side has grown and shown that they just might be ready for the task.

Today, against a Slovakia who heroically beat the World Champions Gil Azzurri last week, they did what was required. The Dutch knew about Slovakia’s abilities but weren’t going to allow another World Cup sensation. They were simply too good. Their quick passes, runs without the ball (oh so crucial) and sheer individual talent tore the Slovakian side apart, and it was one of those precise moments that led to the first goal. Robben got the ball after e a beautiful pass from Sneijder, and from that moment on everyone knew exactly what would happen. Spectators in the stands, his teammates, people watching the TV, but most and foremost, the Slovakian defenders, knew. He used his speed and cut inside to open up his body for a left-footed strike. BOOM. 1-0 Holland. Slovakia had two really decent chances to shock, but it felt like the Oranje controlled the game.

Always a hardworking man, Kuyt showed camaraderie and unselfishness as he beat the otherwise excellent goalkeeper, Mucha, and set up Sneijder to an open goal - he only needed to put his foot on the ball to deliver the Netherlands to a 2-0 lead. A last kick of the game from the penalty spot from Vittek, who grabbed his fourth and last goal of the tournament while leveling up with Higuain in the top scoring position, was the only flaw in the book for Holland as they advanced to the quarterfinals with their 2-1 win. Holland will meet winner Brazil-Chile. Dunga, Bielsa – watch out, Oranje might just have the edge that no other Dutch side has had before.

Football