Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dag Euro 2012: Portugal 2-1 Netherlands

Goodbye Euro. Talents just not enough. Great performance in the qualifying  should not be the benchmark for the success in finals round. That was the case for the Netherlands. They were shown the exit door in the embarrassing way. Lost all the three group games. Defeat against German and Portugal still acceptable but less people had predicted the Oranje will bow to the Danes.

They tipped to shine in this tournament. They were runners up at 2010 world cup where many people would agree that Spain had the lady luck on their side. In qualifying round the Netherlands was very impressive winning nine games and lost only one. They topped the table with 27 points, scored 37 goals and conceded only eight in the process. Klaas -Jan- Huntelaar was the top scorer with 12 goals while Dirk Kuyt and Van Persie in third with both scored six.

Very impressive indeed but what when wrong with this talented squad. Surely the first to blame would be the coach Bert Van Marwijk. His tactical and game plan surely under fire. Most people questioned why he put two defensive midfielders in Van Bommel and De Jong. Thus put the burden solely on Wesley Sneijder to create opening and supporting the lone striker Van Persie. Although there were also Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Affelay, their roles somehow did not support Van Persie. Both very quality players and in all the games they did show what they had but there still a missing jigsaw in the team.

Greece, again, against all odd advanced to the quarterfinal. Obviously they were not  star studded team. Against Russia they still the underdog. But I believed what they had was the desire to win and believed they can achieved that for their beloved country. The Greece crisis had threaten not only Europe economy but also the world. This what people of Greece needed right now. They, the player and supporters and even the country prayed and worked as a unit in this Euro. Again the unity of the players was the main thing.

Maybe the Dutch were to cocky or maybe over raw by their own reputation. Coupled with wrong tactical and game plan thing went bad to worst.

Against Portugal they started brilliantly and took the lead from brilliant effort by Van De Vaart. But after that the Dutch lost  everything. Their concentration, work rate, vision and most importantly confidence. Cristiano Ronaldo tormenting the whole team. His brace sank the Dutch. His first goal was superbly crafted. He anticipated well the inch perfect pass that splitting the Ducth defence. He made not mistake in the six yards. The second was much better. A  great counter attack from the edge of Portugal penalty box. Two passes reached Nani who then swung the ball to Ronaldo on the opposite flank. Ronaldo showed his master class by calmly control the ball and skipped a defender. And cool as you like he slotted home.

So again we had to wait another two years to see how the Oranje performed. For me as my hope for Netherlands already gone, I picked Spain and German in the finals. This time German will be the champion.

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