The Netherlands relied on their players with Champions League experience to push them through to the next round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Brazil showed its dominance by beating Chile 3-0 Monday.
Arjen Robben, who plays for Bayern Munich in Germany, helped his team advance to the Champions League final against Inter Milan, a contest that they eventually lost. Robben scored a beautiful goal in the 18th minute when he broke down the right side of the field, beating three Slovakian defenders and keeper Jan Mucha.
Robben’s teammate Wesley Sneijder doubled the lead in the 84th minute when Dirk Kuyt drew out Mucha and found the streaking Sneijder streaking down the middle for the 2-0 lead. Sneijder was part of the Inter Milan team that beat Robben’s Munich side.
Coming into the tournament with a hamstring injury, it was not certain that Robben would be ready in time for the group stages. He made a speedy recovery, and now looks to be a part of the first ever World Cup winning team for the Netherlands.
“It’s fantastic,” coach Bert van Marwijk said. “After such an injury that he has the touch to score a goal like that.”
The Dutch have now been victorious in their last eight games overall, and are undefeated in 23 straight contests. They have advance to the quarterfinal for the fifth time in World Cup history, and their first since 1998. They have completed a team low 335 passed en rout to the next round of competition.
The lone goal for Slovakia came as time ran out in the game when Maarten Stekelenberg took down Robert Vittek in stoppage time. Vittek converted the penalty, but the referee blew the whistle seconds later ending Slovakian hopes for a World Cup title.
Coming up next for the Netherlands is Brazil, who had little trouble with their opponent Chile. The South-American teams are two examples of the fine form brought by the teams in their continent to the tournament.
Juan opened the scoring for Brazil a little later than expected in the 35th minute with a driven header near the penalty spot. Then the Brazilians settled down, and kept possession on the Chilean side for the rest of the game.
Luis Fabiano kept up his fine form by scoring just four minutes later with a fine touch by Claudio Bravo to double the lead. Robhino, who had been searching for a goal the entire game, found one after halftime when Ramires cut through the middle of the Chilean defense. One touch is all Robhino needed to put up the Brazilians 3-0
Soccer sportsbooks have set the Brazilians as one of the favorites to win the tournament at 5/2. The Netherlands chances are a bit lower at 7/1.