Holland vs Slovakia – Dutch machine cruises past Slovaks
Holland wasted the minimum of effort in dismissing Slovakia to get through to the quarter-finals, despite the 2-1 winning scoreline over Slovakia suggesting otherwise.
Holland have moved in to 6/1, from 7/1, to win the World Cup.
Arjen Robben marked his return to the starting line-up with a trademark goal that he must have ideas about patenting in the near future.
Wesley Sneijder’s crossfield ball gave Robben a chance to stretch his legs on the right, which he did by running at the two Slovakian defenders, who obviously hadn’t watched his goals for Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season.
As he did against Fiorentina and Lyon, Robben cut in like a crab and drilled a long-range left-footed strike past Jan Mucha.
Mucha then saved well from from Dirk Kuyt and Robin Van Persie before Kuyt nodded a quickly taken free-kick past the onrushing goalkeeper and squared it for Wesley Sneijder, who slotted it in to the open net.
The goal, with ten minutes to go, means the Inter Milan man is the only Dutch player to have scored more than once at the tournament. Sneijder is 33/1 to win the Golden Shoe.
Robert Vittek pulled one back for Slovakia with the last kick of the game to become joint leading scorer at the tournament on four goals, level with Gonzalo Higauin. Despite his team exiting the tournament he is 40/1 to be leading scorer come its end.
The striker, who is now the country’s leading scorer on 23 goals, won a penalty after being felled by Maarten Stekelenburg and struck it himself, into the bottom corner. The goalkeeper picked up a booking for his troubles.
Before that Stekelenburg had pulled off two superb saves at 1-0, first from Miroslav Stoch and then from Vittek who was clean through. But they were the only real chances Slovakia carved out and Holland’s victory was not only desrved but could well have been more emphatic.
Van Persie certainly thought he could have added to the scoreline, expressing his feelings to Bert Van Marwijk when his boss brought on Klaas Jan Huntelaar in his place. The Arsenal striker is 25/1 to be top scorer with Holland also winning the World Cup.