Sunday, 11th June 2006
Arjen Robben Takes it Alone
Serbia & Montenegro vs Holland
Serbia and Montenegro have not played Holland before although the Dutch have played
Yugoslavia; Holland getting the better of the more recent enounters.
On 25th June, 2000 Holland beat Yugoslavia (6:1) in
Rotterdam; a Euro 2000 quarter-final match.
They also met in France 98
(Second Round match in Toulouse, on June 29th), where Holland won by a narrower margin
(2:1); Davids getting the winner in the last minute.
The other two games were friendlies: 25th March, 1992 in Amsterdam (2:0
to Holland); and 3rd June, 1990 in Zagreb (which is now Croatia). Holland won that game
(2:0) as well.
Day three of the 2006 World Cup Finals.
Serbia & Montenegro started with the game-plan of trying to sit
back (they have quite a good defensive record) and catch Holland on the break.
The 13th minute almost proved unlucky for Holland as Serbia &
Montenegro tried to score from a cut-back, similar to Didier Drogba's goal against
Argentina yesterday. This time, two Serbian strikers went for the ball and, in their mixed
up confusion, missed the opportunity to take the lead.
Five minutes later, Arjen Robben drifted in from his wide position and
beat the offside trap. Mark Van Bommel's pass was knocked on by Robin Van Persie, for
Robben to storm through the middle and, even though his shirt was tugged, stay on his feet
to slip the ball past Dragoslav Jevric.
Three minutes later, Robben tested Jevric again.
Robben was unlucky once more with a low, cross-shot that just crept
past the far post; ten minutes before half-time.
The Dutch, having the game under control, slowed the tempo down a
little just before the break and Ilija Petkovic was forced to make a sustitution to try
and gain the initiative; to reign in Robben, while adding a little attacking verve on the
Ognjen Koroman's first two minutes on the pitch was immediately
After the break, Serbia & Montenegro brought on Nikola Zigic for
Savo Milosevic, to add some height up front; the Red Star Belgrade player is even taller
than Peter Crouch.
Serbia & Montenegro showed more composure in the second-half and
it was the Dutch who startled to get rattled and show signs of cramp, as time wore on.
Edwin Van der Sar needed two attempts to hold onto Ognjen Koroman's
drive, twenty minutes from time.
Holland had a real to chance to wrap the game, up minutes from time,
as Van Persie's free-kick from the right-hand edge of the penalty area was driven low
across the goalmouth, just wide of the far post. Any of three Dutch players could have
gotten a toe to it.
Serbia & Montenegro tried to push forward and take advantage of
how the heat was starting to affect the Dutch but they just didn't get the final touch.
It was almost a fight to hold on to the win for Holland, in the
second-half, having dominated so much in the first forty five minutes.
Serbia & Montenegro 0 - Holland 1
0:1 Arjen Robben (18)
Our Man of The Match:
Arjen Robben controlled most of the first-half and scored the only goal of the game.
Serbia & Montenegro: (Captain
1 Dragoslav Jevric; 3 Ivica Dragutinovic, 6 Goran Gavrancic, 14 Nenad
Djordjevic, 20 Mladen Krstajic; 4 Igor Duljaj, 10 Dejan Stankovic,
11 Predrag Djordjevic, 17 Albert Nadj; 8 Mateja Kezman, 9 Savo
Netherlands: (Captain Edwin Van der
1 Edwin Van der Sar; 4 Joris Mathijsen, 5 Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, 13 Andre Ooijer, 14
Johnny Heitinga; 8 Phillip Cocu, 18 Mark Van Bommel, 20 Wesley Sneijder; 9 Ruud van
Nistelrooy, 11 Arjen Robben, 17 Robin Van Persie.
Markus Merk (Germany)
43 Mins (Serbia & Mont.o) - 7 Ognjen Koroman in for 14 Nenad Djordjevic
46 Mins (Serbia & Mont.) - 19 Nikola Zigic on for 9 Savo Milosevic
60 Mins (Holland) - 6 Denny Landzaat on for 18 Mark Van Bommel
67 Mins (Serbia & Mont.) - 21 Danijel Ljuboja on for 8 Mateja Kezman
69 Mins (Holland) - 7 Dirk Kuyt on for 9 Ruud van Nistelrooy
86 Mins (Holland) - 3 Khalid Boulahrouz on for 4 Joris Mathijsen
34 Mins - Dejan Stankovic (Serbia & Montenegro)
56 Mins - Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (Holland)
64 Mins - Ognjen Koroman (Serbia & Montenegro)
81 Mins - Ivica Dragutinovic (Serbia & Montenegro)
85 Mins - Johnny Heitinga (Holland)
90 Mins - 6 Goran Gavrancic (Serbia & Montenegro)
0 Red Cards.
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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