2014 World Cup – Group B
Netherlands vs Australia
Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN, Univision
Money Line: Netherlands -525 / Australia +1245 / Draw +585
Point Line: Netherlands -1.5 -150 / Australia +1.5 +130
Total: Over 3 -120 / Under 3 Even
All Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
The Netherlands opened the World Cup against defending champion Spain Friday. Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup Final. Spain was one of the favorites to win not only Group B in Brazil but to repeat as World Cup champions. No one told the Dutch that as they crushed Spain 5-1 to take command of Group B. Next up, the Netherlands will take on Australia Wednesday in Porto Alegre. Australia lost 3-1 to Chile. Spain and Chile will meet later in the afternoon in Rio de Janeiro.
The Netherlands and Australia have met three times in friendlies but never in a competitive match. Australia leads the series against the Netherlands 1-0-2. They played to a scoreless draw in 2009 in the last meeting.
In the Netherlands-Spain match, Spain’s Xabi Alonso gave his team a 1-0 lead at 27 minutes. Robin van Persie leveled the score at 1-1 at the 44th minute on a sensational header that will be on highlight reels for years to come. In the second half Arjen Robben gave the Netherlands a 2-1 lead at the 53rd minute that they would never relinquish. Stefan de Vrij made it 3-1 for the Dutch 12 minutes later. Van Persie added another goal at 72 minutes, and so did Robben at the 80th minute. The Netherlands did not call off the dogs as they remained aggressive trying to hang a sixth goal against Spain.
The Dutch had 13 shots including 11 on goal. Spain had 9 shots with 6 on goal. The Netherlands had 18 fouls to 5 for Spain. Spain had possession for 57% of the time. The Spanish had 4 corners to 1 for the Dutch. Each team was called offsides 5 times.
In the Chile-Australia match, Chile scored two goals in two minutes at 12 minutes by Alexis Sanchez and 14 minutes by Jorge Valdivia to take a 2-0 lead. Tim Cahill scored for Australia at 35 minutes to get the Socceroos back in the game. Chile added another goal in stoppage time of the second half by Jean Beausejour to make the final 3-1.
Chile had 11 shots and 9 on goal. Australia had 13 shots with 6 on goal. Australia had 18 fouls to 9 for Chile. Chile dominated possession holding the ball 62% of the time. Chile had 3 corners to one for Australia. Each team was called for offsides once.
The Netherlands are managed by Louis van Gaal. He will take over Manchester United after the World Cup. He used a 5-3-2 formation against Spain, but should go back to his normal 4-3-3 formation against Australia. The Dutch will depend on superstar forwards Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben for most of the scoring. Midfielder Kevin Strootman will miss the tournament with an injury. Jonathan de Guzman, Jordy Clasie, and Nigel deJong will man the midfield. Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daryl Janmaat and Daley Blind are the defenders. Jasper Cillisen is the keeper.
Australia is managed by Ange Postecoglou. He will likely stay with the 4-2-3-1 formation he employed in the Chile loss. Right back Ivan Franjic will miss the rest of the tournament with a torn hamstring. Ryan McGowan or Alex Wilkinson will likely start in Franjic’s place.Tim Cahill is a world class forward. Australia’s slim chances to advance became even more remote when defender Lucas Neill was left of the final 23 man roster and midfielder Brett Holman retired from the national team at only age 30 two weeks before the roster was announced. Maty Ryan is the keeper.
The Dutch might be a little sluggish from the hangover of the big win over Spain. They can’t afford to do that even though Australia is the weakest team in this group. I think the Aussies keep it close for a while but the Netherlands win late 2-1.
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