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FULL TIME: A hectic last couple of minutes. The Netherlands didn't really prove a whole lot in that match - sure, they got through, but in not terribly convincing fashion over a squad they were expected to beat. As for CDI, I would think they would be disappointed by that. A few more conversions and they have a chance at getting through. But, t'was not to be in Group C as Holland and Argentina will advance regardless of the outcome of their tickle fight next week.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Gotta be Van Persie, who the commenters tell me is a rapist. Well, that'll show all those Americans who think soccer is a sport for fags won't it?
GOODBYE, hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed enjoying it. See y'all in the 16s right Will?
JUST SHY OF 94: Free kick taken, the ball sails over the Dutch net and the final whistle is blown. Holland wins, The Netherlands wins, the Dutch win 2-1. Phew.
93: A yellow card to someone before the FK is taken. A Dutchie.
92: Another CDI corner, then Drogba wins a throw and another throw that goes for another corner - this last one sails past the goal mouth, and the Dutch give a FK outside the area.
91: One last CDI chance on a long ball that bats around for a corner. Yapi Yapo curls it into the stands on the far side of the field.
90: Three minutes of extra time. This fact is illustrated by a graphic that looks like the board used on the field, which I find just silly.
88: Another good Dutch chance there. RObben set it up on the left side for an onrushing Van Dervaart(?), half heartedly it is driven into the eager hands of the keeper. I use another's verbiage, not mine own.
85: I just noticed the clingy semi-opaque nature of the CDI jerseys when wet with perspiration. Not a great look. Unless you're in wardrobe on a Jeff Stryker production.
84: Robben rockin' - weaves in off the right side and then rifles a hard left foot high.
81: A frantic few minutes there in the Dutch area - that chest out of the goal? Van Persie. I might hate him, but he has to be a favorite for MOTM. Damn his magnificent self.
80: Didane rushes the cleared corner back into the Dutch box (again, Lovecraft) and gets a low shot off right into van der Saar's hands.
80: Yet another CDI corner, taken at pace and cleared in a frantic mess of orange.
78: ANOTHER CDI corner results in more chaos in the Dutch goal mouth (I think I saw one of those at Lovecraft).
76: The corner results in a fantastic chance for CDI - the ball is chested out of the net as what may be a large portion of the Ivorian population lurking in the box.
75: Now, the same thing happens the other way, with Eboue off the pitch, but this time the Dutch (sort of) kick to touch giving up a corner.
73: Another one of those confusing soccer-y moments where there is a player off the field (in this case van Bronkhorst) and the team in possession keeps playing rather than kicking the ball to touch. Sportsmanship is wonderful and all, but I think the EU has a set of regulations that apply to that situation, FIFA would do well to adopt them.
72: A series of CDI attacks results in very little. Ban Nistelrooy off. Kone off, Akale on.
71: Not sure who it was (van der Vaar?) sort of unicycle kicks it while lying on the ground.
69: Dangerous, in-close opportunity for the Dutch when Robben drives one right at the keeper on the short, left side. Van Nistelrooy picks up the rebound and tries to turn on it. Nada.
68: The cannibal begins his man eating with a forcing of one of the CDI strikers off the ball.
66: Van Persie dives on Boka, Boka gets yellow carded for VP's effort - or perhaps for not actually hurting Van Persie. I have never had a hate on develop quite so quickly.
65: VanPersie goes down, wins a free kick, and really annoys me. He's like the Dutch Tim Henman.
62: Van Persie makes like Steve Timmons. Nice dig there. Why didn't he get carded up for that?
60: Free kick to CDI, switches are made: Yapi Yapo for Romaric and Dindane for Kone. Yes, that's right, I said Yapi Yapo.
59: Not much going on here. Looks like we're going to start having some Ivorian substitutions. Which should help out the elephant population (conincidentally, the team nickname is the elephants, I think I'm beginning to understand this country).
55: We have a slow motion ankle destruction as Boka's foot gets bent in a way that makes me think of Moises Alou in an Expos uniform. Disgusting.
54: Shot from Meite, van der Saar not bothered by it.
53: Drogba and Kone fail to communicate on a nice run forward, the ball dribbles away, it's potential unrealized for now.
50: Ruud with a nice drive there. It was about the 15th decent opportunity of the half, having serious trouble keeping up.
49: Sneijder off, Van de Vaar (known as the vegetarian) on.
48: Sorry, the sub was Boularouze (known as the cannibal I'm told, but I hear that's been decriminalized in Holland)
47: A string of two decent moves both ways makes the second half start much the way the first ended.
46: Oh god, whoever our talker is on this game comes dangerously close to congratulating the CDI players for being a credit to their race.
45: A Dutch sub at half (cooked in a Dutch oven no doubt - try the panecoken), but TSN cut back to the feed too late for me to see who it was. If you're reading at home. just make someone up.
HALF of HALF: Whew. Speed, skill and all-around orange-ness. A fantastic half and if I'm Marco van Basten, I am concerned (Full disclosure: If I'm Marco van Basten I'm sitting on a beach right now earning 20%, but that's beside the point). Van Bronkhorst is getting victimized and the Ivorians are playing with a purpose. II hate the African "plucky" tag as much as anyone, but without Drogba up front, that's all this team is. With him, they are a threat.
Whittl, I'm only playing the Theo Van Gogh card because I couldn't get a Sweden game to play the Olaf Palme card.
HALF: Wonderful first half. Kone with an incredible effort, Van Persie, just the whole gang. As my mother would say - "You know, those guys are just gurreat! They really can play!"
45: Kone on a wonderful turn, rifles the ball just over van der Saar's net. It actually is his net. He used a label maker before the game to put his name on it.
45: Two minutes of time added
44: Corner to Holland, it sails over the heads of all and sundry.
41: On a broken pass their own end, Drogba steals the ball, breaks and the - to this point - terrible and alone Van Bronkhorst succeeds in booting it away for a corner. Nothing comes of it. DD should have gone right after him Van Bronkhorst, who looks like the Surinamese Tintin to me.
40: Drogba gets yellow carded for his little slew foot routine and he misses the next match. Bad Drogba.
39: Drogba is released on the right side and goes right after it with the grasping Van der Saar diving for it - Drogba trails his foot looking for the ball
37: TOURE! What a goal! Takes possession at half, runs diagonal across the field and absolutely hammers it past Van der Saar. We've got a game at 2-1. Inspired play. CDI keeps coming.
35: Free kick to CDI in the Holland end. Nothing.
33: Robben is yellow carded for diving. Too bad it wasn't for harping at the ref, then I could have said Robben got carded for singing. Which would be funny.
32: GREAT chance for CDI as one of the strikers (Kone?) rattles one off the wood.
31: OMFG - Did you just see what Drogba tried to do? Remember that hockey play where the college kid picked up the puck on his stick and flipped it into the goal? It was like that, only more global.
29: CDI seriously shaken. Seeing miscues in the backfield, confusion in the mids and I believe one of the forwards has began running for president. Little Roger Milla joke there. Thanks, I'll be here all week, try the Springbok.
26: Robben made that happen, with his pace, with his skill, with his generally sunny outlook on life. He broke down the left side, somehow saw Van Nistleroy through the back of his head, was held up, recovered and dished to Ruud who showed some of the old form making NO mistake burying it. 2-nil Netherlands
26: GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOAAAALLLL And no, they're not booing, they're saying RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD!
24: Did I mention that kick?
22: That was one HELL of a free kick
22: Van Persie BURIES THAT (also like Theo van Gogh). Tissier is lucky he didn't get a hand on it, because it would have seriously derailed his smoking action when he turns to managing if he were missing a hand. Holland up by one.
21: Van Persie is laid out like Theo Van Gogh just outside the area. Free kick,
19: Robben gets all Golden Palace down the left side, but is held up by Toure just outside the area. Which WOULD be interesting if he went for the full Golden Palace.
18: Nice ball in from Drogba as the Ivorians keep up the moderate pressure of the last few minutes.
16: Yaya Toure goes right at Van Bronkhorst and gets a shot off from an acute angle. Pacey.
15: Long shot on Van Der Saar by Romaric.
14: Another long Dutch ball, this time with Van Nistleroy on the end of it and again offside. How Ruud.
12: Ebboue is pulled down in the box by Van Bronkhorst and no flag. The feed cuts to a reaction shot of Johann Cryuff. Total football seems to have extended to the buffet table.
10: Both sides feeling each other out. VAN PERSIE to ROBBEN on a long ball - offside. Nice ball as they say in Amsterdam.
7:35 - Van Persie again showing some flash. Being a gunner, that would be some muzzle flash.
07: Another nice opportunity for the Dutch, the second by Van Persie.
06: Nice run up the right side by Konea for CDI.
04: Dutch cross of the CDI goal mouth which Ruuuuuuuuddddd - just misses. Sir Alex Ferguson chuckles. Which he should be careful about, his face might crack.
03: Handball by Drogba. He gets away with it, leading to much yelling at the monitors in shitty pubs across the EPL.
01: First free movement into the CDI zone by thhe Dutch is Robben slashing and looking for... I think Van Brockhorst (BTW - I long ago absolved myself from caring about spelling surnames in this gig)
00: We're off!
00: The coin toss goes to CDI. Interesting fact, CDI is the only squad in the tourney without a single player playing in that country's domestic championship.
ANTHEMS: HOLLAND - European, regal. An anthem I'd just like to kick back and smoke a FAT ass J to.
Cote D'IVOIRE - Kind of like a remix of the Japanese anthem strangely. The sort of tune that makes you think this wasn't the best one in the running, but the European overlord at the time thought it "dignified".
TUNNEL: I LOVE the flag cam. I, for one, would very much appreciate a camera on the souvenier banners the team captains present each other.
PRE-GAME: Wow, Argentina. If only they were that good at managing debt or finding Nazis, they might get a little more respect on the international stage. Anywho, what we have here is a Group C match for the ages (or at least for the rest of the alphabet) as The Netherlands and Cote D'Ivoire go after three points both of them desperately need. Its' Chelsea team-mate against Chelsea team mate! And just in case I don't get a chance later - Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.
COTE D'IVOIRE Prethingy (tm): So, here it is, can Didier Drogba become the hero for millions of African kids? If he can keep Ivorian hopes alive he can. Soccernet
tells me that "Drogba rues misses" one presumes that they mean 'Drogba regrets not capitalizing on his chances against the Argies' rather than 'Drogba performs some sort of strange Australian sex act on his betrothed'. Either way, it's do or die time for the Chelsea man and the team in orange. Errrr....
DER NEDERLANDERS Prethingy (tm): Of all the myopic, national stereotype-based metaphors I could use to describe this Dutch squad (total football, tulips, semi-legal prostitution etc...), I think the most fitting is Delft pottery:
* While undoubtedly pretty, there is some question as to just how useful it is.
* It is quite famous, but upon being presented with it, many people can't put a name to it OR when you describe it they say "Oh yeah, I know that stuff - my great aunt LOVES that shit."
* Secretly, deep down, whether we know it yet or not, we're all fans.
So, are Robben and co going to be like the fountain at the Disney Theatre or like the schwaggie scale reproductions of Amsterdam town homes Unaccompanied Minors get on all KLM flights? In short, Robben and co do NOT want to have to play Argentina for real anytime soon.
LET'S. DO. THIS. AND COMMENCE PLAYING.