Date:Friday June 13 2008
Wearing nothing but Orange (Shorts, Shirt, jester`s hat) and drinking Dutch beer I watch a fantastic performance from my mothers home land.
Domenech gave starts to Henry, Govou and Evra, however Malouda was surprisingly kept in the side after their terrible show against Romania, with Van Basten sticking with the same line up as against Italy.
Ribery went close with an early header, but the 9th minute Van der Vaart had a corner, Malouda decided he wanted to be a wrestler, and Dirk Kuyt simply to strong for Malouda nodded in for the lead.
Holland went in search for a second, Sneijder firing over the bar. In the 22nd minute France finally had a shot on target when Govou struck in a smart shot which van der Sar saved with his leg. France were being outplayed, and their frustrations were on full show as Makelele was booked for striking out at van der Vaart and he should have been sent off for a barge into Kuyt earlier in the game.
At the end of the half the French began to look more dangerous but failed to really test Van Der Sar.
At half time Van Basten decided to swap Robben for Engelaar.
Henry had two good chances after the break, the first snuffed out by Ooijer`s diving block, and the second a bad miss over the bar after Malouda played a lovely through-ball leaving him 1-on-1 with Van Der Sar.
Van Basten sent on Robin van Persie for Kuyt, and the Arsenal striker made an immediate impact scoring the decisive second after a fantastic turn/pass from van Nistelrooy and great work by Robben. With 20 minutes remaining Sagnol charged down the right, he put the ball in the area and Thierry Henry, with suspicions of being offside, got the faintest of touches to pull a goal back.
However within 60 seconds the two goal lead was back, Arjen Robben scoring a fabulous solo goal high into Coupet`s near post when it seemed nothing was on.
Ruud van Nistelrooy the almost score with a lovely header from De Jong`s raking pass lobbing Coupet. Robben came close to adding the fourth, before a fabulous injury-time strike from Wesley Sneijder sealed the win.
The win means Holland qualify from the Group of Death, while the French need to beat Italy to stay alive. I for one am hoping Romania get a bit of "luck" from us and qualify ahead of the World Cup finalists.
My man of the Match: Ruud Van Nistelrooy- He lead the line fantastically. Played vital parts in all four of the goals and despite not being on the score sheet can be very happy with his performance.
The second step has been taken to Euro 2008 final!!
Date:Friday June 13 2008
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