Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Clockwork Orange, Holland look to punish Argentina

I would like to open by pointing out that yesterday, I wrote " 7  is the number to watch out for tonight". How prophetic that proved to be.

Tonight we have the mouth watering prospect of Argentina V Holland (20.00 GMT) with the winner earning the dubious honour of having to face the NationalMannSchaft in Sunday's final.

In 1978, these two nations faced each other in the final which was held in Buenos Aires. This was at the height of the country being run by the military junta, they were almost as cynical as Hitler had been in 1936 in exploiting a sports event for political capital. I remember the Dutch coming out and having to wait maybe 10 minutes before the Argies appeared and then there was a brief argument over whether the Dutch player Rene van De Kerkoff could play with a plaster cast on his wrist. Clear gamesmanship but effective.

The Argies won 3-1 in extra time, but the Dutch were so enraged that they refused to take part in the post match ceremonies, quite rightly if you ask me.

The Dutch had a modicum of revenge when they beat Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1998 World cup with one of the best goals ever seen in a world cup scored by Denis Bergkamp.

Tonight they will be looking to go one better and set up a repeat of the 1974 final, while Argentina will hope to win to reach their 4th final and 3rd against Germany.

Unlike Ze Shermans who have no main superstar but a collective excellence, the Argentinians rely on Messi and the Dutch on Robben.

Apart from their opening game, when the Dutch spanked Spain, neither side has really shined.

Excluding the obvious 2 I just mentioned, here are 2 to watch for.

Higuain #9

Vlaar #4

1 comment:

  1. i dont speak dutch. hard to follow from that video- but who scored that goal?

    and the big question in tonight's match is how does argentina replace di maria who never stops running....