clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vlaar is Vlaar in Netherland's comeback win over Australia

Ron Vlaar defeats Australia! Single-handedly! With some help from Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Memphis Depay!

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

What, you were hoping to see more of the fantastically flawless play that Ron Vlaar put on display against Spain? Sorry, mate. La roja furia didn't actually give Vlaar a lot to worry about. Australia, meanwhile, were much more direct in their approach, which troubled the Holland defense just a bit.

Vlaar did look the best of the oranje back three in the first half, although it wasn't much of a contest - Stefan de Vrji was constantly getting schooled on the right, while Bruno Martins Indi just wasn't all that impressive. And while Daley Blind may have been impressive in the first match, both he and Daryl Janmaat did little to keep out Australia's attack, leaving the back three painfully exposed.

For the first 20 minutes, this match looked as though it was set to be almost as dull as the snooze-inducer between Nigeria and Iran. Then came a moment of magic from Arjen Robben, with the attacker skipping away from his marker to place his low, curling shot at the far post. Anyone bet on Robben to be top scorer?

Holland's lead lasted all of 70 seconds. Tim Cahill got on the end of a cross from Ryan McGowan to volley in the equalizer, and if you didn't see that goal - which Vlaar and everyone else was helpless to prevent - then you need to click here now.

Then came a terribly scary period for the Dutch, when it seemed like every Australia player was simply waltzing through the defense. Mathew Leckie's pace was getting the better of Vlaar, but fortunately, his fellow 'roos were unable to get their shots on target.

Leckie later resorted to diving to try and get an advantage, which was quite sweet of him.

It took just ten minutes after the restart for Australia to...take the lead. Yeah, we were all shocked too, particularly since they needed a bit of help getting there. Janmaat handled inside the area, although it looked more like he was trying to pull his arm away then as though he had any intent.

Australia fans were still waving their giant kangaroo when their hopes and dreams came crashing down. This time it was courtesy of Robin van Persie (who you shouldn't have bet on for top scorer, as he's out against Chile), who got on the end of a ball from Memphis Depay to put Netherlands level once more.

It looked as though it would be Australia that would be next to score, again getting in behind the Dutch defense. But this time, Tommy Oar messed things up, only to rue that mistake just moments later. Netherlands streaked off down the pitch, with Depay taking charge, putting in a swerving shot from distance.

Vlaar actually had his own chance at glory, but this one, Ryan managed to save. Still, Netherlands held on for a win, putting them at six points atop Group B. Australia have exactly zero. They're not out yet, but it's looking unlikely the 'roos will make it to the next stage.