Robin van Persie‘s third goal of the tournament for Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup was crucial against Australia. Unfortunate for Dutch supporters and also crucial was his second yellow card of the tournament that also came in this match.
Had van Persie not struck the equalizing goal for the Oranje in the 58th minute, there’s no telling how things might have played out for the remainder of their matchup against the Socceroos. Thus far in the tournament, it has been the veteran Dutch strikers putting on a clinic against the opposition. That trend continued today, with both the aforementioned van Persie and Arjen Robben scoring again. However it was youth that won the day for the Oranje, as 20-year-old substitute Memphis Depay propelled the Dutch to a victory with his game-winning strike that tailed away from Australia’s goaltender Matthew Ryan in the 68th minute. It was a brilliant effort on net, and the Dutch were extremely efficient in that category today. Of 15 shots they took against Australia, only a single one did not find its intended target.
Though Netherlands were fortunate to escape this thrilling game with the win and the highly coveted three points, van Persie’s absence from their upcoming match against Chile should be notable. Assuming Chile are able to win later today against Spain, they will be tied with Netherlands atop the Group B standings. If one assumes this much, it would also be reasonable to assume that Chile have a slight advantage over the Dutch in their swing match June 23 to decide the top seed that will advance onto the knockout stages.
The “Flying Dutchman”, van Persie, has 13 goals in his last nine competitive matches for Holland. For that reason, his intrinsic value in any match where he is not available should not be overlooked or downplayed. It will be interesting to see how things play out in Rio de Janeiro at Estádio Maracanã between Chile and Spain.The 5-1 drubbing Holland put on Spain will surely give them a shining advantage if the Chileans do not put on a clinic against Spain today or them in five days time.