Australia v Netherlands (2014 FIFA World Cup)
The Estádio Beira-Rio hosted the match
|Event||2014 FIFA World Cup|
|Date||18 June 2014|
|Venue||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre|
|Referee||Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)|
Australia v Netherlands was a 2014 FIFA World Cup game between Australia and the Netherlands, which was happened on 18 June 2014.
The game was a significant moment in Australian football history, where it was considered as a brave performance by the Australian side against a more powerful Dutch side. The game saw the Netherlands won 3–2, but the bright performance of Australia earned praise and recognition in what would be known as one of the classics in FIFA World Cup history.
The Netherlands and Australia had a pretty different 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. The Dutch, under the management of Louis van Gaal, performed well in their qualification campaign, topping their group undefeated and qualified in September 2013, overcoming many different foes like Romania, Hungary and Turkey. Meanwhile, Australia had a difficult time in the fourth round of AFC qualifiers, only managed to reach the tournament following their final 1–0 win over Iraq at home. Several warm-up games also reflected the differences as well, while the Netherlands kept their faith in Louis van Gaal even with up-and-down results, Australia under Holger Osieck performed terribly in friendlies, suffering two consecutive 0–6 losses to France and Brazil. The German manager was later fired, and Ange Postecoglou, an inexperienced Australian Greek, was named as manager of the Socceroos after four months.
2014 FIFA World Cup
|1||Netherlands||1||1||0||0||5||1||+4||3||Advance to knockout stage|
Rules for classification: Tie-breaking criteria
The two countries were drawn into the group B of 2014 FIFA World Cup, where they also shared with then-world champions Spain and South American football power Chile. The Netherlands and Spain were both finalists of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and they were also regarded as the most serious candidates to progress from the group stage. Meanwhile, Postecoglou's Australia had revamped entire of the team, replacing the old generation of 2006 FIFA World Cup with new fresh blood, with only Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano and Mark Milligan remained. Not just that, Australia was regarded with the lowest chance to qualify, and could be thumped by all three opponents.
However, the opening accounts of both two nations saw a vastly different outcome. While Australia provided a brave performance against Chile, and only succumbed 1–3 with an injury time goal by Jean Beausejour, the Netherlands, on the other hand, destroyed defending champions Spain with an unbelievable 5–1 party. For this reason, even though Australia lost the first game as expected, the Australians did not finish bottom after matchday one.
Historic encounter between two countries also proved to be an advantage for the Socceroos. The Dutch were defeated by Australia back in 2008 in a home friendly 1–2, and two other matches ended with draws. Nonetheless, the Netherlands were still regarded better than Australia by pundits, and everyone was expecting another Dutch routing.
The Dutch, with their blue away jersey, kicked off the game comfortably, as just another win meant the Netherlands would join the knockout stage. However, just a minute after, the Dutch allowed Australia to get some early touches at the back without any impolite pressure. But this gave Jason Davidson to knock it forward towards Cahill, and though it didn't arrive on his scone Australia win a free kick from the ensuing loose ball. Bresciano took it but goes nowhere. In the next four minutes, it was Australia who had done more to threaten the net of Jasper Cillessen, but neither Tim Cahill and Matt McKay managed to utilize. Arjen Robben had to even fall back to assist the loosening and confusing Dutch defense, as Australia continued to threaten the Dutch with surprises from Mathew Leckie and Tommy Oar. The situation didn't change up to 15', when Australia kept surprising the Dutch with brilliant movements that squeezed the Dutch defenders. In 16', Australia almost got a chance to take the lead, Jonathan de Guzmán made a defense error to give Leckie the ball, where he passed to Mark Bresciano at the expense of Ron Vlaar until he made it wild. The Netherlands started to regain the possession, and Robben delivered a free kick in 17'. The Dutch proved why they deserved to beat Spain 5–1, when, in 21', Robben dribbled the ball passing a number of Australian defenders thanked for Alex Wilkinson's mistake, when Matthew Špiranović approached, Robben gave a quick strike to guide the Dutch to a 1–0 lead. It didn't last long however, just a minute later, virtually from the kickoff Bresciano, in centrefield, Bresciano shuttled the ball to Leckie on the right. Leckie crossed towards Cahill but it came in low, not high, and Cahill fired a left-foot volley into the goal from the underside of the bar to make it 1–1 with the eruption from fans. This moment saw Australia regained its confidence in high note. In 28' however, the Dutch had a chance to gain a penalty, but was denied by the Algerian referee. Next 10 minutes saw the nervous Dutch side fighting against the brilliance of Bresciano, Špiranović and Oar, with the Australian spirits ran high. In 43', Cahill tackled unnecessarily to Bruno Martins Indi, which meant Cahill could not participate in the final game against Spain after receiving two yellow cards. The first half ended 1–1.
The second half saw Robin van Persie fouled Špiranović in 47', meaning he would miss the game against Chile. Van Persie tried to terrorize Australian defense, but was no avail. Daley Blind tried with a shoot on Australian net but it came fruitless. As the Dutch were trying to breakthrough, substitute Oliver Bozanić tormented Daryl Janmaat on the edge of the Dutch box. His cross hits Janmaat's arm, giving the Australians a needed penalty. Captain Mile Jedinak didn't miss it to make it 2–1 in 54', sending Australian fans to total celebration. However, it didn't last long as well, four minutes later, Memphis Depay managed to tackle the ball for Wesley Sneijder, which immediately returned to Depay and Depay gave a brilliant pass beyond the Australian defenders to van Persie, as the Dutch captain responded with an equalizer. From this point, the Dutch started to dominate the game, but still, Australia managed to keep scaring the Dutch. This changed when in 67', Oar exploded into space and had a chance, but blew it away; just a minute after Australia's wasted opportunity, from nowhere, Depay blasted off over Mathew Ryan to give the Dutch a 3–2 lead. Vlaar had a chance to double the tally in 74', but he missed it. In 81', Leckie gave a stunning free kick, but was prevented a goal by Nigel de Jong. In desperation, Ryan McGowan tried his luck in 89' with a long strike only to see the ball heading to the crowd. With the Australians entirely squeezed out of energy, the Dutch had more chances to score against the already tired Australian side, but Ryan managed to prevent all attempts. However, it was too little meaning as the Dutch celebrated its second victory after an insane thriller in Porto Alegre.
Man of the Match:
|1||Netherlands||2||2||0||0||8||3||+5||6||Advance to knockout stage|
Rules for classification: Tie-breaking criteria
The outcome, while not a surprise in result, was a complete surprise in term of performance. Nobody expected a much weaker Australia could produce a fair share, and even sometimes, dominant performance over the powerful Dutch side, only to fall from grace because of Memphis Depay. The heroic last stand of Australia impressed the public with a fearless performance, and greatly boosted the popularity of manager Ange Postecoglou in spite of the defeat. Many Australian fans continue to hold the match with pride, and some had criticized the Algerian referee for his favoritism to the Netherlands. Australia was officially eliminated when Chile cruised past Spain 2–0 in the later game.
Australia went on losing 0–3 to Spain, and finished bottom with no point, the only AFC team to be pointless in the tournament, but the performance in a difficult group gave Australia immense respects and avoided cricitism as the remaining AFC members (Iran, South Korea and Japan) disappointed in the whole tournament.
Tim Cahill's goal in the match against the Netherlands was later nominated as a Goal of the Tournament, but was beaten by Colombia's James Rodríguez, whose goal against Uruguay is nearly identical to Cahill's goal.
The Netherlands would go on to occupy third place finish, beating a demoralized host Brazil 3–0. After the third place achievement, the Netherlands then suffered a football drought, failing to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, before returning to UEFA Euro 2020. Australia, with nearly the same players, managed to win the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and later, qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- 2014 FIFA World Cup
- Australia national soccer team
- Netherlands national football team
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