BBC Sport world-cup-2010


Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia

By Chris Bevan
  1. 09:00 Commentary  

    Right, let's get this over with! Greetings all. Monday morning seems like the perfect time to conduct the full inquest into England's swift World Cup death. Get everything off your chest. Then we can crack on with enjoying the tournament...

  2. 09:04 Commentary  

    Quick snapshot of opinions just then on BBC Radio 5 live from gloomy England supporters around the country: "The players are overpaid and arrogant"... "Capello can't communicate his messages without an interpreter"... "Harry Redknapp is the only man who can take them forward". Who or what do you blame?

  3. 09:15 Commentary  

    Please do get involved today. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), or join the conversation on 606. To just play devil's advocate to the waves of depression sweeping the airwaves/ bandwidths, I'm going to stay pretty upbeat. And there's Netherlands up against Slovakia at 1500 BST to look forward to. But you can say what you want. Go...

  4. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green  

    "I hope the players are embarrassed and slink away in misery. And in economy class. But I fear they'll just jet off to Barbados, and it will all be a vague memory to them in a few weeks - unless the English public remind them. They should be booed onto the pitch at the friendly against Hungary in August."

  5. 09:26 Commentary  

    Strong, emotive stuff from Alan Green then. Apparently Chris Waddle was genuinely close to tears next to him in the commentary box. Just heard a 'We Wuz Robbed' comment from a fan on 5 live. But does anyone really believe that England still deserve to be in the tournament just because of Frank 'Pedro Mendes' Lampard's Ghost of 66' goal that wasn't given?

  6. SMS  

    Tom from London: "Why do you need to find someone to blame?! Once again you've built up this notion that England have a divine right to win every competition they MANAGE to qualify for. If you can't do it with Capello, maybe it's time to wake up and smell the coffee."

  7. 09:36 Commentary  

    Fair point from Tom. But isn't it the case that England woefully underperformed and were hideous to watch, irrespective of when they were knocked out of the tournament? European champions Spain profess an unshakeable belief in the philosophy of 'romantic football'. England seems to celebrates the fact that its centre back 'warriors' try to head the pitch. Discuss...

  8. 09:49 Commentary  

    Let's see what the papers are saying then *quickly licks forefinger. TELEGRAPH: Time to go, grazie and arrivederci. Why? Not just because of 4-1, but because of 4-4-2. GUARDIAN: The men of 1966 can pack their diaries with yet more heroes' dinners and brand ambassador spin-offs, because 44 years of waiting could be just the start. MIRROR: A legend turned into a myth before our eyes yesterday. Fabio the Tyrant, Fabio the Great Dictator, Fabio the Scourge of the Baby Bentley, lost in a fetid pool of disillusion and dismay.

  9. SMS  

    Owain from Birmingham: "I feel a bit embarrassed that teams like South Africa, New Zealand and Japan - hardly footballing powerhouses - can put in 100% effort and give an inspired performance, even if they don't win. England, France and Italy were boring to watch, gave zero effort and don't deserve to be at a World Cup on this showing. Country before club, always."

  10. Contributor BBC Sport's Dan Walker  

    On Twitter: "If you think you're miffed by #England's exit... listen to the Waddler!"

  11. SMS  

    Toby in Dorset: "You have to start at the top. The FA have to take the blame. Our players play too many games, they don't spend enough time together as a team and our development of grassroots football to professional is out of touch and archaic. If I had failed to deliver something in six months, let alone 40+ years, I would be fired!"

  12. 10:06 Commentary  

    More barbs for the men in suits: the FA is an "amateur organisation" that "hasn't a clue" how to run the England side. That's the damning view of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who has just told 5 live (now playing Leaving on a Jet Plane to encapsulate the day's mood!) that the Premier League should take over the running of the national team. "Let's get real," says Whelan. "Get professionals in there".

  13. 10:15 Commentary  

    Football's definitely only a game despite what Shanks said, but there is a lot of anger out there. The 4-4-2 formation. The FA. Gareth Barry and Emile Heskey. The referee. 'Out-of-touch, pampered and arrogant' players. Lack of grassroots development. Wayne Rooney's 'disappearing act'. And Capello. The lastest on the Italian is that he will not resign but will discuss his future with the FA. He's giving a must-watch news conference at 1330 BST today. Do join us here for full coverage. Could move quick this one...

  14. SMS  

    Anonymous: "As an outsider (a Malaysian), I think the selection of the England team needs a huge rethink. England has quality players but they lack team spirit. The structure has to change - the FA needs to groom a collective group of players from the under-15 level all the way to the big stage. It has happened in most South American countries, Germany, Spain, etc - but not in England. Clubs are generally in charge of youth development in England."

  15. Twitter  

    timdurgan: "The key difference is the fact that Brazilian kids play football on the streets for hours. English kids play Xbox all day."

  16. 10:34 Commentary  

    "Goals change games," says Peter Shilton on 5 live. Many out there dissecting the finer details of the Germany defeat. Hmmm. But a lot of you pointing out that England were pretty gruesome from start to finish in South Africa. Moving on to the German press. "Now we are quits," says the Westdeutsche Allgemeine and Welt newspapers. "Thank you, football God," added Bild newspaper. Suddeutsche Zeitung: "Wembley is now called Bloemfontein." The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "This was the national team's first major international maturity test, and they passed it with distinction."

  17. 10:45 Commentary  

    So, some of the German papers framing it - tongue-in-cheek I'm sure - as "revenge" for the controversial 'was it over the line?' Geoff Hurst goal which helped England beat their team in the 1966 World Cup final. Fifa chief Sepp Blatter might need to invest in some heavy-duty earplugs. The call for goal-line technology is more defeaning than ever. Some might say he's too busy at the blinkers counter.

  18. 10:50 Commentary  

    First Gordon Brown voices concern for a fatigued Susan Boyle. Now new prime minister David Cameron tackles the burning issue of the moment: "The use of technology in sport can be a bonus. I'm a keen follower of cricket and tennis and I think the third umpire has been a great thing and the machines that bleep at Wimbledon are quite handy too. Maybe that's something that football could now have a look at." A ha! Fifa have just held a press conference. Their comment on Lampardinho's phantom goal and subsequent wider issues? "No comment".

  19. SMS  

    Sanjay: "Our players lack the technical skills to play at international level. Must start from grass roots and teach the kids to pass and keep the ball. Why is that even teams like North Korea can pass the ball and all we can do is boot the ball forward. We were the only team in the tournament to run to the corner flag to kill time. All other teams kept the ball by passing it around. And why do we pay £6m for a manager who cannot speak English and has no international record."

  20. 11:10 Commentary  

    As a mere conduit for the gathering storm of impassioned debate from around England (and far beyond), it's not really for me to pass comment. But. But. Is it not remarkable that Capello actually uttered these words: "we played well". And that he brought Heskey on when England needed a goal, a moment that brilliantly crystalised the whole sorry affair. Apologies for the indulgence. But yes I do feel better!!! The catharsis continues.

  21. 11:20 Commentary  

    Kick and rush? "Maybe 'Der Kaiser' had a point after all," says BBC Sport's very own chief football writer Phil McNulty. "Such was the paucity of quality in their performances against the USA and Algeria that a win against Slovenia - the tournament's smallest nation - was built up by a succession of players as a foundation for victory against Germany."

  22. 11:29 Commentary  

    Place your bets on who will now anounce their retirement from international football, trills a 5 live listener. Be great if Knocking The Long-Ball gave us a teary press conference in the coming days. Seriously though. Who's going to call it a day?

  23. Contributor BBC World Service's Vladimir Hernandez  

    From Twitter: "Maradona sympathizes with England: 'It’s not that I like England, as everyone knows, but if that goal stands it was another game.'"

  24. SMS  

    Rob: "If ENGLAND had an ENGLISH manager we could have avoided this humiliation by not qualifying in the first place."

  25. SMS  

    Ola in London: "Catch young prospective English players early and coach out all creative flair. Drill repeatedly until they turn out nice and one-dimensional. Once ripe, take a bunch of the over-hyped ones, the overpaid variety are particularly plentiful these days, add a dollop of media pressure. Mix thouroughly and drain out all the sense of fun. Sprinkle with a spice of bitterness and dissent from an embittered ex-captain and voila! Failure on a platter. (Or should that be Blatter? We want video technology, stupid!)"

  26. 11:48 Commentary  

    Some housekeeping. We stay in the catharsis common room until about 1330 BST. Feeling much better. Then off we skip straight to the Capello news conference. Quiet at the back! Could go either way that one. Make sure we've fully digested the Italian's comments [announcements?] by 1500 BST. Then it's time for Total Football. Maybe. Netherlands (with the possible return of Arjen Robben) v Slovakia for a place in the last 8. Definitely.

  27. 12:00 Commentary  

    Deep doom and gloom abounds. The FA are baring most of the brunt. But hang on a minute! England [not a typo] won [not a typo] the European Under-17 Championship title in May, beating Spain [not a typo] 2-1 in Liechtenstein. It was the country's first age-group title since 1993. That previous triumph in (an under-18 championship) featured Paul Scholes and Robbie Fowler, amongst many others who went on to play for the senior team. Is that a glimpse of teeth I can see?

  28. 12:07 Commentary  

    Erm. The flag of St George, which was raised above Downing Street at the start of the World Cup, has this morning been replaced by the Union flag. Away from Number 10 (although I'm sure they tuned in), the TV audience for the Germany defeat peaked at 19.5m. Not had the stats on how many kettles were switched on as Capello rallied the troops at the interval. Matter of time. Andy Gray on Sky Sports suggests Roy Hodgson as manager with David Beckham as The New Psycho (his assistant). "England should make a change."

  29. SMS  

    Anonymous: "International retirements - Carragher (again!), James, Terry and Ferdinand (sadly, great players but just too slow and/or injury prone), Upson (please!!), King. Heskey surely has to go, and I just have a feeling Lampard might call it a day."

  30. 12:18 Commentary  

    *** Breaking stat*** Breaking stat*** Wayne Rooney lost the ball or was tackled in possession more than any other player at the Fifa 2010 World Cup. Wow. Pretty interesting that. I really can' t imagine he doesn't care about not performing as he can. ***Breaking overreaction?*** Ashley Cole was filmed "laughing" as the players touched down in Rustenburg last night. To use footballing parlance, he's being 'hammered' for it. Thoughts?

  31. 12:24 Commentary  

    Wisdom from Liverpool? Keane at Old Trafford? Berahino from West de Janiero, sorry, West Brom? Do take a peek at that England Under-17 team who beat Spain to take the Euro title last month. Names you might want to keep an eye on. Ipswich Town striker Conor Wickham is the current pick of the bunch by all accounts.

  32. Contributor BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher  

    On Twitter: "Will Maradona's World Cup unravel against Germany? He faces some tough decisions. My thoughts -"

  33. 12:42 Commentary  

    Reasons to be cheerful? Keep them coming in, as I'm edging this collective stream-of-consciousness away from the psychiatrist's couch. Yeah, let's go for a run before we hear from Capello at 1330 BST - get them endorphins flowing. Sorry - metaphor overdose there. But you could do worse than look forward to Maradona and Messi's Argenina taking on Germany in the quarter-finals, as our man on the scene Paul Fletcher does here. What a prospect.

  34. SMS  

    Wayne from Sheffield: "Add Tom Cleverley, Jack Wilshire, Jack Rodwell, Henry Lansbury, Victor Moses, Kieron Gibbs and one or two others to that England Under-17 list - and the future doesn't look too bad after all."

  35. 13:00 Commentary  

    Andy Murray looked in decent nick the other day. Yeah, saw him doing keepy-ups with his coaching staff during a practice session. Ah, Scottish. Nonetheless, he is in action later today - playing actual tennis at a sun-bathed Wimbledon aginst Sam Querrey for a place in the quarter-finals. Hang on! The crisis-hit French could do worse than send a scout to see Gael Monfils (play football). That's it from me. Over to Chris Bevan in Cape Town.

  36. 13:06 Commentary  

    Hello, yes I'm Chris Bevan and I'm in Cape Town - where the front page of the Cape Argus declared this morning that "England's golden generation is no more". I'm not sure it ever existed to be honest... 'wasted generation' is probably more apt. Anyway, as you have probably noticed, the World Cup has NOT stopped just because England are out. We still have two weeks of some brilliant football ahead of us, starting with the Netherlands v Slovakia today, so let's enjoy ourselves, right?

  37. 13:11 Commentary  

    We've got an England press conference with Fabio Capello coming up at around 13:30 BST - which should be interesting, no? And all the build-up to the Oranje Army's latest game in Durban (which kicks off at 15:00 BST) too. You can watch that match live on BBC One and on this website if you are in the UK. Oh, and Brazil play Chile in Johannesburg at 19:30 BST too. All in all, not a bad day really.

  38. 13:15 Commentary  

    By the way, I've just signed my first autograph of this World Cup, for a lovely chap called Karl who works in the media centre at Cape Town Stadium. And yes, he did ask for it - I didn't just thrust a piece of paper at him. That's the first time I've been asked for an autograph for a while, to be honest. The only other two occasions were both a case of mistaken identity: some bloke in a pub who who was convinced I was Steve Coogan (not sure why, and I tried to explain I wasn't him to no avail) and, when I was coming out of Manchester City's training ground once, some kids thought I was one of their players (not sure who I was supposed to be but I signed my own name).

  39. 13:20 Commentary  

    The Dutch are a long way from being cloggers (sorry) but they are still being criticised back home for not playing with enough flair so far in South Africa. Is just winning enough? Not for everybody. I spoke to Arsenal striker Robin van Persie this week and he told me: "Yes, the fans are very critical but I don't mind that because what they want is the way we want to be. We want our target to be to play the way they are demanding. That is the target at my club too - we want to win but we want to do it with quality and in a way we believe in."

  40. 13:25 Commentary  

    So, do you think the Dutch will dazzle us today, or will they be pole-axed by the Slovaks? I need to know, so text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @chrisbevan_bbc or you can always join the chat on 606.

  41. SMS  

    From anon: "As a ’clog’ in Luxembourg, I am in the office wearing orange tie, belt and socks, missing out on all the usual madcap Orange fan behaviour we see on Dutch TV! Quarter-final also at 4pm here. There’s no justice!"


    Steady on anon... the Netherlands aren't in the quarter-finals yet, remember.

  42. 606  

    From Farslayer: "I don't think there will be much debate about predictions for today's events. Brazil and the Netherlands will win and Fabio Capello will resign. You don't need to be an octopus to work that out!


    I don't think Fabio will walk but, if he does, I actually can't think of many better candidates to replace him as England manager than Paul the psychic octopus. And the even better news is that Paul is actually English. Can someone let the FA know...

  43. 13:39 Commentary  

    No sign of him in Rustenburg just yet, but if you want to see and hear what England coach Fabio Capello has got to say, you can watch his live press conference here (or here if you are not in the UK). If you are reading this on your phone, worry not - I will bring you all the best bits.

  44. SMS  

    From Paul in London: "For me, Holland are my favourites for the World Cup. They haven't lost since 2008, and have just gone quietly through the tournament winning. they are getting better with every game and will cruise past Slovakia, into the final on the easier side of the draw and win the World Cup!"


    Just one thing Paul - this 'easier side of the draw' will probably involve the Dutch playing Brazil in the quarter-finals. Explain to me how that is easy!?

  45. 606  

    From Robdg: "I can see the Dutch crashing out by underestimating an eastern European team once again. Here's to hoping they've learned since Russia."


    The Dutch lost to Russia in the second round at Euro 2008 after some impressive displays in the group stage... I got a feeling that won't be happening this time around but let's not under-estimate the Slovaks either.

  46. 13:50 Commentary  

    Here's Fabio. Does he want to stay on as England manager? "absolutely". Why didn't he get the best out of Wayne Rooney? "I think all the English players are really tired at this competition. The coaches told me the physical condition of the players was not good and they did not play like the players that we know."

  47. 13:53 Commentary  

    More from Fabio: "I spoke this morning with Dave Richards of the FA. He told me that he needs two weeks to decide. I said I can be the manager of Engalnd the next season but they have to decide."

  48. 13:58 Commentary  

    Blimey. Fabio is getting a bit of a grilling here. He's just been asked whether a 4-4-2 formation is out of date? "I think you can decide on a different style but a good style depends on the form of the players." Is he worth the money he is being paid? "I think it is not the money that is the value of a man."

  49. 14:01 Commentary  

    Right Fabio's gone - from the press conference that is, not the England job. But he did explain why this World Cup went so badly wrong: the players were too tired, basically. By the way, Dave Richards, who met with Mr Capello this morning and will decide on his future is Premier League chairman, FA board member and chairman of the FA's international committee.

  50. 14:03 Commentary  

    Breaking Netherlands team news: Arjen Robben starts his first game at this World Cup. Full line-ups to follow.

  51. Commentary Netherlands v Slovakia line-ups  

    Netherlands: 1-Maarten Stekelenburg; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen, 5-Giovanni van Bronckhorst; 7-Dirk Kuyt, 6-Mark van Bommel, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 8-Nigel de Jong, 11-Arjen Robben; 9-Robin van Persie.

    Slovakia: 1-Jan Mucha; 2-Peter Pekarik, 3-Martin Skrtel, 16-Jan Durica, 5-Radoslav Zabavnik, 7-Vladimir Weiss, 15-Miroslav Stoch, 17-Marek Hamsik, 11-Robert Vittek, 19-Juraj Kucka, 18-Erik Jendrisek.
    Referee: Alberto Undiano (Spain)

  52. Commentary Netherlands v Slovakia team news  

    The Netherlands bring Arjen Robben into the starting line-up for the first time at this World Cup. He is set to start on the right with Dirk Kuyt moving to the left to replace injured midfielder Rafael van der Vaart. Gregory van der Wiel returns, the right-back replacing Khalid Boulahrouz.

    Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss makes just one change, bringing in his son - also called Vladimir Weiss - to replace Zdeno Strba in midfield. 

  53. Twitter  

    From Pieterreeve: "Many Dutch fans may be cricitcal of the lack of style, but what we want most of all is to win the whole thing!"

  54. SMS  

    From anon: "Today again Slovakia is underdog but it is Holland who's under pressure because our boys have nothing to lose. Back home in Slovakia they're winners already. Just to be at World Cup 2010 is the greatest success of Slovakian football yet."

  55. 14:22 Commentary  

    In case you've missed how both these countries got to the last 16, I'm going to tell you. The Dutch topped Group E with three wins out of three, and without really getting out of second gear. Slovakia? They started with a draw against New Zealand that their coach Vladimir Weiss called a "minor sporting tragedy" but made it out of Group F thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win over defending champions Italy in their final match. Another display like that one, and this will definitely be a game to remember.

  56. SMS  

    From Rob in Londonderry: "It's time for Marek Hamsik to show us what the fuss is about if Slovakia are to threaten. Mark van Bommel will be keeping an eye on him I'd guess."

  57. 14:30 Commentary  

    Our friends at Infostrada Sports tell me that the Netherlands' starting line is an average age of 28 years and 81 days old - their third oldest ever in a World Cup knockout match, and oldest since their quarterfinal defeat to Brazil in 1994 (when it was 28 years and 98 days old).

  58. SMS  

    From Lex: "We, the Dutch, are fooling ourselves with this 'this time we play bad and win so will be champions’ talk. We play bad, indeed, so will be kicked out by the first decent opponent, just like England."

  59. Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    Via Twitter: "And it doesn't get better for England players. five members of staff at team hotel arrested and found guilty of stealing from the team."

  60. 14:38 Commentary  

    The thieves that James Pearce refers to in his tweet below stole United States shirts, a medal and some underwear from the England players, plus about £500 in cash. The five culprits have been sentenced to three years in prison and forced to watch England's 0-0 draw with Algeria in full again (I made that last bit up).

  61. SMS  

    From Jam in Bedford: "Pretty sure the Dutch - who are much better than anyone from Group F - are going to walk this one unless the Slovaks seriously park the bus. As for the complaints of a lack of style, I think they are fair considering the players they have, I just wish England had such 'trivial' issues."

  62. Contributor BBC Sport's Clarence Seedorf  

    "Slovakia have some excellent players going forward and in defence but I still have confidence in the Dutch winning this game, if their forward players can play well."

  63. 14:53 Commentary  

    The players are in the tunnel, and kick-off in Durban is just minutes away. By the way, winner of this game plays either Brazil or Chile (who meet at 19:30 BST tonight) in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

  64. 14:58 Commentary  

    All the Slovakians are singing their anthem, and some of them (like Vladimir Weiss jr for example) look about 12-years-old. Their fans are massively out-numbered in Durban by the Oranje army but there are quite a few in the stadium - which seems to be full, I'm pleased to say.

  65. 15:00 KICK-OFF Netherlands v Slovakia  

    Slovakia have just got us under way. As many of you have pointed out, the Dutch have gone a bit retro by fielding a team wearing numbers 1-11, which is a first at this World Cup (I think).

  66. 2 mins Commentary  

    A decent start by Slovakia. A Dutch attack breaks down and Vlad Weiss skips forward before feeding Erik Jendrisek on the edge of the box. Jendrisek lets fly, but his shot fizzes just over the bar.

  67. 4 mins Commentary  

    Better by the Netherlands, who have their first decent bit of possession in the Slovakian half. Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben are seeing plenty of the ball, but they cannot break down a massed defence at the moment - their latest attack ends when Sneijder blazes over from about 20 yards out.

  68. 6 mins Commentary  

    Still, Slovakia look keen to get forward too. Marek Hamsik slips the ball through to Erik Jendrisek again, but the Dutch have men back and Jendrisek does not get enough behind his shot to trouble Maarten Stekelenburg, who watches it drift wide. At the other end, Dirk Kuyt also lets fly but his low effort is also off target.

  69. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "Slovakia's formation is positive, bordering on foolhardy. To play with what is essentially a 4-2-4 against the might of Holland is brave to say the least. Their manager Vladimir Weiss obviously has trust in his team."

  70. 10 mins Commentary  

    This game is still being played at a decent tempo, but a few passes have gone astray from both teams in the last few minutes. Oh, and in case you are interested, the England team have left their hotel in Rustenburg and are en route to the airport.

  71. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown  

    "You can see how much Slovakia have improved in organisation during the course of the World Cup. The Netherlands don't seem to be troubling them at the moment."

  72. 12 mins Commentary  

    The Dutch come forward with purpose for the first time in a little while. Robin van Persie slips Wesley Sneijder in on the left-hand side of the area, and he tries to pick his spot - only to fire straight at Jan Mucha, who parries before pouncing on the loose ball.

  73. 15 mins Commentary  

    The game has definitely settled down a bit now, and Slovakia seem to be sitting back more now too. The Dutch are having most of the possession, but they are not doing much with it at the moment.

  74. 18 mins GOAL Netherlands 1-0 Slovakia  

    We've seen this happen a few times in recent seasons. Arjen Robben gallops on to a ball over the top as the Dutch break forward. He cuts inside and smashes a low shot into the bottom corner of the net. A fabulous finish.

  75. 606  

    From democracythreat: "A clinical display of skill from a world class striker. Much like the Tevez strike yesterday."

  76. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "Typical Arjen Robben goal, cutting inside onto his left foot. Superb. It was the first time Slovakia had pushed up in the whole match, they pushed up 10 or 15 yards and got punished immediately with a ball behind the left-back."

  77. 23 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia had shown some willingness to attack even before that Robben goal, but they will have to show even more now. Suffice to say they will have to watch that they are not caught out by another breakaway like that again. Makes this game very interesting indeed.

  78. 27 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia have not managed much of a response since falling behind. To be honest, they can barely get out of their half at the moment.

  79. 606  

    From 11_giggsy_11: "Re 18 mins. That is all Robben seems to do these days but he is damn good at it!"

  80. 30 mins Commentary  

    Right, a chance for Slovakia at last after Robert Vittek is sent tumbling by two Dutchmen. Miroslav Stoch whips in a dangerous free-kick, which Nigel de Jong manages to flick clear at the back post. That's as good as it has got for Slovakia since they fell behind, I'm afraid.

  81. 33 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Netherlands goalscorer Arjen Robben is the first man into referee Alberto Undiano's book for a handball, conceding a free-kick out on the left flank. Slovakia fire it into the box and Erik Jendrisek eventually gets a shot away - but slices it out for a throw.

  82. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "Whenever Robben gets the ball, I fear for Slovakia. The left-back Zabavnik doesn't know whether to stay tight or drop off the winger. The game could be up soon, you feel the Dutch could get another one at any time."

  83. 35 mins Commentary  

    Right, Slovakia have a third free-kick in quick succession - this time it is about 40 yards from goal. They kind of waste this one, though, playing it out to the left and the expected cross never really materialises. They are going to have to do better than that, I'm afraid.

  84. 36 mins OFFSIDE  

    No offside, but a change of flags - dunno why? Thought it was a good excuse to get the flag graphic out though, which is one of my favourites.

  85. 37 mins Commentary  

    Our friends at Infostrada Sports tell me that Arjen Robben's goal was the seventh scored at the World Cup by a Bayern Munich player - we have seen more goals from them than any other club at the tournament.

  86. 39 mins Commentary  

    The Dutch have not exactly built on their first goal either, though. They have just played a succession of hopeful long balls up to Robin van Persie, who isn't exactly appreciating that sort of service. We expect better from them.

  87. 40 mins Commentary  

    Ah, here's Robin van Persie, with the ball at his feet for a change and advancing to the edge of the area. He gets his shot away too, but scuffs it a bit and it is easily saved by Jan Mucha.

  88. 41 mins YELLOW CARD  

    By the way, just before that Robin van Persie shooting chance, Slovkia's Juraj Kucka was booked for a late-ish challenge on Nigel de Jong. A bit of a harsh decision in my opinion.

  89. 45 mins Commentary  

    Another chance for Robin van Persie, well more of a half-chance actually. Mark van Bommel sends over a cross from the right and Van Persie reaches the ball first at the near post, but cannot divert the ball goalwards.

  90. HALF-TIME Netherlands 1-0 Slovakia  

    It's been a bit scrappy at times but the Netherlands are ahead thanks to a super strike by Arjen Robben. Slovakia have not been great but they are still right in this game.

  91. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Shearer  

    The Dutch haven't really had to get out of first gear yet. They are very methodical and hard-working but it is too easy for them at the moment because Slovakia are so poor.

  92. Contributor BBC Sport's Clarence Seedorf  

    "The Dutch are really patient but Slovakia are defending in numbers and making them play the long ball which they don't like. The Netherlands are well-organised too when they are defending, and that is hard to get through. I don't think Slovakia have the quality they need to break them down."

  93. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "The Dutch are comfortable and seem like they can get to the byline whenever they fancy it. Most of Slovakia's attacking players are already on the pitch - does the manager have any other positive options to bring on in the second half?"

  94. 15:56 Commentary  

    For those of you asking, it was Wesley Sneijder who played the long ball up for Arjen Robben's goal. Before they scored, I was just about to use a 606 comment by someone called capn_7 who said this: "After Sneijder's brilliant long passing and vision all season for Inter, on international duty those killer passes just haven't been seen at this tournament." I guess they have now!

  95. 606  

    From SuperSamirNasri8: "Even the Dutch go with two defensive midfielders these days. I am still in shock that Capello went 4-4-2 against the Germans. It's a joke."

  96. Twitter  

    From dprayudi: "I fancy Nederlands will win this game but Brazil will stop them at later stage."

  97. 16:01 Commentary  

    The Dutch have just got the second half started. No changes from either side at the break.

  98. 49 mins Commentary  

    Time to see what Slovakia are made of then. They need to get Vlad Weiss on the ball more for a start and he has already made some inroads into the Dutch defence since the restarrt, although his final ball finds a man in orange rather than Erik Jendrisek.

  99. 52 mins Commentary  

    A couple of great chances for the Dutch. First Arjen Robben picks up the ball on the edge of the area, cuts inside while wriggling past a couple of challenges and forces a brilliant save from Jan Mucha. From the resulting corner, they attack again and Robben runs at the defence from the left this time before crossing for Gregory van der Wiel (I think!) to bring an even better close-range stop from Mucha - the ball actually hit the keeper in his face.

  100. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown  

    "It's very interesting to watch the movement of Mark van Bommel. Whenever the Netherlands are under the cosh, he drops into the back four to give them an extra defender."

  101. 56 mins Commentary  

    Still nothing to shout about by way of response from Slovakia, who have more problems because Radoslav Zabavnik is in a lot of pain after being caught by a high challenge by Robin van Persie. He's currently receiving treatment.

  102. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown  

    "Slovakia need to get Marek Hamsik on the ball and push further forward. He needs to hold on to the ball because he links up well with his team-mates, but in the first half he was giving away the ball too much."

  103. 59 mins Commentary  

    Arjen Robben escapes from Radoslav Zabavnik, who is back on his feet but struggling, and looks for a team-mate as he cuts in from the right. His cross is a bit disappointing to be honest, and is easily cleared. Still, the Dutch are soon threatening again: Robin van Persie fires in a fierce free-kick from the same flank and Jan Mucha - who is soon to be joining Everton - punches clear under pressure from Dirk Kuyt.

  104. 64 mins Commentary  

    Miroslav Stoch is crowded out by two Dutch players on the right-hand side of the area - I initially thought it was a bit of a barge by Mark van Bommel that sent him tumbling, but he actually went over a bit too easily. Slovakia attack again, though, and this time Juraj Kucka tries his luck from about 30 yards, sending a shot skidding wide. We've been playing over an hour and Netherlands keeper Maarten Stekelenburg is yet to make a save of note.

  105. 65 mins Commentary  

    Here comes Dutch goalscorer Arjen Robben again, in acres of space on the right. He decides to square it to Wesley Sneijder this time, who cuts inside before having a pop - which is blocked. Chance gone.

  106. 68 mins Commentary  

    I know I just said that Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg was having a quiet match - well, not anymore. He has just made a superb stop, well two of them actually. First Miroslav Stoch cuts inside but sees his rising shot tipped over the top. Seconds later, Robert Vittek is clean through but Stekelenburg comes out to block as Vittek tries to blast the ball past him.

  107. 71 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    After Dirk Kuyt heads a Wesley Sneijder free-kick over the bar, both teams make a change. Arjen Robben is off for the Dutch, replaced by Eljero Elia. Slovakia bring on Kamil Kopunek for Erik Jendrisek.

  108. 73 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Both substitutes are instantly involved in the action. Kamil Kopunek lunges in on Eljero Elia and is shown a yellow card. That's what I call making an impact.

  109. 75 mins Commentary  

    The Dutch are no nearer to the second gopal that they need to finish Slovakia off. Dirk Kuyt tries his luck from 20 yards out but the impressive Jan Mucha beats the ball away. Then Eljero Elia skips past a challenge down the left but cannot find a team-mate with his cross.

  110. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "Slovakia might not get too many more chances like that Vittek opening. He must have felt confident on his current form but the keeper has done fantastically well. A wake-up call for the Dutch."

  111. 79 mins Commentary  

    The Dutch seem content with their 1-0 lead, which is a risky approach to say the least. Slovakia are still sniffing around the Dutch box and Robert Vittek has another shooting chance when the ball breaks to him inside the area. There are men around him but he still lets fly - only to fire high and wide of Maarten Stekelenburg's goal.

  112. 80 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    The Dutch are going to freshen things up in attack. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is on for Robin van Persie, who has had quite a frustrating afternoon and has an angry(ish) word with his coach Bert van Marwijk as he comes off.

  113. 83 mins Commentary  

    Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss isn't too happy either, and has just had a bit of a pop at referee Alberto Undiano, who waves him back towards his dug-out. Weiss is soon back on his feet and moaning again though, this time about his team (I think).

  114. 83 mins GOAL Netherlands 2-0 Slovakia  

    Jan Mucha has had a terrific game for Slovakia but he has had an absolute nightmare here. Mucha comes out to try to beat Dirk Kuyt to a quick free-kick on the right of his area, but misses the ball completely. Kuyt is able to look up and square it to Wesley Sneijder to slot it into an empty net. Game over? I think so.

  115. 86 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Slovakia's Martin Skrtel was booked in the aftermath of that goal, I think he had been complaining at Referee Alberto Undiano since conceding the free-kick that led to it was awarded.

  116. 88 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    A double change for Slovakia, but I think it's just to give game-time to some of their squad players. Martin Jakubko and Marek Sapara are on for Radoslav Zabavnik and Marek Hamsik.

  117. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "I have to hugely applaud Dirk Kuyt there for the second Dutch goal. Many players would have tried an angled shot but he was selfless and set up Sneijder for a tap-in instead. Intelligent play."

  118. 90 mins INJURY TIME  

    We will have three minutes of injury time here in Durban. Can Slovakia say goodbye to South Africa 2010 in style? I can't see them saving themselves now.

  119. 90 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Another change for the Netherlands. Wesley Sneijder is off, and Ibrahim Afellay is on - and almost scores a third goal with his first touch, sending an angled drive a couple of feet wide.

  120. 90 mins PENALTY to Slovakia  
  121. 90 mins GOAL Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia  

    Martin Jakubko goes down in the box under a challenge from Maarten Stekelenburg and Robert Vittek steps up to coolly slot home from the spot. Just a consolation for Slovakia, but at least they sign off from this World Cup with a goal.

  122. FULL-TIME Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia  

    Not exactly a statement of intent from the Dutch but they were comfortable enough winners. They will play either Brazil or Chile in the quarter-finals.

  123. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Shearer  

    "The Slovaks will be kicking themselves because they offered very little going forward in the first half. When they did attack after the break, they had some good chances."

  124. Contributor BBC Sport's Clarence Seedorf  

    "The Dutch are very good at making the most of mistakes by their opponents but they will have to be careful as they get further in the competition because the standards of the teams they have to play will improve."

  125. SMS  

    From Andy in Leeds: "So the Premier League season tires players out, which is why they can't perform at the World Cup eh Fabio? Heitinga, van Persie, Kuyt and De Jong were out there today and Holland did OK, and Tevez, Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez didn't look that tired last night either. How come this only affects ENGLISH Premier League players eh Fab? Do me a favour."

  126. 17:06 Commentary  

    So, the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup continue to take shape. Uruguay, Ghana, Argentina, Germany and now the Dutch are all through. Brazil and Chile will meet at Ellis Park in Johannesburg tonight to see who will play the Netherlands in the last-eight. That one kicks off at 19:30 BST. Paraguay and Japan, then Spain and Portugal, meet on Tuesday.

  127. 17:10 Commentary  

    Right, that's me done for the day - in terms of text commentary anyway. I'll see you all very soon - make sure you join Jonathan Stevenson to bring you all the build-up to Brazil v Chile

By Phil Dawkes

A superb strike from Arjen Robben and a late Wesley Sneijder goal gave Netherlands a deserved if somewhat underwhelming victory over Slovakia to seal their place in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Robben capped his first start of the finals in South Africa by collecting a pass from Sneijder before running at the Slovakia defence and then firing a superb low drive into the net from 25 yards.

Sneijder stroked home a pull-back from Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt to essentially seal the game for the Dutch, with Robert Vittek firing home a consolation penalty with the very last kick of the match.

It gave Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk and his side a deserved victory, but one they rarely had to be at their best to secure against opponents that worked hard but lacked the composure to capitalise on the few chances that fell their way.

In reaching the last 16 and eliminating Italy via a 3-2 group win over the holders, Slovakia have achieved their goal in their first World Cup since splitting from Czechoslovakia in 1993.

With a quarter-final tie against either Brazil or Chile to come, the Dutch will have to up their game if they are to fulfil their own aim.

Van Marwijk's men have a 100% record in South Africa - matching their impressive achievement in winning all their qualification games for the tournament - and have now gone a Dutch record 23 games unbeaten, but there remains discontent amongst the Oranje Army, who feel their side are not winning with sufficient style. What England would give for such concerns.

Such gripes, whilst arguably trivial in a successful side, are valid as the current Netherlands side are not the aesthetically pleasing product of generations past.

They do not compare to the revered teams from 1974 and 1978, nor even are they as fluent as that which was eliminated from the European Championships at the quarter-final stage in 2008.

This Dutch have traded in their total game for dependent football, with an efficiently pragmatic, rigid structure functioning largely to feed a supremely talented and liberated front three of Sneijder, Robben and Robin van Persie.

This trio are capable of hurting the world's best and Slovakia - ranked 34 in the world - were unable to cope with their pace and movement.

All three had efforts on goal during the first half, and while Van Persie planted a poor header wide and Sneijder shot straight at Slovakia goalkeeper Jan Mucha from an angle, Robben ruthlessly exposed Slovakia's defensive fallibility to score in the 18th minute.

Sneijder floated a superb, raking pass to release the Bayern Munich man, who controlled, ran on, cut inside and then finished with aplomb into the bottom corner. It was the only moment of true quality in the first 45 minutes.

Robben was again in the thick of the action early in the second half, collecting the ball on the left and drawing a good full-stretch save from Mucha with a curling effort before appearing on the right and pulling back for Sneijder to shoot, but again the Slovakia keeper saved, this time with his face.

Slovakia offered little threat in the first half, but twice in a space of two second-half minutes they threatened to draw level.

Miroslav Stoch took a leaf out of Robben's book by cutting inside onto his right foot and shooting but Netherlands keeper Maarten Stekelenburg tipped over.

Seconds later Marek Hamsik toe-poked forward for Vittek, who showed none of the composure he demonstrated to score twice against Italy by firing straight at Stekelenburg.

With six minutes remaining, Sneijder made amends for his earlier miss, this time receiving a pull-back from Kuyt, after Mucha had missed the initial pass to the Liverpool player, and slotting home into a largely empty net.

Slovakia's final touch in this World Cup was a positive one as Vittek stroked home a penalty for his fourth and final goal of the tournament after Stekelenburg had tripped the striker.

Netherlands Netherlands Flag 2-1 Slovakia Flag Slovakia FT

(HT 1-0)

Robben, 18
Sneijder, 84
Vittek (pen), 90+4






  • Venue: Durban
  • Referee: A Undiano Mallenco
  • Attendance: 61,962
Netherlands     Slovakia
  • Possession 51%
  • Attempts on target 10
  • Attempts off target 6
  • Corners 5
  • Fouls 15

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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