The Netherlands lined up against Ghana at the Feijenoord Stadion in Rotterdam on Tuesday evening and continued their winning run as they defeated the Black Stars 4-1. Dirk Kuyt, Rafael Van Der Waart, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin Van Persie sent the ball into the back of the net for the Oranje while Asamoah Gyan scored a consolation goal for Ghana.
Ghana adopted a traditional 4-4-2 with Matthew Amoah and Owusu-Abeyie Quincy as the two strikers upfront with Sulley Muntari and Steven Appiah in midfield. The Netherlands meanwhile lined up in an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation with Robin Van Persie playing the lone strikers role supported by Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder, and Ibrahim Afellay.
The game started brightly with the Dutch in particular taking the game to the Africans. Afellay and Sneijder both tested the Ghanian defense in the span of a few short minutes with Sneijder’s ferocious shot from long range being deflected over the crossbar for a corner.
The Black Stars responded and had their first shot on target on 11 minutes. Sulley Muntari was released by Amoah with a through ball but his tame left footed shot was easily saved by the Dutch goalkeeper Michael Vorm.
However the Oranje imposed themselves back on the game and were duly rewarded on the half hour mark. Sneijder set up Van Persie with a through ball and the striker shot at the Ghana goal. The shot was saved but Kuyt was on hand to tap in the rebound. The Dutch were in full control but could not double their lead despite carving out a further few openings.
The half finished 1-0 to the Netherlands at the break.
At the start of the second half, the Netherlands continued to pressure their opponents and controlled much of the game. The elusive second goal was proving difficult to come by for the Oranje however. But arrive it did in the 73rd minute with some particularly pleasing attacking play.
Sneijder fed Rafael Van der Vaart, who laid it for Mark van Bommel, who in turn placed the ball inch perfect for the Real Madrid midfielder to claim an easy goal.
Asamoah Gyan then gave the Ghanians some hope with a goal brought about by sloppy defending by the Dutch
A comeback was not on the cards however as Sneijders volley from 25 yards out rippled the back of the net.
With only 6 minutes remaining the Netherlands were awarded a penalty as Richard Kingson brought down Van Der Vaart inside the area. Robin Van Persie made no mistake and duly dispatched the penalty to make it a convincing 4-1 victory for the Oranje.
The Netherlands appear in ominous form at this world cup having won their previous 5 games. It appears as if they will go far in the world cup this summer.
Ghana on the other hand, having lost their previous 3 games including the last one against Bosnia and Herzegovina will be silently praying for a turnaround in their fortunes. The writing on the wall is clear. The Black Stars must improve if they are to not suffer a first round exit.