Netherlands ensured there place at the top of Group B as late goals from Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay provided them with a win against Chile.
With this win, Holland will now play Mexico, who finished second in group A last night, in the round of 16, while Chile will now face the host Brazil, who defeated Cameroon to win their group, in the knock-out stage.
It wasn’t an easy win for Netherlands, despite what the score line might suggest, in fact Chile at times looked more threatening in possession than the Dutch side. The South American team had the better first half, but at the hour mark it seemed as if the match will end goalless. But Louis van Gaal had other plans as he replaced Wesley Sneijder with Leroy Fer.
The Norwich City midfielder scored with a thumping header just two minutes after he came on to the pitch, but Chile will be disappointed at how the youngster was left unmarked in the box and had a free header. Daryl Janmaat provided the cross from the right after a well worked corner.
Chile pushed hard for an equalizer as forward Mauricio Pinilla came on for Eduardo Vargas, but it was Netherlands who doubled their lead in the dying moments of the game as another substitute, Memphis Depay, found the back of the net. The goal came from a counter attack as Chile threw numbers forward and were caught short at the back. Nigel de Jong fed Arjen Robben with a long ball and the Bayern Munich winger took on the defender and beat him for pace down the left. Robben’s cut back was turned in my Depay, who arrived at the right moment in the box.
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal defended his tactics to sit back, for large part of the game, against Chile and stressed on the importance of using the right tactics to get the right result.
“If I played 4-3-3 against Chile, Robben would have had to run after them. They can’t do that for 90 minutes,” he said after the game.
“You just have to play according to your strengths, it’s all about winning. I’ll pick a system that helps me win.
“This is proof of the pudding. We’re not giving away very much, but we’re creating a lot.
“If I didn’t do that, you’d chop off my head. And, by the way, I played like this with AZ and won the championship.
“Me and my staff, we only ever want to score one goal more than the opponents.” – The Netherlands manager said in his post-match interview.