Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
After the 5-1 demolition of World and European champions Spain in their 2010 World Cup final replay, the Netherlands are surely in seventh heaven. A win today in Porto Alegre against Australia will virtually assure Holland of a place in the next round.
After a lacklustre first-half, the Netherlands increased the tempo of the game with better midfield display. In the second half, they have had all of their 11 attempts hitting the target as against Australia's four from five. But one worrying part of the half was a high number of unwanted fouls from the Europeans, inlcuding the one which almost got Robin van Persie sent off. Luckily, nothing untoward happened for them.
For the Aussies, it was indeed a great fight.
FULL-TIME: Netherlands 3 - 2 Australia
90+3' - A short attempt on the run from the Aussies ended the match.
90+2' - A foul on Leckie, and a free kick. But from the quickly taken free-kick, Aussie players lost the control and allowed Holland to take a hit on the goal, which was blocked by Ryan.
90+1' - De Jong delivered a long, high ball in to the Aussie half. But nothing came-out of it and Australia are on for a last hurray.
90' - Three Minutes ADDED.
88' - After a wasted free-kick, Australia continued to build up for a couple of more pushes. But all gone awry as their final deliveries were waylaid thanks to poor hittings.
87' - Netherlands SUB: Robin van Persie replaced by Jermain Lens with three minutes in the regulation time.
86' - Yet another Aussie push ended with Dutch players winning the ball back in the final third.
84' - Free-kick for Australia as Blind tripped an onrushing Aussie player in their half. But from the play, Holland wrested back the initiative with a throw-in of their own.
82' - Robben had a tricky run inside the Aussie box, but his attempt to beat the goalie from zero-angle was not sufficient.
80' - Wijnaldum committed a foul against McKay. Australia won a free-kick in the Netherlands half, but the delivery from the set-piece was far from satisfactory.
79' - Van Persie almost found the back of the net with a looping shot. From the following play, De Jong utilised his defensive skills to block a swift Aussie surge.
78' - Leckie's failed attempt to get pass Vlaar also meant that his play-acting compromised the chance to call for a penalty.
76' - Ceertainly a period of introspection for the Aussies, SUB utilised to bring on Adam Taggart for Tommy Oar.
74' - In the next moment, four Dutch players found themselves in front of the Aussie box, but their efffort was foiled by Jedinak.
73' - Robben did found the hole in the wall, but hs curl from the set-piece was a rather meek one, which was collected by the Aussie goalie.
71' - Robben, from a deep into the Aussie box, sent back to ball to Sneijder, but the attempt was blocked by a couple of Aussie defenders. From the resulting play, Holland won a free-kick some 23 yards from the goal. Danger lurking.
70' - With the lead, the Netherlands have started to pose more threats in the Aussie half. Have had a couple of chances created in these two minuites.
68' - Memphis Depay GOAL!!!. Soon enough for a change over, and the Aussies found themselves conceding for the third time in the match after that chance a few moments ago.
Memphis took a curling low shot, a powerful one, to beat the Aussie goalie for his first international goal. What a goal.
66' - A little period of passing around for the Netherlands was disturbed by a high pressing Aussie frontline. Almost found the lead but Leckie's soft chested attempt proved too little.
64' - RVP survived some anxious moments as he found himself in the spotlight after tripping his opposing number Jedinak with a late tackle, which look aweful. Already in the referee's book, it was a lucky escape for him.
62' - Cahill, one of the best headers in the business today, got a chance inside the Dutch box, but his leapt failed to connect properly to the delivery.
61' - Australia got a free-kick just outside the Dutch D, but the delivery from Tommy Oar was cleared by Robben in the defence, with a header.
60' - At the hour mark, Netherlands 2 - 2 Australia scoreline certainly makes it one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament.
58' - Van Persie GOAL!!! Against the run of the play, from a Aussie corner, Memphis released a through pass from the pocher in RVP. Then, the skipper sent the ball pass Aussie goalie for the equaliser.
55' - Rattled Dutch defence lost the plot as Aussie front-line continues to push. In yet another attempt, the Socceroos got a clear view of the goal, but high ball flew without any contempt.
53' - Aussie skipper turned up and converted from the spot. Netherlands 1 - 2 Australia in Porto Alegre. If the score remains this way, it will be one of the biggest shock in the history of the tournament.
52' - PENALTY to Austrlia after a handball by Janmaat in the Dutch box.
51' - Australia SUB: Oliver Bozanic in for Mark Bresciano.
49' - Sniejder got his first attempt of the match, but his dipping curl was finger-tipped by the Aussie goalie with a timely dive towards his left, for a corner. But from the corner, nothing worthwhile happened.
48' - A little scramble in the middle by Robben won the ball for the Netherlands. From the resulting build-up, RVP got a chance to relay across the Aussie goalmouth, but his feeble attempt was collected by the goalie.
47' - Robin van Persie BOOKED for a foul on a Aussie defender on the right flank.
46' - Leckie put the ball inside the Dutch goal, but the referee already blew the whistle for a possible foul on defender Blind. So no goal.
Players are out for the second half.
And for that ripper of a goal, Tim Cahill got a congratulatory tweet from Shane Warne.
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) June 18, 2014
Unexpectedly, Australia enjoyed greater ball possession and have better stats from their more fancied side in all expects, barring the lone Yellow Card for Cahill.
In the first half, they have got four strikes on target from five attempts as against three from four for the Netherlands.
It was one inspired performance, at least for the first half, from the Soccerroos against a star-studded Dutch outfit, which trounched defending champions Spain.
The only worrying point for the team in the booking of Cahill. After two yellow cards in two matches, he will not be available for their final group match against Spain.
45+2' - HALF-TIME: Netherlands 1 - 1 Australia
45' - TWO Minutes added. And Dutch, for the injured player Martins brought in Memphis Depay for the remainder of the match.
44' - Janmaat could have floated a cross for his Dutch team-mates, but thanks to slow chase, missed the opportunity. Australia got a goal-kick.
42' - A quite period of Wesley Sneijder as he found himself cordoned off by the Aussie midfielder. In between, Cahil BOOKED for a late foul on Martins. He will miss their Spain clash. Crucial moment for the team. Martins, meanwhile, got medical attention and have been stretchered off.
40' - With five minutes in the break, Van Persie pushed a Aussie player in the centre and was cautioned.
39' - After a barren spell, Holland finally got their hold. But soon, with better man-marking, Aussies are once again in the reckoning. Got a free-kick as De Jong's leapt against a Aussie player was cautioned.
38' - Little action in the middle, except few bad passes from both the sides.
37' - Having never beaten the Aussies in their previous three matches, Netherlands are certainly riding against the wave... one which involved more than 15 thousand travelling fans from Down Under.
34' - In the moment, Aussies are all over the Dutch. An awkward moment for the Holland supporters and their goalie produced a miss-timed kick from the D.
33' - De Jong involved, this time with Cahill in the centre. But both the players gleefully accepted each other's apologies after the clash.
31' - Spiranovic got a clear shot on the Dutch goal, but his attempt was rather weak. He could have set it up for his team-matesd waiting in the wings. Another miss for the Aussies.
29 ' - The very physical Mark Bresciano won a corner for Australia. But the relayed effort from the set-piece almost got the Aussies in front a long ranger from Bresciano himself just sailed over the bar.
28' - Leckie-De Jong duel continues as the Aussie winger is allowed a free run everytime they got the ball.
27' - Leckie's little run agaisnt the Dutch defence imploded with his dull feet losing the control of the ball. Netherlands, surely, shocked by that Cashill strike, are building their on attack.
26' - RVP caught off-side once again as he found himself little too early to recieve the through from Sneijder.
25' - Cahill gifted a corner kick to the Dutch as his intended safe back pass ballooned out of the play. From the corner, Vlaar got a header but his attempt was nowhere near the target. Danger averted for the Aussies.
23' - Robben found himself switching flanks again, involved in a one-two with Janmaat, but the youngsters control left the game out of play.
22' - Netherlands 1-1 Australia
21' - Wow!!! What a response. Tim Cahill, scored possibly the finest goal of the tournament with his left footed volley.
20' - Robben GOAL!! The bald Dutch has scored in his last eight matches. The Bayern Munich winger beat at least three Aussie stoppers in the run,before dispatching a low cross to beat the goalie. Superb run.
17' - From the goal-kick, RVP got the ball in the Aussie half, where he was deemed fouled. Got a free-kick. But couldnt materialized from the set-play as Vlaar's header was collected rather comfortably by Ryan under the bar.
15' - First corner to Aussie. Relayed in long, engaged their wide players to deliver an aeriel pass. But, a disturbance to the Holland goalie stopped the play.
14' - A rather lame touch from the Aussie skipper Jedinak. They were onto a good position to open the Dutch defense. But his loose touch on the left touchline meant the ball playing out of play.
12' - In between, the Dutch side on a look-out for their chance to press. But Aussie defenders are keeping is safe up until now.
11' - A real prospective view of what could this Aussie do if given a free run in the centre. Playing against the run, the players from Down Under got the better of their more fancied opponents in their own half. But ultimately, the chance got wasted in the crowd.
10' - Unlucky for Bresciano to be cautioned after his tug-in war with De Guzman in the Netherlands half. Dutch won the free-kick.
9' - Robin ban Persie caught offside, following a crossfield release from the right.
8' - Netherlands, despite their prominence in the midfield have so far not able to convert the possession into anything threatening. And of course, Aussies are holding their own with good man-marking.
7' - Australia got their first hit on the target as Cillessen collected a dangerous looking ball from Leckie safely.
6' - From the restart, Robben got an opportunity to open the scoring but the feed from Netherlands midfielders were to hot for the Bayern Munich player to handle.
4' - Martins is down. Got medical attention after a clash with Tim Cahill in the Aussie half.
3' - RVP got his first run from the right, but was tested by Aussie wingers to the hilt. Got only a throw-in.
2' - Early push from the Aussies though, as they got a clear sight on the Dutch goal.
1' - Holland won their first free-kick as early as the opening minute, in their own half.
The Netherlands are out in all greens while Australia have their customary Yellow top.
Algerian referee, Djamel Haimoudi will conduct the match.
Starting XIs out for today's match:
Australia XI: Ryan, Davidson, Cahill, Spiranovic, Leckie, Oar, Jedinak (c), McKay, McGowan, Wilkinson, Bresciano.
Netherlands XI: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, De Jong, Janmaat, De Guzman, Robin Van Persie (c), Sneijder, Robben.
Despite their supreme form, Louis van Gaal will not take it lightly against the Socceroos. This may be their first World Cup meeting, but the Netherlands have never unbeaten Australia in their three previous meetings, losing one and drawing twice.
The Netherlands are the clear favourites to win the match. In fact, Dutch are unbeaten in their last 11 World Cup group stage matches, winning eight and drawing three. Their last group stage defeat was against Belgium, in 1994.
In contrast, Australia have won just two of their previous 11 World Cup matches. Against the European opponents, they have one win in six World Cup fixtures -- beating Serbia 2-1 in 2010, and have one draw and four defeats. But most importantly, they have never kept a clean sheet in any of these games.
And pitted against the likes of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder, Ange Postecoglou will require every available defensive ploy to plot a shock against the Oranje.
If Australia are to beat or hold the Dutch to a draw, it will all come down to Tim Cahill`s performance. The former Everton player has scored in three World Cups including the one against Chile some days back, a feat no other Australian has achieved. And of course the reflexes of 41-year-old Mark Schwarzer under the bar.
For the favourites, both RVP and Robben are in sublime touch, having scored 10 and seven goals in their last nine and seven appearances respectively.
I was very emotional on the podium and I broke down into tears because this was my first Asian Games after missing the two previous Asian Games, partly because of a doping allegation in 2006 when I was innocent.