NETHERLANDS 4-1 GHANA, Rotterdam 01/06/10
Kuyt 30, Van Der Vaart 72, Sneijder 80, Van Persie 87 (pen); Gyan 78
The Netherlands overcame a late scare from Ghana as they eventually won 4-1 to defend the title, and bring the UFWC title one step closer to a FIFA World Cup appearance.
The Netherlands started brightly as shots rained in on the Ghana goal, but an effective goalkeeper/defence combination kept the gain scoreless. The Black Stars gradually began to get into the game, but rarely threatened as the Netherlands maintained the majority of the possession.
The Netherlands were rewarded for their efforts when Dirk Kuyt found the back of the net in the 30th minute, as the Netherlands cruised into half time in a relatively comfortable position.
The second half was a mostly calm affair, as only 4 efforts were made in the first 25 minutes of the half. However that would not last. A goal from Rafael Van Der Vaart in the 72nd minute should have put the match to bed, but the African debutantes didn’t seem to get the hint.
A goal from substitute Asamoah Gyan in the 78th minute gave Ghana a glimmer of hope, and people began thinking that an upset could be on the cards. However those hopes were quickly extinguished, as a goal from Wesley Sneijder only two minutes later restored the home teams two-goal advantage. A Van Persie penalty in the 87th was the icing on the cake of a solid performance for the Netherlands.
This win now puts the Netherlands ahead of Russia in the UFWC all-time rankings, and extends an already remarkable reign as champions, as the number of title defences in this reign extends to 14.
The Netherlands’ final title defence before the FIFA World Cup will be a match against Hungary on June 5th, which we will preview for you tomorrow.