The all-time World Cup

February 18th 2005
Madrid, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
1-1 (0-1)

      GOALS                   14'  0-1  Enzo Luis Francescoli (penalty)
                              49'  1-1  Ruud Gullit

      REFEREE                 George Reader (England)

      ATTENDANCE              90,000

      YELLOW CARDS            Neeskens, Rijkaard, Cruijff (NED)
                              Santamaria, Nasazzi (URU)

      NETHERLANDS (Coach: Rinus Michels, system 4-3-3)

       1 Jan van Beveren
       2 Wim Suurbier
       3 Frank Rijkaard
       6 Rinus IsraŽl
       5 Ruud Krol
       7 Johan Neeskens
      11 Willy van der Kuylen       (-72)
      10 Wim van Hanegem            (-83)
       8 Ruud Gullit
       9 Marco van Basten           (-64)
      14 Johan Cruijff (captain)

      13 Beb Bakhuys                (+64)
      21 Jan Wouters                (+72)
      15 Abe Lenstra                (+83)

      URUGUAY (Coach: Juan Lopez, system 4-4-2)

       1 Ladislao Mazurkiewicz
       4 Josť Nasazzi (captain)
       2 Roberto Matosas
       5 Josť Emilio Santamaria
       3 Juan Martin Mujica
       8 Josť Leandro Andrade
       6 Obdulio Jacinto Varela
      10 Enzo Luis Francescoli
       7 Juan Alberto Schiaffino    (-66)
      17 Hector Pedro Scarone       (-74)
       9 Pedro Petrone              (-59)

      13 Josť Piendibene            (+59)
      11 Pedro Josť Cea             (+66)
      16 Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia    (+74)


    Uruguay and Holland only met once in their World Cup history, an unforgotten match in Hannover, Germany in 1974 when Holland demolished Uruguay but kept the score decent. The game today however was a totally different story. The top match in group C was one between two very well-equipped teams, both equally strong in defence and attack. There was little between the two and it provided a match that was vastly entertaining during the first 50 minutes. Holland had to chase after an early Uruguay lead, but once they had evened the score, both teams seemed to be rather happy with a draw and the game faded away.

    Uruguay coach Lopez didn't change his line-up from the first game. His team hadn't performed great against Poland but still had won and the coach thought that this team was simply the best he could field. On the other end, Rinus Michels decided that Faas Wilkes and Beb Bakhuys could use some rest. In their place he fielded Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten, hoping that this pair could perform like they did during Euro 1988. Van Basten had come off the bench there too, and scored three against England in his first match to end up as topscorer of the tournament. Michels expected something like that from Van Basten this time.

    Before the match there was a lot of speculation about how it would be. Most pundits thought it would become a quiet match, neither of the teams needed to take a lot of risks having won the first match and a draw, maybe even a 0-0, looked to be the most logical outcome. But to surprise of many it was Uruguay who started the game best with a few fine attacks on Van Beveren's goal. Van Beveren, who had been left workless in the match against Korea, now had to come to action. Within the first 10 minutes he had to make fine saves on shots from Andrade and Scarone. The flexible goalie with the magnificent reflexes turned away both efforts. Holland seemed overwhelmed, looked bewildered; in midfield Andrade and Varela dominated and Rijkaard and Krol had difficulties keeping Petrone and Scarone at bay.

    It paid off already after 14 minutes when Scarone took off for a dribble and outplayed Krol. The leftback tackled from behind, seemed to play the ball but also floored Scarone. Penalty, George Reader decided. Francescoli, who took it instead of Scarone, sent Van Beveren the wrong way: 0-1. A huge setback for Holland, behind for the first time in this All Time World Cup. They had to look forward more than ever. Cruijff dropped to midfield to strengthen the line and to keep away from strong Nasazzi, but the Uruguayan gave the Dutch captain little space to play. Still the Orange maestro succeeded in setting a teammate free a few times. Neeskens came through but stranded on Mazurkiewicz and the goalkeeper had his answer ready when Van der Kuylen released a thunderous shot. A bycicle kick from Van Basten went wide. Mazurkiewicz had it covered.

    It was the only time Van Basten was left unmarked by Roberto Matosas, his shadow. Everytime Holland tried to reach Van Basten, the stopper had a foot in the way. Or against Van Basten's leg, when needed. Reader didn't take any action against Matosas. But he cautioned Nasazzi for tackling Cruijff and Santamaria for kicking the ball in the stands after the referee's whistle. In the Dutch team IsraŽl and Neeskens were the best and they caused the most danger for Uruguay. Neeskens headed Gullit's cross just wide and sweeper IsraŽl was involved in dangerous situations twice. First he sent a header in Mazurkiewicz' safe hands, then his shot was blocked by Santamaria. This was what was expected: Holland attacking and Uruguay packed together in defence and waiting quietly for a quick counterattack. Rijkaard had to pull Scarone's shirt when the magician threatened to break through. It was Holland's second yellow card. Neeskens had received the first, Cruijff in the second half got one for protesting after Reader had denied Holland what seemed to be a penalty kick, too. Santamaria had blocked Van Hanegem's cross with his arm.

    The second half started with the same 22 actors. And after 4 minutes, it was all even. Cruijff for once left Nasazzi behind and sent a low cross into the box. Mujica misskicked it, Gullit found the net: 1-1. The equalizer took away the attractiveness of the game. Holland still wanted to win, a second nature, but much more careful than before. Uruguay, with the game against South Korea in hand, surely were satisfied with a draw. Coach Lopez substituted Petrone, who had started strongly but in the end had to acknowledge Rijkaard's superiority, with Piendibene and disappointing Schiaffino with Cea. Rinus Michels brought more defensive power with Jan Wouters instead of Van der Kuylen. Bakhuys had come in before in place of unlucky Van Basten who still had to prove himself in a World Cup.

    Both teams went close to winning it during the last minutes. Bakhuys was released by Gullit but found Mazurkiewicz, the best man on the pitch, on his way. However, the best chance was for Ghiggia, the replacement for Scarone. Suddenly all alone for Van Beveren, he couldnīt round the keeper who blocked it. The rebound was kicked from the line by IsraŽl. Thus the match got the result both teams wanted: 1-1, a draw. Holland had proved what they were capable of from time to time, but should be able to perform well for longer than 30 minutes. Uruguay had been a sound opponent, difficult to move out of position, technically fine and allowing little opportunities. But both goals from Uruguay had come from penalty kicks so far, and that told a lot. But any which way, after this match both teams were still well on their way to the second round.

    Who's next? United States against the Soviet Union play their second match Tuesday in Stockholm under guidance of referee Sandor Puhl. The United States must win, but are not expected to do so. They had no chance against Spain and are considered to be just cannonfodder. Coach Arena may change his line-up but has no worldbeaters with him. The Soviet Union started well, as far as the result is concerned. Mexico were beaten 2-0, though Lobanovski's men didn't play at their best. Can Eduard Strelzov repeat his 2-goal trick? Will it be a one way game or can the mentally still strong Americans upset their counterparts from the past?


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