MX23RW : Wednesday, January 23 04:07:52
Jun 23, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
Fer (76'), Depay (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Match Analysis: Netherlands 2-0 Chile

Sports Mole takes a closer look at how Netherlands beat Chile 2-0 in Sao Paolo, to top World Cup Group B and avoid a likely last-16 meeting with hosts Brazil.

Two substitutes scored in the final 13 minutes as Netherlands secured top spot in World Cup Group B with a 2-0 victory over Chile in Sao Paulo this afternoon.

Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer broke a 77-minute deadlock with a precise header from Daryl Janmaat's cross, only two minutes after his introduction.

Another player brought off the bench by Louis van Gaal, young winger Memphis Depay, made sure of the result in stoppage time after applying the finishing touches to an Arjen Robben-inspired counter-attack.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action.

Match statistics

Shots: 13
On target: 4
Possession: 32%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 16

Shots: 8
On target: 1
Possession: 68%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

Holland's late second gave the scoreline a more comfortable look than Chile's performance warranted, but the Dutch got it absolutely right tactically today and that is evident in the way that they scored their goals, exploiting the South Americans' biggest weaknesses, and that shrewdness earned them victory.

Netherlands' performance

Van Gaal had a very fine afternoon. He reverted to a flat back four but Dirk Kuyt, selected ahead of Depay due to his defensive discipline, spent most of his time in defensive areas, helping out Daley Blind by stifling the usually dangerous Mauricio Isla. On the other flank, Janmaat did not get the same support from Robben and had a slightly tougher time dealing with Eugenio Mena. The Dutch were happy to surrender the ball to remain compact in the middle of the park, and anchorman Nigel de Jong played a huge role in keeping them disciplined, making some crucial tackles. Robben of course was their best attacking outlet, although, without the suspended Robin van Persie, there was a sense that he felt he needed to do it all on his own. He eventually got his head up to find Depay for the second goal, however. With Chile's pressing game taking its toll, Van Gaal brought on height and pace to secure them a third straight win.

Chile's performance

They once again showed that they can hang with the big boys, but for the first time in the tournament, they did not look a consistent threat going forward. Alexis Sanchez was bright in a free role which allowed him to influence play from both central and wide areas, but their attack lacked a real focal point, with Eduardo Vargas slightly bullied out of a physical game and rarely able to link up with the Barcelona forward. After a shaky performance against Australia, Gary Medel again coped well in organising a makeshift defence, but his deficiencies in such a role are obvious and Chile look very shaky when they have pace running at them. There was tidy passing in midfield from Charles Aranguiz and Marcelo Diaz as they helped their side record an impressive 68% possession, but their penetration often comes from wide and the marauding full-backs were not allowed to have as much influence as they had in previous games.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Nigel de Jong: Rarely takes the headlines due to the Dutch's more glamorous players, but De Jong provided Holland's midfield with the energy and ball-winning ability that Chile have in abundance. He did an excellent job in ensuring that there were few holes for Chile to unpick.

Biggest gaffe

In an even game between two good, organised sides, it was fairly gaffe-free, but whoever was instructed to pick up Fer from the corner let the Norwich man have an unmarked header for Holland's opening goal. Fer had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes, and Chile obviously had not reorganised.

Referee performance

Bakary Gassama and his team of Gambian officials had an excellent game, correctly turning down several ambitious Chile penalty appeals and showing sternness in the second half by producing timely bookings to stop periods of persistent fouling.

What next?

Netherlands: The result means that the Dutch are likely to have avoided hosts Brazil in the last 16. The Selecao may still lie in wait, but Croatia or Mexico are more probable last-16 opponents.

Chile: They will be hoping that Cameroon can do them a favour against the Brazilians, but otherwise the winner of Croatia versus Mexico will be Chile's next test as they look to progress into the latter stages.

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Netherlands' forward Arjen Robben vies with Chile's midfielder Charles Aranguiz during a Group B football match between Netherlands and Chile at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 23, 2014
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Netherlands 2-0 Chile - as it happened

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