Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Argentina and the Netherlands drew 0-0 in a cagey stalemate in Frankfurt, Wednesday.
Both sides had rested key players for the game and seemed to give the greatest respect for the other side's abilities and in the end both defenses won.
With Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez, who started for rested players, Argentina had the talent to get a win. However; though Messi was lively the Argentines struggled for space to trouble the Orangemen and Argentina had to settle for a draw, which was enough to top Group C.
The Netherlands, who had rested Arjen Robben and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, had the best of the first twenty minutes play. In this time they had 65 per cent of the play, although this was to almost even out by the end of the match.
A goal nearly came when Dirk Kuyt robbed a defender to the left of the penalty box and ran toward goal. Had Kuyt passed to Ruud Van Nistelrooij instead of forcing a near post save out of Roberto Abbondanzieri there may subsequently have been a more open match.
Argentina then had more of play though they needed a set piece to trouble the opponent's defence. A Juan Riquelme freekick fizzed low into the box and Khalid Boolahrouz almost tipped into his own net but Edwin Van Der Sar's right post intervened.
The teams denied each other space which made it hard to pass around the penalty boxes and get clear sights of goal. This is implied in the game statistics. Both keepers made three saves during the game; while - indicating some attacking play - there were 17 corner kicks as defenders successfully blocked crosses and shots.
The best two moments in a second half that was more scratchy than the first came from the boot of Tevez. On 72 minutes a hard shot from outside the box produced a one-handed save from Van Der Sar and a last minute effort from a long ball whizzed wide.
In the round of sixteen Argentina would play the runners-up of Group D who were Mexico. The Netherlands would play Portugal for the right to get into the Fifa World Cup quarter-finals.
== Statistics ==
Referee: Luis Medina Cantalejo (Spain)
=== Netherlands ===
01 E Van der Sar
03 K Boulahrouz
13 A Ooijer 42'
02 K Jaliens
15 T De Cler 48'
20 W Sneijder (Substituted: 86' H Maduro)
08 P Cocu
10 R Van der Vaart
17 R Van Persie (Substituted: 67' D Landzaat)
09 R van Nistelrooy (Substituted: 56' R Babel)
07 D Kuyt 28'
=== Argentina ===
01 R Abbondanzieri
21 N Burdisso (Substituted: 24' F Coloccini)
02 R Ayala
15 G Milito
17 L Cufre
08 J Mascherano 90'
18 R Maxi
05 E Cambiasso 57'
10 J Riquelme (Substituted: 79' P Aimar)
19 L Messi (Substituted: 69' J Cruz)
11 C Tevez
== Table ==
Fifa World Cup Group C table June 21, 2006
== Related news ==
Ivory Coast beats Serbia and Montenegro 3-2 in Group C
== Sources ==
"Netherlands 0-0 Argentina" — BBC Online, June 21, 2006 "Fifa match report" — Fifa, June 21, 2006
This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.