Yesterday the Dutch national soccer team scored their second win in as many games and have secured a spot in the Euro 2008 Quarter Finals. On Tuesday we beat the current World Champs Italy in a good game with 3-0 and yesterday we played the runner-up France and as the ESPN commentator put it '.. it's a Dutch oven and the French are toast!' : 4-1 Holland.
On ESPN Soccernet the comments range from 'a Dutch of Class' to 'Dutch Destroyers'. I have to say that I like what I see. Yesterday after worked I watched the game vs. 'Les Blues' and watched the 2nd goal a couple times since we have that awesome contraption called an HD-DVR... So in full HD glory I saw an absolutly brilliant play by Ruud van Nistelrooy keeping the ball in-play AND pass it to Arjan Robben in a spectacular fashion to see Arjen go for the goal-line, deliver a perfect cross-pass and have Robin van Persie finish the job. But that wasn't the most important goal of the game. That one was all Arjan Robben...
In the 71th minute Thierry Henry from the French scored a beautiful goal to bring the French back to 2-1. Hope again for 'Les Blues'. Henry felt good... until only 35 seconds(!!) later Arjen Robben got the ball, dribbled towards the goal line and from an absolutely impossible angle restored the 2-goal cushion. From the TV-shots it looked like the wind got knocked out of Thierry Henry as he looked-on in complete disbelief.
Well, these kind of things are precisely the combination of skill and luck you need to do well in any international soccer tournament, and so far this year they seem to be coming together for 'Oranje'.
Oh, as part of Jen's on-going assimilation into Dutch-hood, she watched part of the game with me and learned a new word, through an awesome site called 'Dutch Word of the day': 'Oranjekoorts', meaning 'Orange-fever' after the color of our national team. The whole of Holland (ok: the Netherlands) have that now as everywhere you go in Holland you'll encounter things in the Orange color, from beer to hats to whatever you can think of and a few things you probably wouldn't... ;-)
On to the Quarters! Click here for an explanation on: Hup, Holland, Hup!!
Watching the game and then a concert in the PSV stadium in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.