Thursday, 19 June 2014

Robin Van Persie: One of a kind

When Netherlands flooded Spain with five goals to one, the Flying Dutchman Robin Van Persie set sail with the attacking flow of the match and bombarded Spain with a brace. In the Netherlands' recent match against Australia, he again got his name on the score sheet and secured his country's passage to the round of sixteen.

Van Persie was the target man for his team during the Netherlands 3-2 win over Australia, but it was his teammate Arjen Robben who opened the scoring and put the Oranje up by one. Australia's Tim Cahill brought the match level after just a minute after he scored a first time volley reminiscent of the goal that Van Persie scored against Aston Villa to win Manchester United the Premier League in 2013. Holland then went shockingly behind as Mile Jedinak dispatched a penalty to give the Socceroos the lead after the Dutch conceded a penalty.

The Dutch were free falling but their their captain pulled the parachute and equalised for his country by drifting into the box and powerfully scoring the equaliser after Memphis Depay played him in. Depay would then go onto win the match for Holland by curling home the winner from range.

The name Robin Van Persie should instill fear into all defences in Brazil now as he is in a form where he can do no wrong. Off the back of a disappointing campaign for Manchester United where we only saw glimpses of his clinical best due to injury problems, Van Persie has answered any questions about his form and fitness with his performances in the famous Dutch orange. He formed a deadly combination with compatriots Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder in qualifying, and they have continued their lethal linkup in their first two matches. The terrific trio have been a highlight of the tournament so far, but it will be just Robben and Sneijder against Chile next week.

Being the man with the armband and having led the Netherlands surprise package so far, when Van Persie received his second yellow card of the tournament he must have been heartbroken. One point away from finishing at the summit of group B, the Manchester United striker will be biting his nails when he watches from the stands and prays one of his compatriots plant the flag at the top, so will his manager who has counted on him so far. Having scored for fun in his last international matches, Louis Van Gaal can't replace Van Persie as he is one of a kind. The only positive is he will be fully fit for their first round of sixteen match, much to the dismay of whoever the Dutch will face in the knockout stages, as he will be fired up to carry Netherlands all the way.

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