Group B resolution

On Monday, the World Cup went into the final round of games in the round robin.  Due to collusive results in earlier world cups, the two final games in each pool are now played as close to simultaneous as possible.

So it's impossible to watch all games live from this round (pity), but the plus side is that there are only two kickoff times per day, rather than the three to four seen previously.

The first, oddly, was Group B, where Spain and Australia had already been eliminated, and the Dutch and Chileans were fighting to win the group.  Since it was the only game that mattered, I opted for the Netherlands/Chile match-up.

Early on, the Dutch seemed content to let the South Americans keep the ball, and weren't even pressuring them until they crossed midfield.  I guess that was an attempt to draw them in and open up counterattacks (or maybe a sign that the Dutch didn't care much about the result and didn't want to tire themselves out; also a possibility).

Whatever the reason, it made for a fairly boring game, with the first scoring chance I wrote down coming in the 39th minute.  That was off a nice run by Robben, coming down just left of center by himself, but finally pushing the shot wide.

I think I must have not been paying really close attention, because that's the only scoring attempt I noted in the first half.  And I don't have any for the first half-hour of the second half, although I did note that the midfield was contested much more tightly, by both sides, in the second half.  To the point that there was an immense amount of contact between players.

The Dutch finally opened the scoring in the 77th minute, with an interesting corner kick strategy.  They played it straight back from the corner, then centered it from further back, and won the ball in the air just at the far side of the net.  The goalie, of course, had no chance at it.

That pushed the Chileans to desperation, and they opened up a bit, allowing some Dutch chances, but I had to turn the game off (around the 88th minute) before the Dutch scored a second time.

Though it didn't really matter, the Spanish crushed the Aussies 3-0 in the other game, salvaging a little bit of their pride.

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