Leroy Fer scored in the 77th minute and Memphis Depay added a goal in stoppage time as the Netherlands won Group B in the 2014 World Cup with a 1-0 decision over Chile in Monday’s group finale.
It was another close win for Louis van Gaal’s squad, which did not have a player with ‘van’ in the lineup for the first time since 1996.
Netherlands now gets the second-place team in Group A, likely Mexico or Croatia, while Chile earns a date with the winner (likely a tantalizing match with host nation Brazil).
It was a sleepy affair without a great deal of offense, as the intensity of both nations knowing their may have played a role in the great deal of nothing. This was especially true in the first half.
How brutal was it? This’ll help the description.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 23, 2014
The second half at least supplied some moments, as Dirk Kuyt headed a strong Arjen Robben corner kick wide of the Chile goal in the 75th minute. Memphis lashed a shot on goal in the 77th that was deflected over the bar by Bravo.
But Fer, the Norwich City man, found the target on a free kick moments later, turning his head into a hammer to make it 1-0.
Chile carried possession, danger and corner kicks late, but could not find their way through for an equalizer. Then Robben’s counter ended with a gorgeous low pass that Memphis buried for his second goal in as many matches.
Memphis, 20, is a transfer rumor favorite this offseason for Manchester United and Real Madrid amongst others.
Chile: Bravo; Silva (Valdivia, 70′), Medel, Jara; Mena, Isla, Aranguiz, Diaz; Gutierrez (Beausejour, 46′); Sanchez, Vargas (Ferrara, 80′)
Netherlands: Cillessen; Vlaar, de Vrij, Blind; Janmaat, de Jong, Wijnaldum, Kuyt )(Kongolo, 89′); Sneijder (Fer, 75′); Robben, Lens (Memphis, 68′)
Goals: (Fer, 77′), Memphis (90+2′)