Football FanCast's Euro 2008
reporter Julio Omar Rodriguez was delighted to finally see the competition
come alive as the Dutch thumped Italy.
Finally a proper game to light up the tournament, two teams who are
excellent technically and the quality really showed. The Dutch looked very
impressive and their football was a delight to watch and they looked every bit
the potential winners of the competition. It was good to watch two teams
playing good attacking football, especially after the bile served up by the
French and the Romanians earlier on in the day. Let's just hope that finally
this tournament has woken up and we will be treated to more of this type of
The score line would suggest that Italy were played off the park but
this is simply not the case, they played their part in an excellent exhibition
of the way the game should be played, there was no way three goals difference
in the performances of these two European heavyweights. They were simply beaten
by a goal that was clearly offside and two sublime counter attacks by Van
There were two things that struck me more than anything else in this game,
the first was the way after each goal the Dutch made a point of getting every player
involved in the celebrations, an attempt to prove their togetherness maybe?
The second thing was watching the performance of Khalid Boulahrouz, who
was nothing short of a rock at the back for the Netherlands, is this the same
guy who is a mule for Chelsea? The other English based players on show for the
Dutch Dirk Kuyt and Edwin Van der Sar both played key roles in this win, the
former working hard as usual and setting up the third goal seconds after a
fantastic flying save from the latter from an Andrea Pirlo free kick.
Actually there is a third thing that struck me and that is another
player who seems to have been around forever coming onto the pitch for the
Italians and nearly changing the game, Alessandro Del Piero who surely will
start up front alongside Luca Toni in their next game.
Dive watch – Luca Toni and Mauro Camoranesi were the pick
of a very considerably large bunch in this game. Dive watch got a bit confused
though when Ruud Van Nistelrooy didn't go down for a penalty in the first half
after rounding Buffon and getting clipped by the Italian keeper, and it was 0-0
at the time – that was a very weird moment indeed.
If the Italians play like this in their next two games they should still
qualify for the second round as they are a far better side than France and Romania judging by today's games.
As for the Dutch, let's hope they haven't peaked too soon and they continue to
play like this and if they do they will be worthy winners of the tournament.