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The Cup Running Over


June 28, 2010 11:47 AM

Instant Round of 16 Review: Netherlands Trounces Slovakia 2-1

SCORE: Netherlands 2, Slovakia 1. If there's ever been a score that didn't reflect the game, this was the one. The Dutch dominated.

TURNING POINT: There was none -- the Dutch controlled the "action" from start to finish (with one minute of slip-ups midway through the second half) and seemed content to waltz through the 90 minutes, conserving their energy. That didn't make for the greatest game. Put it this way: When the the talk of the game is about what a great match the next Dutch contest will be, you know that the one you're watching probably isn't generating a lot of excitement.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Yes, Arjen Robben picked up the Dutch offense as expected but once again, Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong were mainstays at the back.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: The Dutch scored early, then more or less put the game to sleep. Very un-Dutch. Here's our theory: The Germans have secretly traded uniforms with the Dutch this Cup. Efficiency over flair vs. flair over efficiency.

BIGGEST NO-SHOW: The vaunted Slovakian offense, though we should give the Dutch defense some credit for that. Shots on goal for Slovakia? Try three -- two in the same minute when these new Dutch who play like the old Germans briefly became like the old Dutch again and one on the final kick of the game (a meaningless penalty).

IF THE GAME WERE A ROLLING STONES SONG IT WOULD BE: Sleep Tonight

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