Brazil too hot for Chile

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Brazil progressed into the quarter-finals of the World Cup to play Holland after a comfortable 3-0 victory over South American rivals Chile.

Dunga’s side were in complete control of the game in Johannesburg, although Chile came out of the blocks firing for the first quarter-of-an-hour.

But after seeing off the early pressure, Brazil soon asserted their authority on the game and took the lead in the 35th minute when Juan headed in Maicon’s corner.

If the opener was not a typical Brazilian goal, their second certainly was. Just three minutes later Kaka slipped in Luis Fabiano and the in-form striker rounded goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before slotting home.

The result was secured just before the hour mark as Robinho picked up the ball after a superb run from Ramires, and he curled it into the far corner from the edge of the area leaving Bravo with no chance.

It has been no easy run for Brazil – they emerged from a ‘Group of Death’ unscathed and with reputations enhanced, and on this evidence the Dutch will need to summon up the spirits of past greats if they are to challenge Dunga’s men.

Kaka remains Brazil’s talisman and the Real Madrid midfielder was impressive on his return from suspension – though he managed to pick up his third booking of the tournament after English referee Howard Webb was unimpressed with his trip on a Chile player.

Punishment

After Juan had opened the scoring, punishing Chile for their failure to deal with Brazil’s aerial threat at a corner from Maicon, Kaka was heavily involved in the second goal.

Robinho began the move with a burst down the left and an early ball into Kaka in the middle. One brilliant first-time pass split the Chile central defenders asunder and left Fabiano able to skip past keeper Bravo and finish.

Credit too to English linesman Michael Mullarkey for a perfect call to judge the Sevilla striker onside.

The goal made up for Fabiano having dragged his shot wide after being put in the clear by a super ball from Dani Alves.

Brazil had almost drawn first blood earlier through Gilberto Silva, proving in this match and not for the first time that Arsene Wenger committed a rare blunder in disposing of his services two years ago, who hit a fierce long-range effort that Bravo turned aside at full stretch.

Chile’s main hope looked to be through the creative instincts of their gifted 21-year-old Alexis Sanchez, a player being watched by a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester United.

The Udinese player certainly provided Brazil with something to think about with a series of decent touches – one lovely pass for Humberto Suazo promised much but the striker did not match up with a disappointing effort to lob Julio Cesar.

Brazil could afford to take their foot off the gas at half-time, so minimal was the threat posed by Marcelo Bielsa’s Chileans, but they still managed to extend their lead.

Robinho was the man to strike just before the hour mark, curling it effortlessly past Bravo but he had Ramires to thank after a blistering run by the Benfica midfielder.

Thunderbolt

Alves hit a thunderbolt that must have had Bravo worried but it drifted just wide, before Jorge Valdivia came as close as Chile had managed to a reply, teeing himself up and then firing just over from the edge of the box.

Kaka nearly claimed the goal his performance deserved after a surge down the left by Michel Bastos but was narrowly off target.

Bravo kept the score respectable by denying Robinho and then Suazo neatly turned Lucio – and not many players have done that this tournament – but Julio Cesar beat away his strike.

The game was up for Chile however and Dunga rubbed salt in the wound by taking off Kaka and sending on Kleberson – the player who flopped so dismally at Manchester United – to illustrate Brazil’s overwhelming superiority.

Brazil Team Statistics Chile
3 Goals 0
2 1st Half Goals 0
6 Shots on Target 1
11 Shots off Target 7
0 Blocked Shots 6
8 Corners 6
14 Fouls 18
1 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
76.9 Passing Success 82
21 Tackles 31
81 Tackles Success 77.4
47.3 Possession 52.7
43.9 Territorial Advantage 56.1

Man of the match: Tough call between Gilberto Silva and Michel Bastos, but Bastos gets the nod for keeping Chile dangerman Alexis Sanchez quiet.

Moment of the match: Brazil’s second goal was a typical Brazil effort as Robinho, Kaka and Fabiano combined to open up the Chile defence.

Attempt of the match: The hard-working Suazo produced a superb turn and shot inside the box which forced Cesar into his only real save of the game.

Save of the match: Bravo produced a flying save to keep out Gilberto Silva’s powerful shot in the first half.

Talking point: Can anyone stop Brazil as they look strong in defence as well as in attack?

Goal of the game: Kaka provided a superb cushioned pass to Fabiano who coolly rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home.

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Brazil 3 Chile 0

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90+2 Howard Webb blows the full-time whistle as Brazil progress to the quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Chile. Goals from Juan, Luis Fabiano and Robinho give the tournament favourites a comfortable win to set up a mouth-watering last eight clash with Holland.

90+2 Superb solo run from Bastos down the left, but he pokes his shot wide of the target.

90+1 Rare mistake from Lucio as he gives the ball away to Valdivia on the edge of the box, but the Chile ace fires his shot wide of the target.

90 There will be two minutes added on at the end of the 90 minutes.

90 Ramires has a sight of goal from Bastos’ pass, but his shot sails over the crossbar.

89 Brazil fans are celebrating in the stands as they prepare for a quarter-final showdown with Holland.

Substitution85 Former Tottenham man Gilberto comes on for Robinho in Brazil’s final change.

84 Nice approach play from Chile as Valdivia tees up Beausejour inside the box, but he flashes his shot wide of the target.

83 Great cross from Bastos to Nilmar inside the box, but the sub heads his effort over the top.

Substitution81 Kleberson comes on for Kaka in Brazil’s second change.

Yellow Card80 Millar is booked for hauling back Nilmar in midfield.

78 Suazo goes close to scoring for Chile with a scuffed volley that bounces into the ground and off the top of the crossbar.

76 Robinho has the ball in the net, but his celebrations are cut short by an offside flag.

Substitution76 Nilmar comes on for Fabiano in Brazil’s first chance of the game.

75 Superb turn and shot from Suazo inside the box, but Cesar is equal to it to turn it round the post.

74 Robinho breaks the offside trap and fires in a shot which is turned behind by Bravo.

Yellow Card71 Ramires is booked for a tackle on Sanchez and it means Ramires will miss the quarter-final with Holland.

69 Poor effort from Kaka as Bastos picks out the attacker on the edge of the box, but he curls his effort well over the top.

Yellow Card68 Fuentes is booked for a hefty challenge on Fabiano.

66 Chile go close as the ball sits up for Valdivia who smashes his volleyed effort just over the top.

64 Sanchez could have gone done for a penalty after a challenge from Gilberto, but the winger stayed on his feet and in the end Brazil manage to clear the danger.

64 Tello has a shot from a free-kick on the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by the wall.

Substitution62 Chiile make their final change of the contest as Millar replaces Isla.

61 Ambitious effort from Alves who lets fly from fully 30 yards and his shot swerves just wide of the target.

59 Brazil make it 3-0 with a fine finish from Robinho. Ramires bursts from midfield past two Chile challenges and slots the ball to Robinho who curls his shot into the bottom corner past Bravo.

59 Good tracking back from Robinho as he races back to steal the ball from Isla just as he was about to pull the trigger.

55 Brazil win a corner as Lucio bursts from the back and plays in Robinho down the right who sees his cross diverted behind. Chile manage to clear the danger.

53 Poor pass from Kaka as he tries to play Robinho into space, but his pass is overhit and runs out of play. Wasted opportunity from Brazil as Chile start to leave spaces at the back.

51 Tello has another chance to get another cross into the box from a free-kick, but his delivery is cleared by Juan.

50 Searching cross from Tello, but it has just too much pace on it and Cesar collects the ball.

47 Alves’ free-kick just clears the crossbar with his floated attempt.

Yellow Card47 Vidal is booked for a foul on Kaka as Brazil win a free-kick wide on the left.

Substitution46 Chile make two changes at the break with Tello and Valdivia coming on for Gonzalez and Contreras .

Sky Bet Brazil 1/50

Draw 18/1

Chile 66/1

The game looks up for Chile and those on the ‘good thing’ double with Holland are already joining the payout queue!.3-0 at 11/4 and 4-0 at 11/2 are likely to be popular during half time as punters sense Brazil will turn on the style in the second half.Fabiano is 4/1 to score the next goal and add to his earlier strike.

Half Time45+1 Howard Webb brings the first half to a close with Brazil in command of the game at 2-0. Two goals in three minutes from Juan and Luis Fabiano have knocked the stuffing out of Chile as Brazil have one foot in the quarter-finals.

45 There will be one minute of added time at the end of the opening 45 minutes.

44 Maicon fizzes in a cross which Fabiano flicks over the crossbar with an instinctive header.

41 Bastos finds space down the left and fires in a shot which goes just wide of the target.

40 A wild effort from Mark Gonzalez as he slices his right-footed shot horribly wide of the target.

Goal38 Brazil score their second goal in the space of three minutes with a superb effort from Fabiano. Robinho feeds Kaka who in turn plays in Fabiano with a superb first-time pass and the striker rounds Bravo to slot the ball into the empty net for his third goal of the tournament. A brilliant Brazilian goal.

37 Fabiano makes a mess of an attempted backheel hitting the ball against his own leg as Brazil waste a great chance to catch Chile on the break.

Goal34 Brazil break the deadlock as Juan powerfully heads Maicon’s corner high into the net past Bravo. It is a free header for the Brazilian and Chile will be asking questions about their defending.

33 Maicon goes down under pressure from Vidal, but Webb waves play on adjudging the defender to have dived. Maicon is lucky to escape a booking for that.

30 Suazo’s effort from the free-kick is disappointing and is blocked by the Brazil wall.

Yellow Card30 Kaka is the first player to be booked after clipping Vidal 35 yards from goal.

28 From the corner from Alves Juan heads wide under pressure from a couple of defenders.

27 Big appeal for a penalty from Brazil as Lucio goes down in the box under a challenge from Contreras, but Howard Webb waves away appeals and awards only a corner.

26 Brazil win a free-kick as Alves is barged over by Carmona. It is a chance for Brazil to get a ball into the box. Maicon flights in the free-kick and it is cleared by Fuentes, but Lucio does well to win the ball back and win a corner.

24 Beausejour wins a corner for Chile as his shot takes a flick off Maicon to go behind. Suazo’s corner is cleared by Lucio who wins a free-kick after being barged when heading clear.

22 Wasted opportunity for Sanchez as instead of passing to Suazo he fires in a shot which is blocked by the legs of Lucio.

21 Jara lets fly from fully 30 yards, but his shot is well off target.

20 20 minutes gone and it remains 0-0. Chile will be happy with the start to the game with chances few and far between.

18 Alves overhits his pass as he tries to send Robinho racing clear, but Bravo is off his line to collect the ball.

15 Ramires tries his luck from the edge of the box, but it is comfortably caught by Bravo.

13 Opening for Suazo as he gets in between Brazil’s two central defenders, but his attempted chip is easily saved by Cesar.

11 Chile win a free-kick to ease the pressure as Beausejour is caught by Gilberto Silva.

10 Chance for Kaka on the edge of the box, but he pulls his shot wide of the target. Brazil are starting to find their feet in the game.

9 Great effort from Gilberto Silva who lets fly from fully 30 yards which Bravo does well to dive full stretch to tip round the post for a corner. The corner comes to nothing as Chile see off the danger.

7 Brazil win their first corner of the game, but there is a delay in Alves’ taking of it as jostling goes on inside the box. Carmona heads out the cross for another corner. Again Chile clear their lines.

6 Robinho almost gets on the end of a ball from Alves, but the ball has too much pace on it and goes out of play.

5 First sight of goal for Brazil as Fabiano gets clear on goal, but he drags his shot well wide of the target.

4 Chile have started the better of the two sides and Cesar has to be alert to collect a cross from Isla. There is no fear from Chile in the early stages.

2 Chile win the first corner of the game in an encouraging start for the outsiders. It is taken short and as Sanchez fires in a shot Dani Alves produces a superb block to divert the ball away.

1 Kick-off: Chile get the game underway at a chilly Ellis Park.

Sky Bet If you fancy a flutter on tonight’s action our friends at Skybet have the latest odds. Brazil 1/2

Draw 3/1

Chile 6/1

Brazil have been well backed at 1/2 to win this one in 90 mins and at 1/5 to qualify from the tie. Chile have lost players to suspension and a red card can be backed at 6/4. Kaka returns from a suspension of his own and is 7/1 to net first. 2-0 Brazil is 15/2

The two teams are entering the pitch at Ellis Park as we now await the national anthems before the action gets underway.

Brazil have made three changes form the team that drew against Portugal last time out with Kaka returning from suspension and Robinho and Ramires back in the starting line-up after being rested.

Chile have made four changes of their own, with Marco Estrada, Waldo Ponce and Gary Medel suspended and Jorge Valdivia left out.

Ismael Fuentes starts at left-back with West Bromwich defender Gonzalo Jara partnering Pablo Contreras in central defence.

Humberto Suazo is set to plough a lone furrow in attack for Chile.

Howard Webb is the man in the middle tonight and he will be hoping to avoid making any headlines after Sunday’s controversial incidents in the England v Germany game and Argentina v Mexico.

Brazil have won their last seven meetings with Chile and they are heavy favourites to reach the quarter-finals.

Sky  Bet The winners of this second-round tie face Holland in the quarter-finals after the Dutch beat Slovakia 2-1 earlier in the day.

Chile: Bravo, Isla, Contreras, Jara, Fuentes, Vidal, Carmona, Beausejour, Sanchez, Suazo, Gonzalez.

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Michel Bastos, Dani Alves, Silva, Ramires, Kaka, Luis Fabiano, Robinho.

The teams are in…

Here we go then, Brazil face Chile in an all-South American second-round World Cup tie at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

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Spain v Portugal preview

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One of the most intriguing fixtures in the second round of the World Cup pitches Spain against Portugal.

The geographical neighbours entered this summer’s showpiece among the favourites to go all the way, with both having fared admirably at recent tournaments.

Portugal finished as runners-up at Euro 2004 and fourth at the 2006 World Cup, while Spain made the last 16 four years ago and took the spoils at the 2008 European Championship.

The weight of expectation perhaps weighed heavy on both teams during the group stages, as they offered only glimpses of their awe-inspiring best.

Spain lost their opening encounter to Switzerland, before recovering well to see off Honduras and Chile and top Group H.

Portugal finished second to Brazil in Group G, with a 7-0 demolition of North Korea undoubtedly their highlight so far.

Carlos Queiroz’s side are also the only team left in the competition yet to concede a goal, having been held 0-0 by Ivory Coast and Brazil in their other two games.

Spain will be hoping that their attacking weapons start to fire as the World Cup enters the knockout stages, while Portugal have also yet to see the best from their main men.

Fernando Torres has so far failed to find the target for the Spanish, and looks far from match sharp, while Cristiano Ronaldo has been unable to produce the sparkling form which earned him the 2009 World Player of the Year award.

All that could be about to change, though, as both nations boast considerable experience and match-winning firepower within their ranks.

Alonso doubt

Spain’s quest for a quarter-final place has been hampered by the news that Xabi Alonso looks set to be unavailable to Vicente del Bosque.

He sustained an ankle knock during the final group fixture against Chile and is struggling to prove his fitness.

Should he miss out, his place in the starting XI is expected to go to Javi Martinez – who replaced him against Chile.

Spain will also be without Real Madrid centre-half Raul Albiol, who has an ankle injury of his own.

Deco returns

Portugal will welcome Deco back into their plans for the all-or-nothing encounter.

He missed the final two fixtures of the group stages with a hip complaint, but is now raring to go once more.

Queiroz will be delighted to have Deco back in contention, as fellow playmaker Danny is missing with a thigh injury.

Ruben Amorim is struggling with a similar problem and he will once again be forced to watch on from the sidelines.

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Paraguay v Japan preview

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Paraguay head into their game against Japan in the second round of the World Cup as favourites to progress, but this will not be an easy game for the South Americans.

There is unlikely to be many goals in this game in Pretoria on Tuesday, with both sides having scored just seven between them and conceded three so far in the finals.

Paraguay may have topped Group F and proved how strong their continent’s teams have been during this tournament, but the Japanese have caused some surprises so far, impressing in wins over Cameroon and Denmark and only narrowly losing out to Holland.

They have not played the enterprising football of the Chileans or had the star quality in Luis Suarez or Diego Forlan that Uruguay possess, but Paraguay have always been a tough, solid side, so far conceding just one goal that came in their opening 1-1 draw with the underwhelming Italians.

Lack of firepower

A 0-0 draw with New Zealand displayed a worrying lack of firepower, but arguably their finest players come in their attack, with Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Barrios, Nelson Valdez and Oscar Cardozo all options up front for manager Gerardo Martino.

Martino was unhappy with his forwards’ profligacy in front of goal, and they may find it tough to break through, even having trouble breaking down a poor Slovakia side who showed no attacking threat as they went down 2-0.

Paraguay are likely to try to make their physical presence count against the less imposing Japanese, but they will need to improve their finishing if they want to make it any further than the quarter-finals.

Japan have been a busy, hard-working, organised and disciplined side, benefiting from the skills of Keisuke Honda, who has proved to be one of the most impressive players of this World Cup so far, leading the line well and scoring a stunning long-range free kick against the Danes.

It is the first time the Japanese have ever made the last 16 of the finals outside of their nation, after reaching the same stage when they hosted the 2002 competition, but they will have to do what no other Asian side has done in the history of the World Cup and beat South American opposition.

They were not expected to make much of an impact this summer, however the performances of Honda, Yasuhito Endo and Tulio Tanaka has given them a real chance to make the quarter-finals, but they will have to be at their strongest to get past the physical nature of Paraguay.

Team news

Another bonus for manager Takeshi Okada is that he has managed to field the same team for every game so far after suffering no injuries or suspensions during the tournament.

Okada is likely to stick with the same formation and players, and will be boosted by the news that centre-back Tanaka should be fit to play after recovering from a back injury despite training on his own since the 3-1 win over Denmark.

Paraguay will be without Victor Ceceres who is suspended following two bookings in the group stage with Carlos Bonet likely to deputise.

Antolin Alcaraz missed their encounter with the All Whites with a minor injury but should return in time for Tuesday’s game and could start for Martino’s men.

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Holland 2 Slovakia 1

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But that’s the last kick of the game as Holland go through to the quarter-finals with a workmanlike performance. Shearer reckons they can’t win the World Cup but you never know. Thanks for all your e-mails today and tune in later for Brazil’s clash with Chile.

Penalty Goal90 + 4 Vittek sends the keeper the wrong way to score his fourth goal of the tournament.

Yellow Card90 + 4 Stekelenburg is booked and prepares to face the spot-kick.

Penalty Given90 + 3 Jakubko is brought down by Stekelenburg and a penalty is awarded.

90 + 2 Sneijder has made his last contribution as he makes away for Ibrahim Afellay, whose first touch is to drill the ball low from 25 yards just past the post.

90 + 1 Three minutes stoppage time to be played. Jakubko thinks he’s through but he is flagged offside.

90 Elia thinks about getting forward but plays it back to Van Bronckhorst, who underhits a back pass, but it’s a throw to Holland.

89 Kuyt heads the ball goalwards and gets into the box. His low cross tries to far Elia at the far post but Mucha just cuts it out.

88 A deep cross from Kuyt sails over the bar.

Substitution87 Double change for Slovakia as Marek Sapara and Martin Jakubko come on for Zabavnik and Hamsik, who has been poor.

86 A cross from the by-line falls to Elia at the back post. He tries to get past Pekarik before shooting low sraight at Mucha.

Yellow Card85 Skrtel is booked for protesting about something.

Goal84 GOAL SNEIJDER! Van Bronckhorst sends a free-kick down the left channel for Kuyt, who heads the ball past Mucha. He controls the ball and pulls it back for Sneijder, who side-foots the ball home from 15 yards.

82 Elia concedes a free-kick down Slovakia’s right. De Jong fouls Hamsik moments later. Hamsik delivers a cross which is headed out by Mathijsen.

81 Holland try to take a quick free-kick but the ref isn’t happy with that and he brings the play back.

80 RVP isn’t happy with the decision and he has a word with coach Bert van Marwijk.

Substitution79 Another change for Holland as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar replaces Van Persie.

78 Slovakia break down the left. Kucka gets in a shot on the edge of the area which is blocked but the ball falls to Vittek, whose snap-shot clears the bar. Holland appeal for offside but he was definitely on.

78 Terrible touch from Van Bronckhorst gives Slovakia a throw.

77 Kuyt makes a block and then skips past Zabavnik, but Weiss gets back and he makes a tackle. Throw to Holland.

76 Kuyt sprays the ball out to the left for Elia, but his cross is poor again and Weiss has time to bring the ball out.

75 Neat run from Elia is not matched by his cross which goes straight to Durica, who brings the ball clear.

74 The corner comes to nothing and Slovakia clear only for the men in orange to come forward again.

73 RVP plays the ball out to Kuyt on the left. The Liverpool man moves infield and sends in a fierce shot which is beaten away for a corner by Mucha.

Yellow Card72 First touch for Kopunek is to be shown a yellow card for going through the back of fellow sub Elia.

Substitution71 Slovakia also make a change as Kamil Kopunek comes on for Jendrisek.

Substitution71 Eljero Elia comes on for Robben, who is being saved for the next round by the looks of things.

70 Sneijder curls in the free-kick which is headed over by Kuyt.

69 Skrtel fouls Van Persie in a dangerous position on Holland’s left. Ideal for Sneijder.

68 Van Bommel loses possession but then races back and is fouled by Kucka.

67 An even better chance for Slovakia as Vittek receives the ball on the edge of the area, after De Jong has a rush of blood to the head. Vittek turns and shoots, but Stekelenburg pulls off a brilliant save.

66 Good move from the Slovaks as Stoch gets into the box but comes out again before his piledriver is tipped over by Stekelenburg.

65 Sneijder goes over the ankle of Kucka but no foul awarded.

64 Another quick counter attack from the Dutch as Robben plays the ball across to Sneijder. He cuts on to his right foot but his shot is blocked by a defender.

63 Slovakia need to up the tempo now, they’re long-range shots just aren’t cutting the mustard.

62 Kucka shoots from just outside the centre circle! His shot is going wide but Stekelenburg is scrambling and nearly decides to palm it out for a corner.

61 Van Bommel slips past Kucka but Slovakia are soon back on the ball.

60 Sneijder penalised for a foul inside Slovakia’s half which is taken long by Skrtel for Vittek. Stoch goes down in the box under pressure from Van Bommel but no penalty awarded.

59 Free-kick to Holland to the right of the Slovak area. RVP sends in a fierce shot which is punched out by Mucha, who clatters into Kuyt at the same time – or possibly the other way round. Brave keeping.

58 Zabavnik is back on the pitch. Sneiijder plays the ball out to Robben, who ghosts past Zabavnik and tries to cut the ball back for Sneijder but the danger is cleared.

57 He’s receiving treatment on the touchlines but play continues without him. Slovakia momentarily down to 10 men.

56 It looks a nasty challenge and the stretcher is on.

55 Zabavnik in pain as RVP runs into him stretching for the ball inside Slovakia’s area. The Slovaks kick the ball out.

54 Zabavnik penalised for handball as Robben tries to take the ball past him.

53 Van Bommel catches Kucka and Slovakia have a free-kick which is taken short.

52 Free-kick on the left is floated to the back post by Sneijder for Kuyt but Kucha takes a good catch.

50 Another great chance for Holland. This time Robben turns up on the left and sends in a low cross for Van Bommel, whose close-range shot strikes the face of Mucha. Lucky escape for the men in white, should be 2-0.

49 Weiss loses possession and the Dutch break down the left. Great tunr by RVP but Durica clears to Robben. The winger jinks his way to the edge of the area and forces a superb one-handed save from Mucha. Corner.

48 Slovakia enjoy a spell of possession as they seek an opening. Weiss tries to slip through to Hamsik but Heitinga inteercepts.

47 No changes at the break by the way.

46 Holland get the second half under way.

Feedback Liam Ferguson writes in: “I think the score justifies the level of play during the match, but I am really happy that Holland are winning because I have backed them since the start of the tournament and I have money on them, so hopefully Holland can defend and create more chances during the second half. I can see Sneijder and Van Persie getting on the score sheet as well as Vittek, I would be telling the Slovakian team to defend better, create chances and try to stop Robben and Kuyt from running up and down the wings. Final Result – Holland 3 Slovakia 1.” Cheers Liam

Sky Bet Update from Sky Bet. “Qualification into the quarters looks a formality now for Holland at 1/66, with Slovakia 12/1. Robben is 6/1 to follow up his strike with the next goal, while Sneijder can be backed at 7/1. The game could open up as Slovakia push for an equaliser and over 2.5 goals can be backed at 5/4.”

Feedback Nick Jones mailed during the game to say that “Holland were his pre-tournament prediction. He wants to know how they’re getting on and says they haven’t played a good team yet but as England, France and Italy have shown, you can only beat what’s in front of you. Also, as an Evertonian, he wants to know how Mucha is looking? I saw the one game and I thought he looked very solid.” Well, Nick they’re looking solid but are sitting on their lead against a side that could do something in the second half. Slovakia’s midfield looks quite tasty at times. Mucha was beaten at his near post but it was a great strike from Robben.

Feedback Before the game kicked off Nadz, from Mauritius, mailed to say Holland would win 2-0, with RVP scoring both goals. One part down there Nadz.

Feedback A few of you have had a bet on this game so let’s start with those. Stevewent for Van Persie to convert Robben’s cross to be first goalscorer. Unlucky Steve. Dave Gamston’s bet is still on. He has the Dutch to win 2-1 at 14/1.

Half Time The half-time whistle goes. Holland are slowing the game down now that they’re ahead which doesn’t make for a great spectacle but they’re just doing enough to get through.

45 Kucka takes the ball off the toes of Sneijder and his shot takes a deflection but the whistle blows for a foot-up, much to the midfielder’s disgust.

44 Slovakia are really struggling to get into this game.

43 Good move from the Dutch involving Van Persie, Sneijder, Robben and Van Bommel, whose cross to the near post finds RVP but he just misses the target.

42 Another long ball from the visionary Sneeijder is just too far for RVP.

41 Slovakia launch a counter attack and Weiss tries his luck from distance but his shot takes a deflection off Heitinga for Slovakia’s first corner which is taken short but comes to nothing.

40 RVP bursts forward but shoots with his right foot and it’s an easy save for Mucha.

Yellow Card39 Kucka brings the ball forward but pushes it too far and fouls De Jong which earns the Slovak midfielder a yellow card.

38 Weiss thinks he’s earned a corner off Mathijsen near the by-line but it’s a goal-kick to the Dutch.

37 Holland just playing the ball coolly around at the back as they have done for most of this tournament. They and Argentina are the only big teams not to have been troubled so far.

36 Weiss is harried off the ball by Van der Wiel near Hollaand’s corner flag. He thinks he should have had a free-kick but it’s a throw to the Dutch.

35 Change of flag for one of the linesman!

34 Van Brronckhorst commits a foul and the free-kick is taken short as Hamsik bursts forward. He plays the ball out to the right for Pekarik but his cross is headed out by Heitinga.

33 Zabavnik makes a crucial interception to prevent Robben from going clear down the right.

32 Jendrisek is off target with a shot from distance.

Yellow Card31 First booking of the game goes to Robben for handball but the Bayern Munich winger isn’t happy about it.

31 Stoch’s free-kick is swung in and back-heeled away from inside the six area by Nigel de Jong.

30 Free-kick 45 yards out to Slovakia as Vittek is fouled by Joris Mathijsen.

29 Poor ball by Vittek for Jendrisek as the ball goes out for a Dutch throw.

28 Sneijder brought down by Kucka inside Slovakia’s half.

27 Van Bommel earns another corner off Zabavnik which is swubg in by RVP. Kuyt heads the ball across the face of goal but Jendrisek is there first before Sneijder commits a foul inside the box.

26 Sneijder’s inswinging corner is punched away double-fisted by Mucha.

25 Holland in total control now as they move the ball around. Kuyt slips the ball to RVP, whose cross deflects off Peter Pekarik for a corner.

24 An aimless ball from the back goes straight through to Stekelenburg.

23 Robben moves infield and thinks Van der Wiel is there on the overlap as he backheels the ball to the rigth wing. He isn’t and the ball goes straight out for a throw.

22 Weiss loses possession as he tries to slip the ball past Van der Wiel but the Slovaks are soon back in control.

21 Robben is given a lot to do by RVP as the Arsenal’s pass goes out of play for a throw.

20 The Slovaks build slowly from the back as they look to recover from that setback.

19 Slovakia can count themselves unlucky to be a goal down but when you’re up against players like Robben and Sneijder you’re always going to risk conceding a goal.

Goal18 GOAL ROBBEN! Sensational long ball from Sneijder for Robben, who cuts inside Jan Durica and Zabavnik and shoots low inside the near post with his left foot and beats the outstretched arm of Mucha. Brilliant.

17 Holland earn a free-kick but Mark Van Bommel’s delivery inside his own half is atrocious.

16 Goal-kick to the Slovaks which is flicked on but Heitinga passes the ball back to Stekelenburg.

15 Jendrisek dispossesses Van der Wiel but his pass infield to Robert Vittek is cut out by Johnny Heitinga.

14 Juraj Kucka takes a set forward and drills the ball across the face of goal from about 25 yards. Not too far away but neither keeper has made a save yet.

13 Van Bronckhorst penalised for backing into Weiss inside Slovakia’s half.

12 Van Bronckhorst clears with a volley as Hamsik tries to pick out Jendrisek.

11 Kuyt flagged offside charging down the left flank.

10 Lively start to the game – and fairly equal on the balance of play. But Holland are back on the attack as RVP plays in Sneijder, who shoots straight at Jan Mucha.

9 Weiss has made a lively start and he sends in a low cross for Jendrisek, but Stekelenburg gets down low to gather.

8 The corner is cleared by Slovakia but Holland are back on the ball and Van Bronckhorst tries to find Van Persie but overhits his pass.

7 Great chance for Holland as Kuyt delivers a great cross to Robin Van Persie, whose header deflects off Radoslav Zabavnik for a corner. Poor attempt by the Arsenal striker.

6 Lots of long-range shots flying in as Kuyt tries his luck from distance to no effect.

5 Good flowing move from the Slovaks as Marek Hamsik has Maarten Stekelenburg scrambling at his near post.

4 Robben plays a short pass to Wes Sneijder, who curls the ball over from 25 yards. Better option was Kuyt on the wing.

3 Dirk Kuyt on the left today, with Robben on the right. Giovanni Van Bronckhorst earns a throw near the corner flag but Slovakia clear their lines.

2 Great start for Slovakia as Weiss breaks forward, taking advantage of Gregory Van der Wiel being out of position. He lays the ball off to Erik Jendrisek, who drives the ball just over the bar.

Feedback1 Slovakia get the game under way and we start with an e-mail from Greg, who writes: “Got £20 on Holland to win the world cup this time around! Hopefully they won’t need to use Robben until the next game, which I’m hoping will be Chile! Come on Holland!!!”

Arjen Robben and Gregory Van Der Wiel return for Holland, with Khalid Boulahrouz and Rafael Van der Vaart the men to make way. Vladimir Weiss comes in for Slovakia.

Here are today’s teams:

Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, Kuyt, Van Bommel, De Jong, Robben, Sneijder, van Persie. Subs: Vorm, Boulahrouz, Ooijer, De Zeeuw, Braafheid, Elia, Schaars, Babel, Afellay, Huntelaar, Van der Vaart, Boschker.

Slovakia: Mucha, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Zabavnik, Weiss, Kucka, Stoch, Hamsik, Jendrisek, Vittek. Subs: Pernis, Cech, Kozak, Sestak, Sapara, Holosko, Jakubko, Kopunek, Salata, Petras, Kuciak.

Our referee today is Alberto Undiano Mallenco from Spain.

Good afternoon and welcome to the first of today’s World Cup last-16 clockwatches. We’ve got Holland taking on surprise package Slovakia in Durban. The Dutch qualified from their group with a 100% record and Slovakia shocked Italy to qualify for the knockout phase. The teams will follow shortly but if you’ve got any thoughts about the game e-mail them to joel.

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Drilled Dutch slay Slovaks

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A fine strike from Arjen Robben and a late effort from Wesley Sneijder fired Holland into the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup as they claimed a routine 2-1 win over Slovakia in Durban.

Robben scored a trademark goal in the 18th minute in what turned out to be a cruise for the Dutch, who did what was required without over-exerting themselves, before Sneijder sealed the success while Robert Vittek grabbed an injury-time consolation for his nation.

The triumph means Holland will next face either Brazil or Chile in the last eight, with the South American pair to play on Monday evening.

Robben handed the Dutch a boost by making his first start of the 2010 World Cup, replacing Rafael van der Vaart, while Gregory van der Wiel returned to the team. For Slovakia, head coach Vladimir Weiss selected his son of the same name, with the Manchester City youngster coming in for Zdeno Strba.

Slovakia enjoyed a confident start to the fixture as a bright counter-attack in the second minute saw Weiss pass to Erik Jendrisek, whose strike from outside the box zoomed over the bar. Then it was Holland’s turn for a sighter, Sneijder the man to lash off target.

In the sixth minute, Marek Hamsik’s stinging left-footed shot had Maarten Stekelenburg a little more concerned, but the ball whistled wide. A minute later, Robin van Persie was presented with the game’s best chance thus far when he met a Dirk Kuyt cross, the Liverpool man delivering from the left wing, only to see his tame header deflected out for a corner.

Classic Robben

Holland struggled to find tempo and rhythm during the early exchanges, although a rare flash of flair from Van Persie, as he turned well before slipping in Sneijder, opened up the Slovaks. But the Inter Milan schemer’s effort was rather scuffed resulting in an easy stop for goalkeeper Jan Mucha.

However, Holland broke the deadlock on 18 minutes. A fabulous raking pass from Sneijder deep inside his own half was latched onto by Robben, who typically cut inside to open up his body for a left-footed strike, with Van Persie’s run helping to create space, and the Bayern Munich man rifled low into the corner.

Slovakia struggle to respond to their setback as the Dutch looked comfortable without being exerted. Indeed, Slovakia’s next most half-threatening moment came in the 31st minute when Nigel de Jong cleared a deep free-kick in unorthodox fashion. Seconds after, Robben was perhaps harshly given a yellow card for a deliberate handball.

The first half ended with a whimper as a lack of invention from both sides proved the undoing of a spectacle that promised much at the start. Moments of note before the half-time whistle included another harsh booking, this time for a Juraj Kucka foul, and a tepid right-footed shot by Van Persie. But that is scraping the barrel.

Holland very nearly doubled their lead twice in the space of a minute early in the second half. First, another Robben effort was expertly pushed around the post by Mucha before the Slovak keeper was swiftly called back into action, this time denying Joris Mathijsen with his face after a cross by Robben.

Van Persie then found himself involved on two differing occasions when he caught defender Radoslav Zabavnik with an awkward challenge before the Arsenal striker sent in an in-swinging free-kick which was bravely punched away by the Everton-bound Mucha.

Stekelenburg stops

Finally, Stekelenburg was called into action as twice in a minute Slovakia hit the target. Miroslav Stoch was first to pull the trigger, forcing a palm over from Stekelenburg before an even better chance for Vittek, who was one-v-one with the keeper, drew a stop which was made simple for the fact that the strike was central.

Holland boss Bert van Marwijk replaced the not yet fully fit Robben with Elijero Elia on 71 minutes while Jendrisek was replaced by Kamil Kopunek, whose first act was to foul Elia and be booked for the challenge.

Kuyt was the man to almost double Holland’s advantage when he headed over then thumped a long-range struck that stung the hands of Mucha. Vittek was presented with a half-chance with 12 minutes remaining but blasted over before Klaas Jan Huntelaar entered the fray for the rusty Van Persie.

And with six minutes left, the result was put beyond doubt. Mucha, so excellent throughout the game, was at fault as he came racing out of his goal to allow Kuyt to nip in. The Liverpool forward got his head up and rolled across goal for Sneijder who buried into the exposed goal and ensured of Holland’s progress.

But there was to be some cheer for Slovakia when Vittek grabbed his fourth goal of the tournament in the fourth minute of injury-time, dispatching from the penalty spot after a foul by Stekelenburg on Martin Jakubko in the area. Yet it proved nothing more than a consolation.

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Brazil v Chile preview

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Tournament favourites Brazil take on fellow South American outfit Chile for the right to face Holland or Slovakia in the last eight of the World Cup.

Five-time World Champions Brazil are unbeaten in the tournament so far, after successfully negotiating ‘Group of Death’ Group G.

Dunga’s side saw off North Korea 2-1 in their opener before sealing their qualification with an impressive 3-1 victory over Ivory Coast.

While the gloss was taken off their group campaign somewhat with the dour goalless stalemate with Portugal last time, the point at least helped Brazil finish top of their group.

They will also take confidence from the fact that they beat their opponents twice – a 3-0 win in Chile before a 4-2 home success – when heading the South America qualification group for the tournament, with Chile a point behind in second.

But it will not be easy at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park against a Chilean side who also began their World Cup group campaign with two wins.

These came in Group H against Honduras and Switzerland – with a single goal in each game enough to decide the issue in their favour.

But Marcelo Bielsa’s side then also suffered a hiccup in their last group game, going down 2-1 to well-fancied Spain.

Their cause was not helped by Marco Estrada’s dismissal, while rash goalkeeping by Claudio Bravo gifted David Villa the opening goal, and Bielsa will be demanding an improvement.

Team news

Brazil will be boosted by the return of star man Kaka from suspension, while midfielder Elano has been declared fit after shrugging off a knock on his ankle.

The former Manchester City player, who scored in both of Brazil’s opening two matches but missed the Portugal draw, took part in full training on Saturday and a team spokesperson confirmed he is available to play.

City forward Robinho also missed the bore draw but he too trained in the session and should feature against Chile.

But Felipe Melo remains a concern after twisting an ankle against Portugal, while Julio Baptista, who hurt his knee in the same game, is also a doubt.

Chile will be without Estrada after the midfielder received his marching orders against Spain following a second yellow card for clipping Fernando Torres.

But Chile will be able to cover his absence as fellow midfielders Carlos Carmona and Matias Fernandez missed the Spanish defeat through suspension and come back into consideration.

Along with Estrada, Jorge Valdivia came into the side last time to cover for the pair and he may again have to settle for a place on the bench.

Upfront, Mark Gonzalez was given the nod in Chile’s attack last time ahead of Humberto Suazo after his headed winner against Switzerland but Bielsa may decide to change things around.

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