Wednesday, 20 November 2013 - 04:33
ArenA turns into battlefield
The practice match between Oranje and Colombia, Tuesday night in the Amsterdam ArenA, bore more resemblance to a battle than a soccer game. Several players of the Dutch team did not make it to the end, because of injuries. With Jeremain Lens benched before the end of the first half, the only positive note was that the Dutch team ended the year 2013 unbeaten with a 0-0 score. Shortly after the kick-off Rafael van der Vaart was in a good position to score a goal, but the ball ended up hitting the post. In the rebound Siem de Jong failed to finish the job. Jeremain Lens also found himself in a scoring position against the 42 -year-old goalie Farid Mondragon, but failed to cash in on the opportunity. Half an hour into the game Joël Veltman blundered. The player got lucky when his mistake landed the ball in the possession of Guttierez, who was offside. The goal was justly disqualified. Jeremain Lens did not make it to half time. The referee pulled out the red card after Lens shoved Pablo Armero. The Colombian defender had kicked Lens when they were both down. Arbitrator Meyer failed to discipline Santiago Arias shortly after Jeremain Lens was benched. The Colombian only got a yellow card after treating Daly Blind to an elbow, during a duel. Siem de Jong and Van der Vaart from the Oranje team were taken out of the game in the final five minutes before half-time, because of injuries. Despite the numerical minority the teams were a match in the second half. By then, however, all friendliness had evaporated from the practice game. The South Americans, number four on the world ranking list, played hard, constantly provoking the young team of coach Louis van Gaal.