Just two years ago, Holland was able to reach the final of the glorious World Cup Final in South Africa. After a loss in the final against Spain, however, the Orange Machine was put under the spotlight for this year's Eurocup 2012.
The opening match for the Dutch was filled with build-up, speculations, and excitement just like every other team in the tournament. However, the Dutch were criticized by their lack of concentration when it came to decision day in important matches.
After a 0-1 loss against Denmark, there was no doubt that the men in orange felt a little under pressure. With spectacular performances by Barcelona's own Ibrahim Afellay and Arsenal's Robin Van Persie, the Dutch still failed to find the back of the net numerous amounts of time. So the questions remains as to what the Dutch team lacked in their performances. Bayern Munich striker, Arjen Robben, lacked in accuracy when it came to striking on many occasions.
In an attempt to redeem themselves, the Dutch saw the opportunity to do just that in the match against the almighty Germans. Unfortunately, the Dutch defense could not stop the strength of Germany's go-to striker, Mario Gomez. After two goals in the first half, the Dutch responded with a goal from Van Persie, but were unable to equalize before the final whistle blew.
The final match came around with extreme difficulty to reach the next round of the tournament: Germany had to win, while the Dutch had to beat Portugal by two or more goals. After a positive start, and a tremendous finish by Rafael Van der Vart, the Orange's chances became just a little brighter when the news of a German goal against Denmark was announced. Their luck turned around when a strike from Cristiano Ronaldo increased the volume of his Portuguese fans, while reducing the celebrations from the Dutch.
A second strike from the Portuguese side was made late in the second half as the Dutch saw their miraculous chance to reach the quarter finals dwindle down the drain. While the Germans did their job against Denmark, winning 2-1, both Portugal and Germany became the new members of the final eight of this year's Eurocup.
Holland failed to reach the quarter final's for numerous amounts of reasons. The Dutch fell under the constant pressure of finally satisfying their country with a trophy after failing to do so in the World Cup final of 2010. Coming into the tournament with an always strong team, the men in orange were unable to meet the high expectations demanded by the press, but most of all their fans. The present team of 2012 will be haunted by the fact that they can too become the Dream Team of the late and great Johan Cruyff of the 1970s, but what will it take?Back to the Soccer Newsfeed