Netherlands held on with only ten men for just under an hour to record a 0-0 draw with Colombia in the Amsterdam Arena.

  • By Michael Bell
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dep netNetherlands nearly got off to a great start, but Rafael van der Vaart’s excellent shot came crashing off the bar, and Siem de Jong put the rebound into the side netting. Jeremain Lens then latched onto a poor back pass, but his stretching effort flew just wide.

Things then began to go wrong for the Dutch,as Lens was given a straight red for a push on Pablo Armero after 35 minutes, although replays showed the Colombian was lucky to get away with what looked like a kick on Lens. However the Dynamo Kiev winger can not be excused for the stupidity shown in pushing Armero by the throat.

Siem de Jong, and Rafael van der Vaart were both taken off injured before the break, with Luciano Narsingh, and Leroy Fer having to come on, and with no striker on the pitch, things looked grim for the Dutch.

However in the second half, Netherlands defended brilliantly with Joel Veltman and Ron Vlaar keeping Falcao at bay, and quelling any crosses into the box.

At the other end, Memphis Depay was excellent, and his link play with Leroy Fer nearly gave Netherlands the lead, but the latter’s shot was blocked.

Colombia could find no way through the Dutch resistance, and Louis van Gaal’s side held on to maintain their unbeaten record through the whole of 2013.

Although there was a few negatives, the performances by both Joel Veltman and Memphis Depay are huge positives for Netherlands, and the two have taken a stride towards next summer’s World Cup, Jeremain Lens on the other hand will be lucky to be selected any time soon.

Without Robin van Persie, Nigel de Jong,  Arjen Robben, and Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands put in a decent performance against a very good Colombia side, and although the draw with Japan on Saturday felt like a defeat, heads can be held high after this game.

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