World Cup - Early Van Persie goal hands Dutch win over Ghana

Robin van Persie scored early to set the Netherlands on their way to victory over Ghana in a World Cup warm-up in Rotterdam on Saturday though a series of missed opportunities by Arjen Robben kept the score to 1-0.

Reuters
World Cup - Early Van Persie goal hands Dutch win over Ghana
.

View photo

Robin van Persie scores against Ghana (Reuters)

It had threatened to be a runaway triumph for the Dutch, who like Ghana were playing their penultimate preparatory match before heading to the tournament in Brazil.

Instead, after van Persie had tapped home from close range in the fifth minute, it turned into an unconvincing display from the 2010 World Cup runners-up and their African opponents.

Van Persie's goal came at the conclusion of a sweeping move involving Wesley Sneijder and Robben when Jeffrey Schlupp, the Leicester City full back playing his second match for Ghana, slipped at the crucial moment to allow for an easy finish.

It extended van Persie's record-breaking goalscoring streak for the Netherlands to 43 in 84 internationals.

Robben then conjured up the most extraordinary miss from even closer range seven minutes later when Danny Blind swept in a pass in from the left flank but Robben somehow managed to touch it wide of goal.

He was clear on goal some 12 minutes later but saw his attempted chip over the goalkeeper hit Adam Kwarasey on the chest instead.

Robben then forced a good save out of Kwarasey on the stroke of halftime and 12 minutes into the second half lunged despairingly at a shot from Sneijder but failed to get a touch to steer it goalwards.

Kwarasey denied Robben again 12 minutes from time with a strong save at his near post.

Ghana had no clear efforts on the Dutch goal but managed to disrupt the early rhythm that Louis van Gaal's team showed and rendered a sizeable home crowd largely silent for most of the match.

Instead, a small contingent of Ghanaian fans were conspicuous by their singing throughout the second half, chanting "Hallelujah" over and over again as if seeking divine intervention for their team.

It could prove necessary for even though Ghana started without top striker Asamoah Gyan, appointing Michael Essien captain instead, and only brought Kevin Prince Boateng on in the second half, they showed little to suggest they could equal or better their heroics of four years ago when they became only the third African country to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

The Dutch complete their warm-up programme with a friendly against Wales in Amsterdam on Wednesday while Ghana fly to the U.S. on Sunday for a week more of training and will meet South Korea in Miami on June 9 before going on to Brazil.

View comments (3)
Write for Yahoo Sport
  • Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Ian Bell guided England to an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the third test at Edgbaston on Friday to put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with two matches to play. Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root, with an unbeaten 38, anchored the chase after England were set to 121 to win on the third day at Edgbaston where a dominant performance banished memories of a heavy defeat at Lord's. England lost Alastair Cook (7) and Adam Lyth (12) to set a few nerves on edge but Bell, dropped on 20 by Australia captain Michael Clarke, made his second 50 of the match to spark raucous celebrations after Root hit the winning runs. More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago
  • Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Liverpool offload Rickie Lambert after just one unproductive season at Anfield More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 9 minutes ago
  • Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Inter Milan have signed Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, although there were conflicting reports as to whether it was a loan or permanent switch. More »

    Eurosport - 3 hours ago
  • Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Who replaces Sepp Blatter? These key questions and more are answered on this week's episode of The Rail, as Spencer is joined by football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem. More »

    Copa90 - 3 hours ago
  • No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    The snow will be fake, but the very real financial muscle China boasts proved decisive on Friday when Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Games officials meeting in Kuala Lumpur voted for the Chinese capital over the lure of a winter wonderland offering from Kazakhstan's Almaty, in a clear sign that the International Olympic Committee is craving solidity and security after a series of problems and headaches. While Rio scrambles to make up lost time in its building for the 2016 Olympics, and Tokyo is embroiled in a stadium drama the allure of a megacity with a cast-iron financial guarantee proved irresistible. More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago