Holland v Hungary
World Cup qualifier Group D
Friday 11th October 2013
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What a difference a few days make. Defeat against our arch rivals Romania in Bucharest left a nation deflated. Just a few days later, Estonia were being brushed aside in Budapest while over in Bucharest, Turkey were beating Romania in a game which ended 2-0 to our cousins and newly found saviours. From despair to delight as Hungary returned to 2nd place in the group on 14 points, 1 ahead of Turkey and Romania who drop to 3rd on goal difference.
So it is simple, we need to win in Holland before hosting Andorra the following Tuesday, who have no points and have scored no goals in their campaign. So how simple is winning in Holland? Well they top group D having played 8 games, winning 7 and drawing 1. They have scored 24 goals and conceded 4. Simple hey?
Looking at their last two fixtures, they managed to only put 2 past Andorra and needed an injury time equaliser to secure a draw with Estonia so anything is possible but Hungary’s record against Holland is terrible and the reverse fixture was an easy 4-1 win for the away side. Previously we met the Dutch in 2011 during European Championship qualifying and although it was a brilliant game, Hungary lost 5-3 in Amsterdam after a 4-0 defeat in Budapest. Previous to those, two friendlies in Holland resulted in a 6-1 defeat in 2010 and a 7-1 defeat in 1994. You have to go back to 1984 for a Hungary win in Holland when they defeated the Dutch 2-1 in the qualification for the World Cup in Mexico which was the last time Hungary reached a major tournament.
To be Hungarian is to be pessimistic and this time probably with good reason. I would love to be writing about our chances but they are slim at best. Let’s not forget why we love this game so much though and anything could happen. I would love my Andorra game preview to be focusing on who we could face in the play offs but I am pretty sure we will be focusing on the next generation of players and a new manager.
For a perspective of things from a Dutch point of view, there was only one guy I could go to. Herman Hobert is a commentator for Eurosport and was very kind in giving me his time and opinion.
Although the Dutch have already qualified, they are very keen to win their last two matches in Group D. It is very important that they collect co efficient points as Holland have dropped down to 9th place in the FIFA world rankings. This was one of the points that manager Louis van Gaal pointed out in a recent press conference.
The Dutch players are very motivated to win their next match in the Amsterdam Arena because it is a chance for them to put on a show and repay the fans with a good winning performance. The Dutch team also has to show good sportsmanship towards the other sides in the group (Romania and Turkey) who can still finish in 2nd place, so taking it easy will not be an option.
One thing is for sure, the Dutch will play a key role in deciding who gets the runners up spot in the group as they face Hungary and Turkey in their last two games.
Possible line ups:
Michel Vorm, Daryl Janmaat, Stefan De Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Jetro Willems, Nigel de Jong, Wesley Sneijder, Kevin Strootman, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Jeremain Lens
Ádám Bogdán, Tamás Kádár, Richárd Guzmics, Vilmos Vanczák, Zoltán Lipták, Ákos Elek, Tamás Hajnal,Vladimir Koman, Balázs Dzsudzsák, Dániel Böde, Krisztián Németh
Referee : Martin Atkinson (Eng)
Assistant Referee 1: Peter Kirkup (Eng)
Assistant Referee 2: Jake Collin (Eng)
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner (Eng)
Follow Herman on twitter @HermanHobert
Holland 5 Hungary 3
Holland 1 Hungary 2