Robben marked his return against Slovakia, his pace and positional sense provides width and another dimension of play for the team, and just 18 minutes in, he put his name on the score-sheet. A quick counter-attack all starting from Sneijder's brilliant ball for Robben to chase allowed the Bayern Munich player to cut in and finish across into the bottom corner. After this, chances were sparse and the Netherlands went into halftime with the lead thanks to Robben.
But the beginning of the second half had a flurry of chances which were all parried by the two keepers. In the 50th Robben was looking for his second with a low shot, but Mucha managed to get his fingers to tip it around the post. Then just seconds later the Dutch square the ball to Van Persie who is wide open in front of goal, but his shot is saved by Mucha's face. Then in the 67th minute Slovakia push forward and Stoch has his shot from just inside the box tipped just over the bar from Stekelenburg. A minute later Slovakia get an even better chance, Vittek beats the offside trap only to shoot a central (but powerful) shot which Stekelenburg does well to save.
The second goal came in the 84th, the Netherlands catch Slovakia sleeping with a quick free kick, Kuyt rounds the keeper and squares the ball to Sneijder for the Inter Milan player to slot home. Slovakia pull one back in the fourth minute of extra time, Vittek was brought down by Stekelenburg and the referee gives the Dutch keeper a yellow and awards a penalty. Vittek steps up to take it and slots it home, while the Slovakian players rush to grab the ball hoping to get an equalizer, the referee blows for the end of the game.
|Vittek earning Slovakia their penalty with a touch of acting|