Orange fever strikes for crunch match
16 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — The evening rush hour started earlier than usual on Friday as the public prepared for Holland's crunch World Cup match against Ivory Coast.
16 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — The evening rush hour started earlier than usual on Friday as the public prepared for Holland's crunch World Cup match against Ivory Coast.
Victory ensures the Netherlands proceeds to the next round of the competition in Germany.
Coach Marco van Basten decided to field the same basic team that won a lacklustre 1-0 victory over Serbia-Montenegro last week. Brushing aside suggestions he should adapt his side, Van Basten insisted the Netherlands had to stick to its game plan. "If we manage that all should go well," he said after the last training session before Friday's game.
The match against Ivory Coast was scheduled to begin in Stuttgart at 6pm on Friday. Thousands of Dutch fans, kitted out in orange, flooded into the city earlier in the day for the big match.
"Ivory Coast is a very strong team," Van Basten conceded. "The players are strong and technically well schooled. They got too little from the game with Argentina. They deserved more than a 2-1 defeat".
Van Basten said he expected the African team to go on the attack from the start. "They need to win. It will be difficult for us but we have to play our own game," he said.
The Africans have for their part jokingly thanked Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk for refusing to grant accelerated naturalisation to former Feyenoord striker Salomon Kalou to enable him to play for Holland against the country of his birth. Kalou's brother is in the Ivory Coast World Cup squad.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news