Netherlands vs Argentina World Cup 2014: As the Dutch know only too well, looks can be deceiving, as their good starts to tournaments continues to breed disappointment

Flying out of their group with ease has become a warning sign that the Netherlands are going to falter when it matters

Once again the Netherlands peaked too early in a major tournament, running out of steam when the going got serious. After sailing through the group stages of the 2014 World Cup with a 100 per cent record, seemingly in with a great chance of claiming a maiden world title, Louis van Gaal’s side stuttered past Mexico and Costa Rica before coming unstuck from the spot against old foes Argentina.

Dutch supporters were in dreamland after their opening victory against Spain, as they gained revenge for the 2010 final defeat with a stunning 5-1 thrashing over the world and European champions. Subsequent wins over Australia and Chile had the Oranje dreaming but they had been here before.

The Dutch also began home tournament Euro 2000 with a perfect group stage, before coming a cropper in the semi-finals as they failed from the spot – spotting a trend? - against Italy. Eight years later, Marco van Basten’s side started with three out of three as they began Euro 2008 in style, waltzing past then-world champions Italy 3-0 in Bern before returning to the stadium four days later to put on an equally impressive display against the other 2006 World Cup finalists – beating France 4-1. Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, both impressive early performers in Brazil this summer, also found the net against the French six years ago, but would have done well to have heeded the warning signs.

 

Despite making it into the knockout stages in style, the Dutch quickly came unstuck in the quarter-finals in 2008 – losing 3-1 to surprise package Russia, as their early form came to nothing. Alas, the same thing has happened, with that early momentum coming to nothing as Van Gaal’s side left it late against Mexico in the last sixteen and squeezed past the Costa Ricans last Saturday before being shown up against the Argentines last night.

The wait to add to their sole national title, the 1988 European Championship, goes on. How did they start that campaign? A disappointing defeat against the former Soviet Union. Appearances, as Dutch supporters will only be too aware this morning, can be deceptive.

Read more: Van Gaal reveals two players rejected first penalty
Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 match report
Van Gaal left 'hurt' by Romero heroics

The shoot-out loss also continued a quirky set of scores in this year’s knockout stages. Greece lost to Costa Rica from 12 yards in the last sixteen before the Concacaf side faltered themselves from the spot in the following round, against the Netherlands – who then went on to use up their luck when they failed in Sao Paulo against Argentina. The South American side remain the only country to win successive shoot-outs in a World Cup finals, triumphing in both the quarter and semi-finals in the 1990 tournament in Italy – where they then lost to… (West) Germany. Deutschland uber alles, indeed.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game