Dewi Diegen: She doesn't look like a Double-D to me.
Natasha Poly: We salute you too!
Based on this highly scientific research method, one would presume that Russia will win this match. Join us after the jump for all of the details.
The starting XI for Guus Hiddink's Russian squad:
GK - Akinfeev
DEF - Anyukov; Ignashevich; Kolodin; Zhirkov
MID - Semak (C); Zyryanov; Semshov; Saenko
ST - Pavlyuchenko; Arshavin
And the starting XI for Marco Van Basten's Dutch side:
GK - Van der Sar (C)
DEF - Boulahrouz; van Bronckhorst; Mathijsen; Ooijer
MID - Engelaar; De Jong; Sneijder; Van der Vaart; Kuyt
ST - Van Nistelrooy
This match is being played at St. Jakob Park in Basel.
Centre official: Lubos Michel (SVK)
Assistant referees: Roman Slysko (SVK); Martin Balko (SVK)
4th official: Massimo Busacca (SUI)
2 important points for this match:
(1) to the relief of announcers and livebloggers everywhere, Saenko is in for the Russians in the starting line-up, replacing Bilyaletdinov; and
(2) if we are lucky, we will see the classy Ruud van Nistelrooy repeat these antics:
TFA here, just finished doing some wedding stuff. That's right, some lucky broad bagged me. Gentlemen, let me tell, wedding stuff blows. It's stressful and expensive.
So, babes, ballers and anthems right now. Russians singing. Dutch singing. I don't understand a word of it.
Holland is wearing all orange and Russia in all white. Monochromosity at it's finest. Although, I woudn't mind seeing some baby blue accents on the Dutch kits.
I'm out of the prediction business today, as it seems each prediction I make goes horribly wrong immediately after I make it. That said, I am really looking forward to this match.
0:00 We're off.
Boulahrouz Ooijer fouls a Russian like the guy was responsible for his daughter's death Boulahrouz's daughters death. Too soon?
4:00 Commenter/Contributor The NY Kid says HD soccer makes him happy in the pants. I couldn't agree more. Well, not about him being happy in the pants, but HD soccer is a wet dream come true.
6:00 Wow! Incredible save by Van der Sar on a Zhirkov free kick right over the wall to the near post. VDS just got a hand on it to steer it around the post. Holland gives up a corner but nothing results.
8:00 Pavlyuchenko puts a header on the top of the net. Great opportunity for Russia and Holland's defense looks like its back to its normal form. All Russia so far.
10:00 Guus Hiddink has learned from WWII. You don't fight a two front war. He's only focusing on the offense. Not the defense. Sound strategy if you ask me. Kinda like my strategy with women...I only focus on the looks, not the brains.
12:00 My pants are doing lovely with the HD soccer. Thanks for asking. Still clean though.
13:00 Holland really can't do anything right now. No chances on goal yet. On the HD tip, the pitch really doesn't look good. It was replaced after the monsoon last week during the Austria-Turkey match. There are lots of brown patches where the grass is either dead or somewhat bare.
15:00 After the first free kick from Zhirkov, his second is quite disappointing.
19:00 Sloth offside by a metric mile, however far that is.
Sneijder has the first good chance for Holland after a nifty pull behind move that avoided a Russian tackle only to have his thunderous shot blocked.
22:00 The Russian strategy seems to push it up the right side to keep van Bronckhorst from storming up the sideline and whipping in crosses. The Dutch don't seem capable of shutting this down right now. Because Russia just did it again and the ball sailed through the box, fortunately Pavlyuchenko couldn't get a touch on it.
24:00 Zyranov over the ball and sends in a cross that is knocked out, but right lofted back in for VDS to clean up.
26:00 Ooijer lofts a long ball to Boulahrouz towards the box and wins a corner. Van der Vaart sends in a lovely corner. He's really good at those, and then the rebound goes to Engelaar who rockets in a shot just wide. Ooijer almost got a touch that would have put Holland up one.
29:00 Ouch. Kolodin fouls Van Nistelrooy hard. Didn't even touch the ball. Van der Vaart sends another great ball into the box and van Nistlerooy can't get a touch on a ball he gets 9 out of 10 times.
31:00 This Van der Vaart fellow is really good. Somebody should try and sign him.
Wow, on the counter, Arshavin gets in and VDS just tips the shot that may or may not have been headed to the side netting. Corner. On the ensuing corner the ball comes out to Kolodin 35 yards out and he rifles in a shot that VDS pushes over. Really good stuff from Russia.
32:00 Kolodin with another laser from long range. There more like ballistic missiles than shots.
34:00 Sneijder tries something resembling a shot but not really. Kinda like how Amy Winehouse kinda resembles a sober person.
So, back to this Van der Vaart fellow. Really good. Liverpool should sign him. Hell, he's probably worth the money just because of his hot wife. Sylvie Van der Vaart.
While I was perusing pictures of Sylvie Van der Vaart, there were a couple of chances for both sides. Holland just can't get that final touch and Russia is getting stymied by VDS.
40:00 Sneijder with a "fuck it, i'm going deep" moment. His 40 yard free kick deflected off the wall and the Russian keep had no problem.
41:00 Van der Vaart with another excellent free kick the de Jong just can't get his head on. He was clear on goal.
42:00 Zyranov sends a nice ball into the box to another ___ov who just can't get a handle.
44:00 Van der Vaart with a shot directly into Akinfeev, shoulda scored. From here on out Van der Vaart is VDV.
45:00 +1 Whistle.
Halftime After a slow start, Holland started to really pick up the pace, lacing numerous shots in with several clear cut chances going begging. Russia was very dangerous on the counters though, exploiting a weaker Dutch defense. Netherlands really need to do something about those crosses, otherwise Russia is going to get a score. VDV and VDS were great in the half. The former with numerous excellent free kicks and the latter with some great saves keeping Holland in the game. Pavlyuchenko, Arshavin and Kolodin peppered the Dutch goal...Kolodin from the Red Square.
Good match so far. See you in a few.
A few linernotes before returning to the match. As far as the wedding stuff goes, I am trying to help out to earn some bonus points that I can use later on.
Julie Foudy really is terrible. She just tries too hard and can put her thoughts into words very well. I'd still do her, but hey, I only focus on the looks.
46:00 And we're back on the clock. Robin Van Persie is on and gets a shot right away. Just not on goal. Kuyt came off for RVP. Not sure that is a good move. Kuyt is one of the few midfielders that seems to get back on defense for the Dutch.
49:00 Again VDV drops a great ball in the box but no Dutch players can get in on the end. Turrible.
51:00 Boulahrouz booked on a late tackle.
52:00 Mathijsen cleans up in the box after Russia had broke down the defense and was heading to goal.
54:00 Heitinga on for Boulahrouz. Then a yellow for Van Persie after elbowing Zyranov in the face.
56:00 Arshavin sends a great ball in on goal on the free kick but it goes just wide.
But now GOAL!!!! for Pavlyuchenko on a
Arshavin Semak cross.
58:00 Russia breaks down the defense again, Sayenko just off target. Holland should really try to stop the Russians. I know brilliant advice.
60:00 VDV gets a yellow for a "Glasgow Kiss" Mr. Smyth tells me. Saenko with a bloody nose.
61:00 VDV chips one on goal trying to catch the keep off his line.
62:00 Engelaar off for Afellay. I have a feeling this is not a good move.
Another trademark RVP shot...30 yards over the goal.
64:00 Smyth just tells us that VDV has done nothing all game. Bollocks, I say. Bollocks!!! VDV has sent in numerous free kicks into the box that were picture perfect but nobody can get on the end of them. As I say that, RVP gets a head on a corner but can only put it into the side of the goal. That was a great opportunity.
66:00 Netherlands has no subs left. I can't see this as being a good thing. The Russians have all of them. Heitinga has a split chin and is off the pitch getting attention.
67:00 De Jong just gets in the way of a pass that would have put Pavlyuchenko on goal. Corner.
Bilyaletdinov on for Semshov. VDS makes an excellent save.
71:00 Yellow for Kolodin, will be out for semi if they progress. Holland with a free kick just outside the middle of the 18. Sneijder over it.
72:00 Van Persie took it and he skies it. Excellent work. No, really. Jesus. Just put it on the frame.
73:00 I think there are only two Dutch defenders now. Everybody up and on any counters the Dutch have to scramble.
75:00 Yes, Tommy, the Dutch do need to throw caution to the wind. I don't think they are doing it yet. Not with pushing all but three people up. Not at all. I love your accent, but I hate you.
77:00 VDS is playing sweeper right now. The Russians are just chipping it over and Pavlyuchenko runs on, with VDS to clean up. He was way off his line to block a potential chip.
78:00 Corner to Russia. A bunch of shirtless Russians in the crowd clapping rhythmically. I can't imagine what would happen if NASCAR ever became popular in Russia. NASCAR would make tons of money, that's for sure.
80:00 Sneijder tries one from 25, just a shade too high.
81:00 Torbinski on for Saenko.
82:00 Sneijder again from long range, just wide left on a good look.
Netherlands really lucky Russia didn't score, but new sub Torbinski couldn't finish it on an open goal. Corner to Russia but nothing doing.
85:00 Corner for the Netherlands after a blocked Sneijder shot. RVP plays it short to Sneijder who sends it in but headed out for a corner. Nobody can get on it.
86:00 Russia has really played the better match, particularly second half.
GOAL!!!! Van Nistelrooy. Right when I was typing the above. Off of a free kick from Sneijder and he heads it in. Excellent.
1-1. Now what happens? This will be exciting.
87:00 But Russia comes right back through the Swiss cheese Dutch defense. Somebody should just defend back there. Really. It's just awful.
88:00 Speaking of awful. Russia's defense on free kicks. Pathetic.
90:00 The Dutch's tails are up. Why? Are they waiting for a dog to sniff their ass?
90:00 +1 Yellow for Kolodin. Second yellow. He's gone. That's harsh. Really harsh. What? Now he's waving it off. Can he do that?
The ref is saying the ball was out and waving it off. WTF? The ball wasn't out, but there wasn't a foul. How weird.
Whistle. Whistle. On to extra time.
Seriously. What the hell happened there? I've never seen a ref wave off a card. It certainly wasn't a foul deserving of a yellow. It could have been a foul since he obstructed Sneijder, but it certainly wasn't a yellow. Then the pretext to check with the side judge to see if the ball was out, then waving it off. Whether the ball was out or not should have no effect on your yellow call. You can get a yellow on a deadball.
91:00 Man-shakes for the refs. You da man...no...you da man. Circle jerk. Russia kicks off going to the left on our screen.
Sneijder gets free and sends a long shot in on the keeper...no sweat on the save. Sneijder is trying to win it all and should really think about passing. It was his pass that set up the winning goal.
92:00 Russia with a free kick on the sideline in the Dutch half. Arshavin gets a shot in on VDS who dives and saves mostly cleanly with a Russian lurking. Hey, he did better than Cech. Nistelrooy tries from long range but goes over.
95:00 Corner to Russia, played short, Zhirkov sends it out.
Van Persie gets a shot off that's deflected and Akinfeev dives left to smother it.
96:00 Arshavin sends it over when he juked his way into the box and got enough space to fire.
97:00 Pavlyuchenko sends it off the post. So close.
98:00 Afellay strafes wide left. Nice pace, though.
99:00 Torbinsky had another chance after Arshavin made a beautiful pass, but hits it right at VDS. He has had two spoon fed shots that should have gone in.
101:00 Kolodin lasers it wide right from a left side placement from 30.
102:00 Afellay with a professional foul but no booking on the Russian counter.
103:00 Zhirkov with a yellow after bulling over RVP. Is RVP ok? I hope he didn't break anything.
104:00 van Nistelrooy way offside. I mean way off.
105:00 End of First Period of Extra Time.
106:00 And we're back.
107:00 Zhirkov appeals for the penalty. He may have had a good argument.
108:00 Torbinksi couldn't get on the end of a Pavlyuchenko cross as VDS scoops it up.
109:00 Nice play by the Russians in the box. Arshavin blitzes the defense as VDS comes out and he crosses to Pavlyuchenko who can't get it on frame with an open goal.
111:00 Torbinksy booked. And then Akinfeev gives his defender an tongue lashing after the defender headed it back to the keep from point blank range.
112:00 GOAL!!! Torbinsky. Russia 2 - 1 Netherlands. The lax Dutch defense finally gives up the goal as Arshavin chips the keeper on the endline and Torbinski finally finishes. Well done.
115:00 Sychev on for Pavlyuchenko.
116:00 Goal!!!! Arshavin. 3-1 Russia. Game. Set. Match.
That one was sent from Russia with love. Heitinga got a touch on it and it went right through VDS legs.
I was just about to write when Arshavin scored, that it was clear that van Basten was outcoached in this match. He only knew one thing to do. Push, push, push on offense and neglect the backline.
119:00 RVP draws a foul. From 35, van Bronckhorst and VDV over it and VDV sends it over the goal.
120:00 Two minutes of added time. Torbinski fires over on a free kick. No danger.
Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.
Well, that was an ass-spanking by Russia. They finally were able to expose the weak Dutch defense and Van Basten showed is lack of tactical adjustments. Now he can piss off to Ajax and the Eredivisie where defense doesn't matter.
As we are sent off with Euro dance music, please note that all three group winners have fallen so far. Each team that rested players in the third match are gone. What does this mean for Spain? Find out tomorrow with our liveblog.