Netherlands vs. Wales: Final score 2-0, another good defensive outing for the Oranje

Charlie Crowhurst

Has Louis van Gaal figured out what to do with the Netherlands defense? They posted another clean sheet on Wednesday.

Louis van Gaal continues to experiment with the Netherlands ahead of the World Cup, and for the second straight match his tinkering didn't show any ill effects. Even though his team changed their formation completely, they were just as sound defensively as they were in their win over Ghana. The Oranje recording a 2-0 win over Wales while only allowing three shots, with just one hitting the target.

That said, this Wales side isn't as strong as those that the Netherlands will face in the World Cup. Both Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale were out for this match.

The Netherlands started their last game with a five-man defense, but switched to a back four in this game without altering their personnel significantly. Bruno Martins Indi moved to left back and Daley Blind moved to midfield, shifting the team from a 5-3-2 formation into a 4-4-2 diamond. Arjen Robben played at striker once again.

It's an unconventional move to play the true winger up top, but it paid off in the 32nd minute. Robin van Persie set up his side's opener by running past Neil Taylor, then hitting a powerful ball toward Wayne Hennessey that could have been a shot or cross. Hennessey pushed it off the line, but the ball hit one of his defenders and dropped right to Robben, who scored from 8 yards.

Unfortunately for the Oranje, van Persie appeared to pick up an injury at the end of the half. He limped back to the locker room after the halftime whistle blew and was replaced by Jermain Lens at halftime. There was one other change at the break, with Giorginio Wijnaldum coming on for Leroy Fer.

Robben had a part in the Netherlands' second goal, but the real setup came from Wesley Snejider. The Galatasaray midfielder intercepted a poor Wales pass in midfield, then played a perfect long and quick through ball for Robben. He squared for Lens, who had an easy tap-in to double the Netherlands' lead and guide them to a comfortable win.

Netherlands: Cillessen, Martins Indi, Vlaar, de Vrij, Jaanmat, de Jong (Huntelaar 78'), Blind, Fer (Wijnaldum 46'), Sneijder, Robben, van Persie (Lens 46')

Goals: Robben (32'), Robben (76')

Wales: Hennessey, Chester, Taylor (Dummett 83'), Gabbidon, Gunter, Allen, Ledley (Huws 62'), J. Williams (G. Williams 70'), King (Vaughan 78'), Church (Easter 66'), Robson-Kanu (John 60')

Goals: None.

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