Holland's supremacy was evident right from the start.
In a pre-echo of the opening goal, Neeskens chipped the ball over the static defence
for Cruyff, but, this time, the danger was cleared.
Then a slide-rule pass from Cruyff found Rensenbrink drifting free on the right,
and the shot from the edge of the box was narrowly over the bar.
Cruyff's inevitable, devastating opening goal was
a masterpiece of technique, balance and sheer intelligence.
He darted across the Argentinian back line from right to left,
picked out Van Hanegems's perfectly weighted chip over the defence,
pulled the ball down brilliantly with his right foot,
rounded goalkeeper Daniel Carnevali disdainfully, using his right again,
and kept his balance superbly to finish coolly with the left foot from a tricky angle.
The Argentinians protested that Rijsbergen's tackle on Hector Yazalde, which had won the ball
in the move that led to this goal, should have been called a foul,
but the referee had waved play on, and that's what Holland had done.
The Dutch were more or less uncontrollable by now,
Argentina not exactly playing badly themselves,
but bewildered by what was going on around them.
Another brilliant Cruyff pass found Neeskens running free down the right.
He cut the ball back to Van Hanegem, who rounded the goalkeeper but,
lacking Cruyff's technique, was unable to get a shot in,
and instead laid the ball back to Jansen, whose effort was desperately blocked by Enrique Wolff.
Jansen exchanged passes with Neeskens, and another last-ditch challenge was required
to prevent Holland from extending their lead.
Van Hanegem and Rensenbrink combined down the left to create a chance
for Neeskens to find the net,
only for his goal to be disallowed for a questionable offside.
Argentina, shaken and stirred in equal measure, exploded with collective anger when
the sometimes rather over-committed Neeskens
dived in on Houseman from the wrong side, earning the first yellow card of the game,
but the fracas affected Holland's concentration not one jot.
Rep set Jansen running through on the right, and the goalkeeper had to dash off his line
to clear the ball with his defence in utter disarray.
From the subsequent corner, Carnevali flapped a bit under challenge from Cruyff,
but the ball reached the edge of the penalty area, which should have meant safety.
Krol, however, was lurking with intent, and unleashed a thunderous shot
which, with the aid of a couple of deflections,
found its way through a forest of defenders into the back of the net.
Rather a lucky goal, perhaps, but hardly more than Holland's performance deserved.
Still Holland's commitment did not wane, as Wolff found out when he was just about
cut in two by a (perfectly legitimate) challenge from Krol.
The Argentinian full-back struggled on till half-time,
but was clearly unlikely to finish the game.
Meanwhile, the exhibition continued.
Jansen chipped the ball to Rensenbrink, who tested Carnevali to the full,
and the half ended with Roberto Perfumo cautioned
for hacking Neeskens when he was through on goal,
a thoroughly nasty, dangerous foul, and by no means his last offence.