Holland 1974
Home Page.


All results.

Holland 1978.
Group 3, Wednesday 19th June 1974 (19.30):
Dutch flag Holland 0 Sweden 0 Swedish flag

Teams -
  8 Jongbloed  
20 Suurbier   17 Rijsbergen   2 Haan   12 Krol
  6 Jansen   13 Neeskens   3 Van Hanegem  
  16 Rep   14 Cruyff   9 Keizer  

  10 Edström   11 Sandberg  
7 Bo Larsson   6 Grahn   14 Tapper   16 Ejderstedt
5 Andersson   3 Karlsson   4 Nordqvist   2 Olsson
  1 Hellström  

Substitutes -
21 Persson for 14 Tapper 61 mins
7 De Jong for 3 Van Hanegem 73 mins
13 Grip for 2 Olsson 76 mins
Unused Dutch Substitutes -
1 Geels 5 Israël 15 Rensenbrink 18 Schrijvers

Cautioned - Nordqvist Persson Rep Andersson Grahn

Dortmund Westphalia Stadium Referee - Werner Winsemann (Canada).
Linesmen - Tschenscher (W.Germany), Thomas (Wales).
Venue - Westphalia Stadium, Dortmund.
Attendance 53,700.

  This match hasn't gone down in history as one of the great games of the World Cup (in fact, it is most remembered for one isolated flash of skill from Cruyff), but it did have its moments. The Dutch, attacking cleverly when they could but being forced to rely on their defence far more than in the preceding game, were not as inspired as they had been against Uruguay, and Sweden, though they had their chances, were not quite adventurous enough to beat them. With Sweden having drawn their opening match against Bulgaria, the draw today probably suited both teams in the grander scheme of things.

Line-up v Sweden

Line-up against Sweden.
Cruyff, Jongbloed, Haan, Keizer, Rijsbergen, Rep,
Suurbier, Jansen, Van Hanegem, Krol, Neeskens.

  Sweden were in their blue and white change kit, while the Dutch wore black shorts. Although Holland are more widely remembered as wearing orange and white in 1974, in fact their policy was to wear either black or white shorts depending on the opposition's colours and irrespective of who was at home; as it turned out, they wore white shorts in five out of the seven matches they played in this World Cup.

Keizer determined to enjoy his last international
  Piet Keizer was preferred to Rob Rensenbrink for this game, the only change Michels made in his starting line-up for the entire tournament. It was not a particularly distinguished performance by the Ajax captain, now rather noticeably past his best at the highest level, still a very effective forward, but not quite attuned to the way Michels wanted the 1974 team to play, maybe overly inclined to hug the left wing position, which cramped the team's fluid style a bit.

  For Keizer, this was to be the last game of a very impressive international career. He has gone on record claiming Michels held some sort of grudge against him, going back to his Ajax days when Keizer's influence in the dressing-room was rumoured to be one of the factors in the coach's departure. And the fact that he had been the winner in the election which deposed Cruyff as Ajax captain at the start of the 1973-74 season, innocent party though he may have been, was probably not forgotten by his current international captain. From now on, Rensenbrink would increasingly become one of the dominant players in this multi-talented team, not exactly a prolific goalscorer but a hard worker for the team's cause and one who understood perfectly the ethic of this unique side.

Johnny Rep against Sweden   Holland clearly had a problem with the tall Swedish side, most notably the giant Ralf Edström, far too big for Rijsbergen to handle. Early in the match, a cross came to the Swedish danger man, as the fragile Dutch offside trap was broken, and Jongbloed was forced to punch clear. From the resultant corner, a long shot from Ove Grahn was well saved. At the other end, the Dutch began to assert themselves. Cruyff crossed from the right, for Neeskens to head over the bar, then Keizer and Cruyff combined, as in days of old, and Neeskens only just failed to connect with the low cross. Van Hanegem shot wide when it seemed easier to score, and Krol's long ball to Cruyff forced a good save out of goalkeeper Ronnie Hellström. Sweden hadn't dropped out of contention either, a long move down their left leading to Roland Sandberg blasting over. Meanwhile, Cruyff chipped the ball through to Neeskens, who volleyed wide in spectacular style, and Krol and Cruyff moved the ball down the right, the cross to Van Hanegem being headed clear. Rijsbergen was still having difficulty with Edström, and when the two collided with elbows flailing the referee awarded a free-kick to Sweden: if it was a foul by the Dutch defender, it was an evil one indeed, but the video evidence is not conclusive. The kick drew another great save from Jongbloed, and Inge Ejderstedt missed a good chance soon after.

  The most notable feature of the game was the legendary "turn" by Cruyff, mesmerising the Swedish right-back Gunnar Olsson. Receiving the ball just outside the Swedish area, his control at first appeared to have let him down. Facing away from goal, he looked as if he was about to try and pass the defender on his left, going back away from the goal. But then, with the same right foot that appeared about to knock the ball backwards, he propelled the ball the other way, and, incredibly, swivelled his entire body in the same direction and took off to the luckless Olsson's right, towards the Swedish goal-line. Nothing came of the move (it was that sort of game), but the "Cruyff Turn" has been shown on television in this country for over two decades now, and we never get tired of seeing it. Anybody else trying this would have fallen over.

Cruyff leaves a Swedish defender on his backside, again (Thanks, Baz)

  Cruyff hadn't finished tormenting the Swedes down the left, and his low cross was sent over the bar by Rep. Neeskens ran from the deep, but his effort went high too. Keizer sent an inspired early ball to Cruyff, who was taken out by Björn Nordqvist, to earn the first caution of the day. In a later era, the card would have been red, not yellow. Right on half-time, Cruyff was shepherded out to the left, but broke free of his markers and cut inside, but the referee, generally quite impressive, erred badly by calling play back for a free-kick to Holland at the edge of the penalty area, when a propitious use of the advantage rule would have left Cruyff with the ball at his feet running into the box. The first half had been good entertainment, but the game needed a goal.

  The second period began with a flourish from Sweden, Ejderstedt shooting low and hard from the right after a corner, and Jongbloed having to get his jersey dirty. Cruyff, free on the left again, made a chance for Krol, whose shot flashed across the goal, and Suurbier's deep ball to Krol was knocked back for Rep to drill what would have been an unstoppable shot from distance: it went high and wide. Neeskens ran through and set up Cruyff, but the shot was straight at Hellström. Next, Cruyff was crudely taken out by Bo Larsson on the edge of the box, and Van Hanegem's resultant free-kick was blazed over the bar. A thrilling move involving more or less the entire Dutch team broke down when Keizer was bizarrely adjudged to have committed a foul just outside the penalty area. Another right-wing move by Cruyff resulted in a fine downward header from Van Hanegem, but the ball was cleared off the Swedish line with the goalkeeper beaten.
Jongbloed called into action Krol makes a friend

  At this point, Sweden replaced the anonymous Steffan Tapper with Orjan Persson, a far stronger player defensively, as they appeared to have decided to settle for the draw. Rep's run down the right led to a chance for Keizer, but the wild swing he produced was just about the worst effort of the entire World Cup, going out for a throw-in further from goals than from where Rep had passed to him! Of course, the game was not without its moments of humour, and a through ball to an unmarked Edström was blown for offside, but the Swedish striker pretended not to hear the whistle, and dribbled around the Dutch penalty area with Jongbloed (who, it appeared, had genuinely not heard the referee blow) in diligent pursuit, snapping at his ankles all the way.
Cruyff goes down challengd by Larsson and Nordqvist (thanks, Stefano)

  The action at the Swedish end was far more serious, Hellström saving bravely at Van Hanegem's feet and Van Hanegem sending Rep through, to be denied by a combination of Persson and Hellström. Persson was soon to be cautioned, however, for a combine harvester of a foul on Van Hanegem, Krol's free-kick sailing majestically past the post. Rep then found himself in trouble with the referee, cautioned for pulling down Björn Andersson as the left-back ran past him. It seemed at first glance a very harsh booking, though Rep's innocent looks sometimes belied a mean streak to compare with many defenders in the competition, and this referee made few mistakes. Holland brought on Theo de Jong for Van Hanegem, who must have been looking tired, as he was probably Holland's most influential player in this game. Although Rijsbergen was still troubled by Edström, Michels resisted the temptation to replace him with Israël, a more orthodox central defender, back on the substitutes' bench this evening. Sweden in turn brought on Roland Grip for the struggling Olsson. Andersson, clearly well put out by Rep's foul on him, was cautioned for dumping a Dutch player into the advert hoardings: again, though, Hellström dealt with the free-kick cleanly, and the contest appeared to be petering out into a dignified but disappointing stalemate.
Neeskens and Van Hanegem go fo a header Cruyff in the thick of it again

  Sweden had a few moments of inspiration towards the end, Edström heading a long free-kick down to Grahn and he knocking on to Sandberg, but poor control gave the Dutch defence a chance to scramble the ball away, even if the clearances were a bit undignified. Another long free-kick found Edström on the loose, Suurbier hacking the ball off the line. Grahn became the final entry in the referee's notebook, mercilessly chopping Neeskens as he ran down the left wing. Cruyff, increasingly taking out his frustrations on the referee, complained long and loud when he was denied a penalty on being bundled over in the box, yet the referee was right again: it was in fact Keizer who had "fouled" him!
Krol tries to find a way through (thanks, Stefano)

  The Dutch had a succession of shots charged down in the last few minutes, but, in all honesty, their attack had been relatively dysfunctional, even though it comprised the Ajax front three who had won the European Cup a year ago. The press reports of this period were unanimous that the team needed to score more goals if they were to become serious contenders, and it's hard to dispute this analysis. If Holland's overall play had been far stronger, Sweden had perhaps found themselves with marginally the better chances to win the game, so a draw was just about a fair result. Needing a result against Uruguay to progress, Sweden duly overwhelmed the South Americans, and went on to give West Germany a bit of a surprise in the second phase, further underlining just how good a team they were in 1974.

  The day after this game, Johan Neeskens signed for Barcelona, the club of his international manager Michels of course, another body blow to the Ajax team, and the kind of situation that could have led to insoluble problems among the squad. It is a lasting tribute to the players' professionalism, and Michels's leadership, that the team continued to get better rather than fade away into jealousy and acrimony.

Back to top of this page.

Forward to Bulgaria game.

Back to Holland 1974 Home Page.