When Holland took on France at the Amsterdam Arena earlier today it was never about the game of football, but it was to celebrate the life of Johan Cruyff, one of Holland’s and world football’s most loved players ever.
Cruyff sadly passed away because of cancer at the age of 68 but his presence in the stadium was clearly felt when the match came to a standstill on 14′ minute mark and everyone present inside the stadium stood up to applaud their hero.
There was not a single dry eye inside the Amsterdam Arena, which will soon be renamed to Johan Cruyff Arena in a tribute to the Dutch legend.
Speaking of the game in play, France came with a better squad and more skilled players to open up the game and they did with two goals inside the first 14 minutes.
Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring with a curling free kick, while Olivier Giroud doubled the advantage for the visitors after a neat finish from Dimitri Payet’s corner.
Under pressure at half-time, Danny Blind sent Memphis Depay to change the game and so he did by cutting through French defense and sending a vicious ball to Lukk De Jong who scored but appeared to have used his arm.
The game was soon level when Memphis once again found himself in space and laid an assist for Ibrahim Afellay to level the game at 2-2. However, the euphoria of scoring and the emotional scenes inside the stadium caught the Dutch side napping as Blaise Matuidi scored a 87th minute winner for France.
Anthony Martial was the creator of France’s third goal when he went pass the entire Holland defense as if they were non existent. Matuidi received the ball and did not hesitate in scoring the game’s winning goal.
As stated earlier, it was a fitting tribute to Johan Cruyff as a player wearing the number 14 jersey scored the winning goal. Although Cruyff would have wanted Holland to win on the night but knowing his philosophies he would have been happier seeing the better team going on to be victorious.
Image Credit: Getty