After scoring three goals for his country through the first two matches at the 2014 World Cup, Netherlands star Robin van Persie will be banned for one match after receiving a yellow card—his second in as many contests—in his side's 3-2 win over Australia.
ESPN FC relayed the news on Wednesday afternoon:
The yellow card means van Persie will miss a crucial match against Chile to advance out of the group stage. After a tight match against Australia that saw the score knotted up at 2-2 following van Persie's goal, the Dutch are short a phenomenal striker against a dark-horse Chile team.
If any player will need to step up in van Persie's absence, it's Arjen Robben. He's one of the most dynamic players on the pitch for the Netherlands, as ESPN Stats & Info notes:
More will be expected out of the 30-year-old, but he has been known to step up on the big stage. There is also a possibility Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, scorer of 34 goals for his national team, will see his first playing time of the tournament.
Ironically enough, the goal for van Persie came after he received the yellow card. FIFA World Cup explains just how crucial van Persie is to the Dutch team:
Rob Pollard of Bleacher Report also discussed van Persie's skill set for the Dutch squad:
Rather than looking at the negatives from his match, Manchester United teammates Wayne Rooney congratulated him on the goal, per van Persi'e account:
No one watching the Netherlands' first match against Spain will ever forget the sight of van Persie flying through the air for the header goal, but the same fiery player won't be on the pitch against Chile.
Luckily for the Dutch, it might not matter. With six points after closing out Australia and a four-goal win over Spain, they're in a comfortable position to advance into the next round.
But simply advancing might not secure a long run for the Dutch. If Chile is able to knock off Spain, the two countries would be playing the final match for the No. 1 and 2 seeds coming out of Group B. That might mean the difference between playing Brazil, the home club and favorite, or a lesser side like Mexico, Croatia or Cameroon in the next round.
What the future holds for the Netherlands without van Persie is anyone's guess, but not having one of the most exciting players in the World Cup on the pitch will be a crucial blow either way.
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