SAO PAULO (AP) — Needing only a draw to top Group B, the Netherlands was holding Chile 0-0 at halftime of their World Cup game on Monday.
Chile began with its trademark fast, attacking style while the Dutch looked content to sit back, absorb the pressure and hope to break out with swift counterattacks.
The strategy nearly paid off when defender Stefan de Vrij came close to heading in Arjen Robben’s free kick at the far post in the 35th minute. Four minutes later, Robben sprinted half the pitch but shot just wide.
Both teams were already qualified with two straight World Cup wins in Brazil. The group winner faces the runner-up from Group A and vice versa.