Netherlands-Italy International: February 6, 2013

A few pics from the Netherlands-Italy international soccer friendly played at the Amsterdam ArenA (normally home to Ajax) last week. The Netherlands fielded one of their youngest teams ever (with an average age of only 22 years!), but considering their lack of experience they played a really decent match against those Italian giants like Andrea Pirlo and Gigi Buffon.  Interestingly enough, the Netherlands have never won a friendly against Italy.  It seemed like they would finally earn their first victory when they went ahead by one goal; but alas, Italy scored a heartbreaker in the 90th minute and the match ended in a 1-1 tie.  One of my personal favorite moments of the game came when Mario Balotelli was called offside and he kicked the ball out of bounds in anger.  The entire stadium started cheering and clapping as he stormed away, as if it was a goal in itself to get into Balotelli’s head and provoke some of that infamous temper.  Hate him or not (and I admit I’m one of the haters–especially since his talent is so obvious), you can always count on Mario to provide some good old fashioned entertainment on the field.  This was my first international soccer match in the Netherlands, and after seeing this one, I can’t wait for more!

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Symbol of the Dutch Football Federation

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The Teams Entering the Field

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Amsterdam ArenA

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The Match Begins!

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