Sports

Defensive Dutch hold Chile to 0-0 at halftime in World Cup Group B decider

  • Chile's Charles Aranguiz stops a pass in front of Netherlands' Jeremain Lens during the group B World Cup soccer match between the Netherlands and Chile at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Chile's Charles Aranguiz stops a pass in front of Netherlands' Jeremain Lens during the group B World Cup soccer match between the Netherlands and Chile at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chile's Alexis Sanchez, left, is challenged by Netherlands' Stefan de Vrij, right, and Arjen Robben during the group B World Cup soccer match between the Netherlands and Chile at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Chile's Alexis Sanchez, left, is challenged by Netherlands' Stefan de Vrij, right, and Arjen Robben during the group B World Cup soccer match between the Netherlands and Chile at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)  (The Associated Press)

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.