Dutch defender Martins Indi not fit for Chile

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm •  Published: June 22, 2014
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SAO PAULO (AP) — Louis van Gaal will have to shuffle his defense and attack in the Netherlands' final World Cup Group B match against Chile after center back Bruno Martins Indi was ruled out with a concussion and Robin van Persie through suspension.

The good news for the Dutch is that the enforced changes come in a match between two teams already qualified for the round of 16.

Van Gaal said Sunday that Martins Indi has not yet recovered sufficiently from a concussion he suffered when he fell heavily after a late challenge by Tim Cahill as the Dutch beat Australia 3-2.

Martins Indi spent a night in a hospital after being stretchered off the pitch at the end of the first half in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.

The defender said he still doesn't know when he might be fit to play again.

During the Dutch training session at the Itaquerao Stadium, Martins Indi did no more than jog around the pitch with a trainer.

"I'm good. I'm taking small steps forward," he said. "The days are going well and I'm back on the field."

The Netherlands will also be missing van Persie, who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the tournament.

Van Gaal blamed a combination of bad refereeing and poor discipline for his captain's absence.

"The first yellow card against Spain, it was a stupid yellow card, but the second it was not a yellow card," he said. "So that's also a consequence of a referee."

Van Gaal declined to say who would replace Van Persie up front. Veteran forward Dirk Kuyt is an option as are Jeremain Lens and Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

Van Gaal said some other players are also not fully fit, but declined to name them.

With both teams having already qualified for the round of 16, Monday's match will decide which of them wins Group B.