Dutch beat Ukraine 3-0 in friendly international
The Dutch football team’s morale was boosted after a friendly international match against Ukraine on Saturday.26 May 2008
HAMBURG - Defending Euro champions Greece on Saturday lost a friendly international in Hungary 3-2, while the Dutch managed a morale-boosting 3-0 victory against Ukraine.
In Rotterdam, Dirk Kuijt and Klaas Jan Huntelaar gave the Oranjes a two-goal lead at half-time, before Ryan Babel added a third in the second half.
The Dutch, who are in the so-called Group of Death at Euro, with France, Italy and Romania, looked impressive for much of the game and are among the teams that will go into the tournament in Austria and Switzerland as favourites.
In Budapest, the defending champions took a one-goal lead through Ioannis Amanatidis into the break, but the home side equalised just a minute later through Balazs Dzsudzsak. Roland Juhasz and Krisztian Vadocz added two more for the Hungarians, who failed to qualify for Euro.
Nikolaos Liberopoulos pulled one back in the last minute of the game for Greece, who will be facing Sweden, Russia and Spain in Group D.
The co-hosts Switzerland beat Slovakia 2-0 in Lugano through two second-half goals by Valon Behrami and Alexander Frei.
The Swiss used defender Patrick Mueller, who had been forced by coach Kobi Kuhn to miss Olympique Lyon's French cup final against Paris St Germain to come to the national team.
Swiss officials said that Mueller himself had opted to play for his country after Lyon had at first refused to release him in contravention of FIFA regulations.
The final friendly involving a Euro team saw Croatia beat Moldova 1-0, with captain Niko Kovac scoring the only goal of the game in the 29th minute.
Croatia will be playing in Group B with Germany, co-host Austria and Poland.
[dpa / Expatica]