Dutch march on towards World Cup 2010

29th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch national football team took another step towards qualification for the finals of the World Cup 2010 by beating Scotland 3-0 in the Amsterdam Arena.

AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands have 12 points from their first four matches. Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk surprised some people by starting the match with Real Madrid duo Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart on the bench.

But the Spanish club was represented in the starting eleven by Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who led the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with support from Real teammate Arjen Robben, plus Robin van Persie of Arsenal and Dirk Kuyt of

It was the front men who shone in an otherwise disappointing first half. The Dutch had almost two thirds of the possession, but for the first half hour Scotland managed to prevent them from doing anything constructive with the ball.

Arjen Robben looked dangerous on several occasions, but the breakthrough came on the half hour when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar connected with a cross from Mark van Bommel six yards from goal, and headed it into the net.

Huntelaar's goal livened up the Dutch team, who began to play better football, and a corner just before the break saw Robin van Persie evade his markers to score a second header from six yards. As the whistle blew for half time, the Scots had not managed a single shot on target.

In the second half, tiredness clearly affected the Scots, who allowed more
space for the Dutch to play their normal passing game. They showed no sign
of any belief that they could still get something out of the game. Arjen
Robben had a shot on target for the Dutch, but it was straight at goalkeeper
Allan McGregor.

Twenty minutes into the half, Robin van Persie was replaced by Wesley Sneijder following a head injury. Again Robben should have scored when he found himself unmarked, but his shot hit a defender.

Scotland's Gary Caldwell actually headed the ball in the Dutch net. That
might have set up a tense finish, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on
the keeper by Gary Teale. It was the Dutch who scored the decisive third

Christophe Berra brought down Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Dirk Kuyt put the ball past the keeper.

In the end, it was a comfortable win for the Dutch, but by no means a
vintage performance.

The Dutch have another home fixture on Wednesday against Macedonia, and a win will virtually guarantee qualification for next year's tournament in South Africa.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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