Friday, 13 June 2008

[Euro 2008] Netherlands 4-1 France

The Netherlands secured their place in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals with a game to spare after producing another devastating display against France in Berne, with Dirk Kuyt, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder all scoring in a memorable win.

Group C - Matchday 2
Stade de Suisse, Berne
Netherlands reached the last eight of Euro 2008 and topped Group C with a superb win against France, who are now fighting to survive in the tournament. Dirk Kuyt headed the Dutch in front after only 10 minutes. Substitute Robin van Persie turned in Arjen Robben's cross on the hour, before Thierry Henry pulled one back from close range with 19 minutes left. Robben's angled finish seconds later sunk France and Wesley Sneijder added a fourth from 20 yards in injury time. The Dutch delivered another masterclass in ruthless finishing and the victory was a tactical triumph for coach Marco van Basten, who saw substitutes Van Persie and Robben emerge to play crucial roles in the win. France, like Italy before them, had opportunities against the Dutch but were exposed by the brilliant counter-attacking style that has become the trademark of Van Basten's side.

The Azzurri's earlier draw with Romania leaves them both battling with France to reach the quarter-finals. And the so-called "Group of Death" will climax with a mouth-watering repeat of the 2006 World Cup final when France and Italy meet in Zurich on Tuesday, with survival in the tournament the potential prize.

Netherlands: Van der Sar, Boulahrouz, Ooijer, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, De Jong, Engelaar (Robben 46), Kuyt (Van Persie 55), Van der Vaart (Bouma 78), Sneijder, van Nistelrooy.
France: Coupet, Sagnol, Thuram, Gallas, Evra, Govou (Anelka 75), Toulalan, Makelele, Malouda (Gomis 60), Ribery, Henry.

[Euro 2008 Group C]

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