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UEFA World Cup qualifying: Netherlands 4 Romania 0

Netherlands have recorded a 4-0 win over Romania in their World Cup qualifier in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Rafael van der Vaart gave the Dutch an early lead with a low shot from the edge of the area before Robin van Persie made it two after the break with a good header.

The Manchester United star doubled his tally midway through the second half when he converted a penalty, with Jeremain Lens making it four in the closing stages at Amsterdam ArenA.

The hosts attacked from the outset and came close to opening the scoring several times early on.

Kevin Strootman first saw his shot saved by Costel Pantilimon before van Persie aimed too high from close range after a superb cross from Lens.

But Netherlands did grab the lead on 12 minutes after more good work from Lens.

The PSV Eindhoven winger crossed to the edge of the area and found van Persie, who then laid the ball off for van der Vaart.

The Hamburg star did not hesitate and beat Pantilimon with a right-footed shot from 18 yards.

Romania got back into the match after the early opener and almost restored parity in the 38th minute.

Right-winger Adrian Popa tried his luck with a low shot from a narrow angle, but Kenneth Vermeer pulled off a superb save to keep his side in the lead.

The Dutch had a good chance to double their lead shortly after the break following some sloppy defending from Florin Gardos.

The Steaua Bucharest defender failed to clear a cross from Strootman, but van Persie’s shot lacked accuracy, allowing Pantilimon to make an easy save.

Netherlands doubled their advantage in the 56th minute as Arjen Robben crossed perfectly for van Persie to head in and make it 2-0.

Lens continued to cause the visitors all kinds of trouble with his skill down the right, and the referee had no choice but to award Netherlands a spot-kick after Gardos fouled him in the area.

Van Persie stepped up and coolly slotted home to surpass Johan Cruyff’s goal tally and make it 3-0 with his 34th international strike.

Things would get even worse for the away side in the closing stages when Lens added his name to the scoresheet.

Pantilimon failed to hold on to Adam Maher’s powerful shot and Lens tapped home from close range to add polish to the scoreline.

Netherlands sit atop Group D with 18 points from six games, while Romania are third with 10 points.

Tue 26 March, 2013
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