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Attack-minded Holland looking shaky at the back

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 May 2008

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Holland showed worrying defensive frailties in their 1-1 Euro 2008 warm up international friendly draw against Denmark here on Thursday night.

Though Marco van Basten's men showed touches of superb technique, their back line, especially central defensive pairing John Heintiga and Joris Mathysen, looked vulnerable at times.

Holland went ahead on the half hour in front of 35,000 supporters at the Philipstadion. Wesley Sneijder found Arjen Robben, on the edge of Denmark's box, who found Ruud van Nistelrooy in space, leaving him to fire under Denmark keeper Thomas Sorensen.

The goal was the reward for van Basten's attacking strategy with four attacking-style players with Sneijder, Robben and Rafael Van der Vaart supporting van Nistelrooy.

Key striker Robin van Persie, although technically recovered from his thigh injury, was not considered ready to play in the fixture.

Van Basten may be playing a positive mix of players up front but there were worries in the backline.

The central defensive pairing of Heintiga and Mathysen did not look solid and made several positional and marking errors, particularly for Denmark's equalising goal.

Mathysen made a schoolboy error to be surprised by Nicklas Bendtner, who fed Christian Poulsen, leaving him to fire home from six metres in the 56th minute.

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