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Quick Report: FYR Macedonia 1-2 Netherlands

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Sep 2008

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The Netherlands only just held on to a slender lead to earn three points from their first World Cup qualifier in FYR Macedonia on Wednesday.

The first half showed a Dutch team that didn’t know how to break through the Macedonian defense. A shot on the bar from Robben was the best chance, but the forward had already been judged off side.

Defender John Heitinga broke the deadlock right after the break with a header from close range, and Rafael van der Vaart struck home on the hour mark to make it 0-2.

But the Macedonians gained strength after scoring for 2-1, a penalty converted by Pandev after a foul from Huntelaar.

In a hectic final phase in which the home side came close to the opposing goal several times, the Dutch did maintain their narrow lead to earn their first win of the campaign.

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