Saturday, December 4, 2021

Robben, Sneijder see off Wales in Dutch tune-up

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jun 2008


Real Madrid pair Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben scored the goals to give Holland a 2-0 victory over Wales on Sunday in Rotterdam in their final Euro 2008 tune-up.

A packed De Kuip stadium saw coach Marco van Basten start out with the side which had drawn its last outing against Denmark before the 1988 champion elected to make half a dozen changes after the break.

With the Dutch facing France, Italy and Romania in the finals in what is by far the toughest group Van Basten was keen to sift through his options against a defensive Welsh line-up bent on affording maximum protection to keeper Wayne Hennessey with Freddy Eastwood the lone visiting attacker.

A Sneijder free-kick on the quarter hour brought a fine stop from Hennessey but he could do nothing to stop Robben firing home ten minutes before the interval for his ninth international goal after a fine run which began with Carl Robinson's misplaced header.

Former Chelsea man Robben was having a field day on the left but Sneijder bagged the limelight for himself with the second with a deft freekick from 20 metres nine minutes after the restart.

John Toshack's inexperienced side had come to the Netherands on the back of three straight wins but the Dutch were a class above anything they have recently faced and duly made it six wins in as many meetings between the nations.

The win before a 50,000 crowd was a fillip for a Dutch camp jolted by Saturday's news that young Liverpool star Ryan Babel will miss Euro 2008 with a suspected ruptured right Achilles' tendon.

Holland open their Euro 2008 campaign against Italy on June 9 and will play France four days later before finishing up with the Romanians.


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