Friday, September 20, 2019

Russia claim historic win as Dutch make Euro 2008 exit

SoccerNews in European Championships 22 Jun 2008


Russia coach Guus Hiddink got the result he wanted to become a traitor in his native Holland after his team's 3-1 quarter-final win after extra-time dumped the Dutch out of Euro 2008.

The 61-year-old former Netherlands coach had said he would be happy to be a Dutch traitor if his Russian team beat his countrymen and two goals in extra time broke Dutch hearts on Saturday.

Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy had headed home an 86th minute equaliser to give the Dutch a life-line – and take him alongside Johan Cruyff on 33 goals for the national side – but super sub Dmitri Torbinsky grabbed a second in the 112th minute, before Andrei Arshavin settled it with a third on 116 minutes.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, this is the first time Russia have made the knock-out stages of a major tournament and will contest next Thursday's semi-final in Vienna.

But it was heart-break for Holland as the defeat signalled the last game in charge for Dutch coach Marco van Basten – who joins Ajax next season on a four-year deal – who made his swansong at Euro 2008 after four years in charge.

The former AC Milan striker failed in his bid to bow out out on a high by giving the Netherlands a second European crown to the one he helped win in 1988.

His Dutch team had come into the Basel quarter-final with a 100 percent record from Group C having handed out comprehensive defeats to both 2006 World Cup finalists France (4-1) and Italy (3-0) on route.

After Holland defender Khalid Boulahrouz and his wife suffered the personal tragedy of losing their prematurely born daughter last week, the team all wore black arm-bands, but Saturday's result only served to cap a dark week for the Dutch.

Meanwhile, Hiddink has continued his habit of helping internationals punch well above the weight.

The former Netherlands boss guided South Korea to the semi-finals at the 2002 World Cup and Australia to the knock-out phase in 2006 just before signing on to coach Russia.

His side opened their Euro 2008 campaign with a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Spain as David Villa hit a hat-trick, but the Russians hit back with a 1-0 win over Greece and were impressive in their 2-0 win over Sweden.

Both sides had plenty of chances in the first half.

The Russians made a bright start and kept Manchester United goalkeeper Edin van der Sar busy in the first-half with Dynamo Moscow defender Denis Kolodin and Pavylyuchenko going close early on.

But the Dutch also threatened on attack with Real Madrid's Wesley Sneijder testing the Russian defence and fellow midfielder Rafael van der Vaart also squandered several chances as it remained 0-0 at the break.

Van Basten brought Arsenal forward Robin van Persie into the fray at the start of the half but the Dutch went behind for the first time in the tournament soon after.

After Arshavin terrorised Sweden in Russia's 2-0 win last week, he blasted in a free-kick which forced van der Sar into a diving save, but the shot just carried wide.

Russian opened the scoring when Pavlyuchenko slipped his marker and stabbed home Ivan Saenko's cross on 56 minutes for his third goal of the tournament.

But with time running out, the Dutch made their experience count as striker Nistelrooy headed an 86th minute equaliser from Sneijder's superb cross to put his side back in the game and take the match to extra-time.

And the goal which ended Dutch hopes came after a pin-point accurate cross along over the goal-mouth from Arshavin was poked home by Torbinsky in the 112th minute.

And Arshavin scored a third just four minutes later as his side will now face Italy or Spain in Thursday's semi-final.


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