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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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Another easy victory for Dutch team

Wednesday 01 April 2009

Holland are virtually qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after another easy 3-0 victory over Macedonia.

The score was reached at half-time.

The game had an almost similar scenario as Saturday's game against Scotland, as tonight too the opposition was able to keep pace with the Dutch in the first fifteen minutes, but after Holland scored the first goal all resistance was broken.

It was a fine goal by Dirk Kuyt, who once again showed just why he is valued by every coach and team he has played for.

Industrial on the right wing, working hard and showing the mentality needed, but also connecting with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the box at the right moments and adding extra danger to the Dutch forward moves.

After 15 minutes Kuyt opened the score from a rebound on an Arjen Robben shot, 10 minutes later Klaas-Jan Huntelaar doubled the score with a clinical finish and 15 minutes after that Kuyt scored his second of the night when Wesley Sneijder sent him on his way to the Macedonian goal.

It meant that all was decided before the break, and frankly the Macedonians asked for it.

Playing with five defenders - three in the center and two on the wings - is a pretty old fashioned way of playing football, and it gave the Dutch midfielders all the time in the world to set up the Dutch forward moves.

After the break coach Bert van Marwijk took of Arjen Robben who had taken a few knocks in the first 45 minutes and replaced him with Ryan Babel.

But despite the new blood in their ranks Holland took it easy in the second half only to see Rafael van der Vaart score a fourth in the 88th minute.

The clean sheet meant a new though meaningless record for Oranje, with five clean sheets in a home game in a World Cup qualifier.

All in all a 4-0 win and the virtual qualification for the World Cup should satisfy everyone involved although it can be argued that the fans who paid good money for their seats could have been offered a bit more entertainment in the second half.

Poland tonight showed that it doesn't have to be over when a clear margin has been established at half time, as they beat San Marino 10-0.

 

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