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Netherlands draw blank against Switzerland

Published: Friday 11 November 2011, 23.05CET
Netherlands 0-0 Switzerland
A much-changed Netherlands side were held in Amsterdam despite efforts from the returning Ryan Babel and lone striker Robin van Persie.
by Berend Scholten
Netherlands draw blank against Switzerland
Ryan Babel (left) comes under pressure from Blerim Dzemaili ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 11 November 2011, 23.05CET

Netherlands draw blank against Switzerland

Netherlands 0-0 Switzerland
A much-changed Netherlands side were held in Amsterdam despite efforts from the returning Ryan Babel and lone striker Robin van Persie.

The Netherlands' first friendly in the run-up to UEFA EURO 2012 ended goalless at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Facing a side missing out on their first major finals in a decade, Bert van Marwijk changed his Netherlands side around, with Nigel de Jong and Rafael van der Vaart anchoring the midfield in place of the rested Mark van Bommel and Kevin Strootman. Khalid Boulahrouz and Edson Braafheid were selected as full-backs, with Robin van Persie taking injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's central striker role.

Back in the Oranje lineup afte almost a year out, Ryan Babel had the best chances for the home team in the first half, with the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim forward twice denied by Diego Benaglio in the Swiss goal. Van Persie shot over, with Admir Mehmedi hitting the side netting at the other end.

After the break, Van Persie — who will be rested for Tuesday's friendly against Germany at the request of Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger — was the Dutch danger man, but he could not translate his free-scoring club form to the international arena; he had a header saved by Benaglio and was denied in a one-on-one on the hour.

Netherlands: Stekelenburg, Boulahrouz, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Braafheid, N de Jong, Van der Vaart (Strootman 66), Kuyt, Sneijder, Babel (L de Jong 79), Van Persie.

Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Djourou, Von Bergen, Rodriguez, Shaqiri (Fernandes 76) Inler, Granit Xhaka (Costanzo 86), Dzemaili, F Frei (D Degen 80), Mehmedi.

Last updated: 16/04/12 7.37CET

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http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2008794/postmatch/report/index.html#netherlands+draw+blank+against+switzerland

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