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Clinical Netherlands brush aside Romania

Published: Tuesday 16 October 2012, 22.45CET
Romania 1-4 Netherlands
Louis van Gaal's men tightened their grip on Group D with a resounding victory in front of a record crowd at Bucharest's National Arena.
by Paul Zaharia
Clinical Netherlands brush aside Romania
Rafael van der Vaart celebrates his goal on the stroke of half-time ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 16 October 2012, 22.45CET

Clinical Netherlands brush aside Romania

Romania 1-4 Netherlands
Louis van Gaal's men tightened their grip on Group D with a resounding victory in front of a record crowd at Bucharest's National Arena.

The Netherlands maintained their perfect start to FIFA World Cup qualifying with an emphatic 4-1 Group D success against Romania at Bucharest's National Arena. 

The home side gave a record crowd of 53,329 little to cheer as the Oranje controlled proceedings with confidence. Jeremain Lens set them on their way after nine minutes, before young defender Bruno Martins Indi made it two. Ciprian Marica halved the deficit but Romania's joy was short-lived as Rafael van der Vaart scored from the spot on the stroke of half-time. Robin van Persie's late strike compounded the locals' misery. 

On the back foot for long stretches, it was the hosts who showed early sparkle, Gabriel Torje rattling the bar with a well-driven free-kick. That close shave came back to haunt them moments later when Lens found the net with a precise header, before Martins Indi deflected Van der Vaart's inviting delivery past goalkeeper Ciprian Tătăruşanu.

Romania refused to lie down and conjured a reply five minutes before the interval, Marica capping a mesmerising run with a controlled finish. Victor Piţurcă's side became architects of their own downfall, though, as Gabriel Tamaș felled Luciano Narsingh inside the area and Van der Vaart dispatched the penalty.

Louis van Gaal's men continued to hold sway after the break, holding their opponents at bay with one hand and dictating the game with the other. Van Persie excelled up front and was almost rewarded with a goal when Tătărușanu tipped his stinging header round a post. The Manchester United FC striker would make his mark four minutes from time, showing predatory instinct to convert from close range.

Last updated: 08/05/14 7.06CET

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