Slow out of the blocks, the Netherlands finally started to stamp their authority on Group A with a 2-0 win against Switzerland which sent them top of the standings.
Held to a goalless draw by Scotland in their opening fixture, the Dutch again took time to find their stride back at Villa Park. Switzerland had earned an unexpected point against England in the tournament curtain-raiser but could not cope once the Netherlands began to go through the gears. It was not until midway through the second half that Guus Hiddink's side did so, however, Jordi Cruyff opening the scoring before Dennis Bergkamp added a second with 11 minutes left.
Though the latter stages belonged to the Dutch, Switzerland had a fine chance of their own to break the deadlock after the interval, Marc Hottiger, suspended against England, ballooning a clear opportunity into the crowd. It was then that a familiar name came to fore, Cruyff – son of the legendary Johan – spurned two openings before breaking his international duck with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Beaten on that occasion, Swiss goalkeeper Marco Pascolo needed to be on guard to rebuff Dennis Bergkamp on three occasions as his team went in search of an equaliser. The crafty forward was not to be denied, though, turning in the rebound following his second attempt to wrap up victory for the Oranje.