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Slick Netherlands stun world champions

Published: Tuesday 10 June 2008, 0.50CET
Netherlands 3-0 Italy
The Oranje climbed top of Group C after ending a 30-year wait for victory against Italy in style.
by Kevin Ashby
from Stade de Suisse
Slick Netherlands stun world champions
Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon lies on the turf as scorer Wesley Sneijder wheels away ©Getty Images

Match statistics

NetherlandsItaly

Goals scored3
 
0
Attempts on target9
 
5
Attempts off target4
 
11
Corners3
 
5
Fouls committed19
 
10
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 10 June 2008, 0.50CET

Slick Netherlands stun world champions

Netherlands 3-0 Italy
The Oranje climbed top of Group C after ending a 30-year wait for victory against Italy in style.

The Netherlands ended a 30-year wait for a victory over Italy in emphatic fashion as they began their UEFA EURO 2008 campaign with a rousing win against the world champions in Switzerland.

Ruud van Nistelrooy side-footed the Oranje ahead in the 26th minute, a lead doubled superbly by then Real Madrid CF colleague Wesley Sneijder soon after. Edwin van der Sar, becoming only the third player to appear in four UEFA European Championships, kept the advantage intact, leaving Giovanni van Bronckhorst to complete Italy's worst-ever EURO defeat.

With coaches Marco van Basten and Roberto Donadoni schooled under Arrigo Sacchi at AC Milan, an attacking treat was always in store. So it proved, Antonio Di Natale narrowly failing to free Luca Toni in only the second minute. The FC Bayern München striker did get an early glimpse of goal, rising to flick a header wide, yet from then on the Dutch dominated the half.

Dirk Kuyt outmuscled Gianluca Zambrotta and slipped a delicious low ball to Van Nistelrooy, who touched it beyond the outrushing Gianluigi Buffon but stayed on his feet after making contact with the Italy captain. That was the last act of charity from the Dutch, as the Azzurri paid for the concession of a number of free-kicks on the periphery of their area.

Sneijder fizzed one set piece in from the left which Marco Materazzi headed clear. Then Rafael van der Vaart did likewise from the right, the scrambling Buffon's punched clearance eventually reaching birthday boy Sneijder, whose powerful drive from the corner of the box was turned in by Van Nistelrooy.

Italy went close to levelling from a corner yet were caught flat-footed when Van Bronckhorst, who had cleared off the line, was able to charge half the length of the field unchallenged. The Feyenoord man had time to ping a perfect crossfield ball to the industrious Kuyt whose cushioned header was spectacularly hooked inside Buffon's near post by the leaping Sneijder.

Italy's three-man midfield could not contain Sneijder as he probed the left. He created space for Van Bronckhorst and also Van der Vaart, who dissected an Azzurri back line missing injured captain Fabio Cannavaro with a pass that released Van Nistelrooy on goal. Buffon stood tall, however, clipping the shot over with his feet.

Italy improved after the break. Substitute Alessandro Del Piero failed to profit from two half-chances, Toni lofted a shot over and Van der Sar foiled Fabio Grosso at close range before diving at full stretch to keep out a Pirlo free-kick. It left Van Bronckhorst to wrap things up at the other end following smart work by Kuyt.

Last updated: 10/01/12 15.52CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=15093/match=300686/postmatch/report/index.html#slick+oranje+stun+italy

Lineups

Netherlands

Netherlands

Italy

Italy

1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK) (C)
1
BuffonGianluigi Buffon (GK) (C)
2
OoijerAndré Ooijer
2
PanucciChristian Panucci
4
MathijsenJoris Mathijsen
6
BarzagliAndrea Barzagli
5
Van BronckhorstGiovanni van Bronckhorst
Goal79
8
GattusoGennaro Gattuso
Yellow Card51
8
EngelaarOrlando Engelaar
9
ToniLuca Toni
Yellow Card27
9
Van NistelrooyRuud van Nistelrooy
Goal26
Substitution70
11
Di NataleAntonio Di Natale
Substitution64
10
SneijderWesley Sneijder
Goal31
13
AmbrosiniMassimo Ambrosini
17
N. de JongNigel de Jong
Yellow Card58
16
CamoranesiMauro Camoranesi
Substitution75
18
KuytDirk Kuyt
Substitution81
19
ZambrottaGianluca Zambrotta
Yellow Card35
21
BoulahrouzKhalid Boulahrouz
Substitution77
21
PirloAndrea Pirlo
23
Van der VaartRafael van der Vaart
23
MaterazziMarco Materazzi
Substitution54

Substitutes

13
TimmerHenk Timmer (GK)
14
AmeliaMarco Amelia (GK)
16
StekelenburgMaarten Stekelenburg (GK)
17
De SanctisMorgan De Sanctis (GK)
3
HeitingaJohn Heitinga
Substitution77
3
GrossoFabio Grosso
Substitution54
6
De ZeeuwDemy de Zeeuw
4
ChielliniGiorgio Chiellini
7
Van PersieRobin van Persie
Substitution70
5
GamberiniAlessandro Gamberini
11
RobbenArjen Robben
7
Del PieroAlessandro Del Piero
Substitution64
12
MelchiotMario Melchiot
10
De RossiDaniele De Rossi
14
BoumaWilfred Bouma
12
BorrielloMarco Borriello
15
De ClerTim de Cler
15
QuagliarellaFabio Quagliarella
19
HuntelaarKlaas-Jan Huntelaar
18
CassanoAntonio Cassano
Substitution75
20
AfellayIbrahim Afellay
Substitution81
20
PerrottaSimone Perrotta
22
Vennegoor of HesselinkJan Vennegoor of Hesselink
22
AquilaniAlberto Aquilani

Coach

Marco van Basten (NED) Roberto Donadoni (ITA)

Referee

Peter Fröjdfeldt (SWE)

Assistant referees

Stefan Wittberg (SWE), Henrik Andren (SWE)

Fourth official

Damir Skomina (SVN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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