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Dutch masters share plaudits around

Published: Wednesday 13 October 2010, 13.33CET
Goalscorers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay were not the sole recipients of praise as the superlatives flowed in the Netherlands dressing room following a fourth group win.
by Berend Scholten

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Match statistics

NetherlandsSweden

Goals scored4
 
1
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts12
 
14
Attempts on target8
 
6
Attempts off target4
 
6
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners2
 
7
Offsides1
 
0
Yellow cards0
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed12
 
19
Fouls suffered18
 
11

Standings

Last updated: 04/02/2013 08:50 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 13 October 2010, 13.33CET

Dutch masters share plaudits around

Goalscorers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay were not the sole recipients of praise as the superlatives flowed in the Netherlands dressing room following a fourth group win.

Yes, there were bouquets for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay, but the plaudits were shared around the Netherlands camp after Bert van Marwijk's men made it four wins out of four in qualifying Group E.

When we play combination football like this, it all runs so smoothly and we look really good
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
It was a pleasure to be on the pitch
Rafael van der Vaart

Huntelaar and Afellay provided notable subplots with two goals each in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Sweden in Amsterdam, yet the main story was the coming to fruition of the Oranje's combination play.

The goalkeeper on the receiving end, PSV Eindhoven's Swedish international Andreas Isaksson, underlined the point in describing the hosts' fourth-minute opener by Huntelaar. "It was a ball through the middle which Wesley Sneijder flicked on to Rafael van der Vaart, who then played it in to Huntelaar – a good goal."

Huntelaar would add a second after 55 minutes to take his tally to eight goals from four qualifying outings since the FIFA World Cup runners-up turned their attention to booking a place at UEFA EURO 2012.

"It was a great match to play in, especially because I got two goals myself and provided an assist for Ibrahim Afellay," the FC Schalke 04 forward said. "When we play combination football like this, it all runs so smoothly and we look really good. As a team we played really well and it was nice for Ibrahim to score his first international goals."

PSV attacking midfielder Afellay, who netted after 37 and 59 minutes, had repaid the compliment by helping to set up Huntelaar's second of the night. This enabled the 27-year-old striker to walk off the Amsterdam ArenA pitch having reached Marco van Basten's national team total of 24 goals. Remarkably he has achieved that figure from a mere 40 matches, compared with Van Basten's 58.

However, the No9 said it was "just nice to equal" his predecessor. "You can't think too much about these things – you just have to play well, as we did here, and then the chances, and goals, will follow."

Nonetheless, Huntelaar's man-of-the-match claims were talked down by Sweden midfielder Ola Toivonen, who instead backed his PSV team-mate: "Ibrahim Afellay was the best player on the pitch, so congratulations to him."

After such an impressive team performance, though, Rafael van der Vaart rightly handed out collective praise, saying: "I think our first-half display was fantastic. The second half also, but in the first we put together some great attacking moves. It was a pleasure to be on the pitch."

Last updated: 26/10/12 13.48CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1546020.html#dutch+masters+share+plaudits

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