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Elia comes on strong for the Oranje

Published: Saturday 5 September 2009, 17.39CET
Netherlands 3-0 Japan
Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were on target as substitute Eljero Elia enjoyed a fine friendly debut.
by Berend Scholten
Elia comes on strong for the Oranje
Eljero Elia set up two goals on his senior debut ©Getty Images

Published: Saturday 5 September 2009, 17.39CET

Elia comes on strong for the Oranje

Netherlands 3-0 Japan
Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were on target as substitute Eljero Elia enjoyed a fine friendly debut.

Netherlands 3-0 Japan
Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were on target as Eljero Elia enjoyed a fine debut for Bert van Marwijk's Netherlands.

Fresh legs
Playing their first international game at the home of FC Twente, the Oranje almost gave the 23,750 crowd an unpleasant early shock as Shinji Okazaki bore down on the Dutch goal after just two minutes. Yet his control failed him as he came up against goalkeeper Michel Vorm, standing in for the injured Maarten Stekelenburg. Van Persie had a decent chance after 24 minutes, but the Arsenal FC attacker shot over, and it took a sequence of second-half substitutions for the game to burst into life, with debutant Elia, Demy de Zeeuw and Huntelaar coming on.

Elia assists
The first goal came in the 69th minute. Having forced the corner with a fine shot, the ball came to Hamburger SV forward Elia and he laid it off for Van Persie to control with his chest and score. Three minutes later De Zeeuw teed up Sneijder to finish with a beautiful drive, and Elia was the provider again four minutes from time, with Huntelaar driving into the roof of the net. The Netherlands have already qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals with a full complement of 21 points from their first seven Group 9 games. They visit Scotland on Wednesday when they could be without Wesley Sneijder after the midfielder strained ankle ligaments against Japan. "Wesley told me he heard something crack so it looks serious but we have to await the outcome of the hospital examination," said Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk.

Last updated: 13/04/12 4.44CET

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