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Netherlands showcase class in Finland

Finland 0-2 Netherlands
The Netherlands are on the verge of a finals place after Kevin Strootman and Luuk de Jong secured an eighth straight Group E victory.

Kevin Strootman (centre) celebrates his opener
Kevin Strootman (centre) celebrates his opener ©Getty Images

The Netherlands took another confident step towards UEFA EURO 2012 as goals from Kevin Strootman and Luuk de Jong in Finland secured them an eighth successive Group E victory.

PSV Eindhoven midfielder Strootman volleyed his first senior international goal after 29 minutes, latching on to a succulent ball over the top from Wesley Sneijder, and while the Finns fought to level, the dismissal of their dangerman Perparim Hetemaj just after the hour hobbled any putatitive comeback. De Jong duy slotted in a second goal in added time to put a seal on their victory.

Lukas Hradecky in the Finland goal was busy throughout and an offside flag spared his blushes when John Heitinga tapped in the loose ball after he had spilled a Sneijder free-kick. Strootman's strike soon did the damage anyway, with a hopeful Hetemaj strike the best the home side could muster in response before the break.

Robin van Persie was twice foiled by Hradecky early in the second period, before Hetemaj's long ball found Kasper Hämäläinen in space, but while the forward managed to lift the ball over Maarten Stekelenburg, Erik Pieters cleared that shot off the line. Hetemaj was then shown his second yellow card of the night to make an uneven game a little more so.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Van Persie, Eljero Elia and Sneijder all tried their luck against the besieged Hradecky, but it took until three minutes into added time for the ball to fall right, De Jong making no mistake after Elia's lay-off left him with an easy task.

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