World Cup 2010 - Robben returns as Dutch make quarters
Robert Vittek netted a penalty for the Slovaks with the last kick of the game but it was nothing more than a consolation for Vladimir Weiss's homeward-bound team.
The Dutch remain unbeaten at the tournament and have now won their last 12 competitive matches - all eight qualifying matches and four games in South Africa.
But it was far from a classic performance from Bert van Marwijk's side at the Moses Mabhida Stadium where, despite their domination of possession, they lacked the ruthlessness going forward to kill off the game earlier than the 84th minute.
Robben was restored to the starting line-up having appeared just once off the bench at this World Cup - in the victory over Cameroon - due to a hamstring injury.
With three victories out of three, the Oranje could hardly claim to have missed their influential midfielder so far this tournament, but his return was nevertheless a timely fillip.
So hyped has Robben's return to action been, there was almost a hint of inevitability it should be him who broke the deadlock, the Bayern Munich player running onto a long ball forward by Sneijder as the Dutch broke at pace. Robben cut inside two Slovakia defenders before drilling a low shot past Jan Mucha in goal; a goal of incredible simplicity, yet devastating effectiveness.
The Dutch dominated the remainder of the first half and Van Persie managed to get another two sights of goal, but he miscued a 40th minute shot before firing wide at the near post from Van Bommel's cross just before the half-time whistle.
At the other end, Slovakia's main goal threat Vittek barely got a sniff as skipper Marek Hamsik's creativity in midfield was largely stifled.
After the break, Robben again proved his threat with another shot that Mucha had to be sharp to keep out before he squared the ball for Mark van Bommel just seconds later, only for Mucha to deny Robben's club-mate from close range with his face.
The Dutch were undoubtedly on top but with just a goal in it, the game was far from over. And Slovakia nearly capitalised on Netherlands' failure to put the result to bed with two great chances in the space of seconds.
Maarten Stekelenburg, previously a peripheral figure in the game, had to be at his very best to first tip Miroslav Stoch's fierce strike over the bar and then deny Vittek after the big striker had been played through on goal.
The double scared seemed to invigorate the Dutch, and following a great strike by Kuyt which Mucha tipped around the post, they found that elusive second with a simple sidefooter by Sneijder from Kuyt's square pass following Mucha's ill-advised rush off his line.
There was still time for another goal, Vittek netting his fourth of the past couple of weeks from the spot with the last kick of the game after he had been brought down by Stekelenburg.
But it was nothing more than a final farewell to the tournament for Slovakia as the referee blew for full time immediately after, leaving Netherlands to contemplate a potentially mouthwatering quarter-final clash with Brazil.
1st Half Goals 1-0
Shots on Target 9-3
Shots off Target 6-7
Blocked Shots 1-4
Yellow Cards 2-3
Red Cards 0-0
Passing Success 80.1%-79.2%
Tackles Success 70.6%-92.3%
Territorial Advantage 51%-49%