Euro 2012 - Dutch too good for Northern Ireland

Sat, 02 Jun 20:04:00 2012

Northern Ireland were comprehensively beaten 6-0 by Netherlands at the Amsterdam ArenA as the Dutch made a statement of intent before Euro 2012.

Dutch Robin Van Persie (L) celebrates with teammate Wesley Sneijder after the latter scored the 2-0 goal during the friendly football match between the Netherlands and Northern Ireland in Rotterdam - 0

The Oranje are pitted against Denmark, Portugal and Germany in what has been described as the Euro 2012 ‘Group of Death’ but the hosts were imperious against a Northern Ireland side weakened by withdrawals and injuries.

Robin van Persie got a goal either side of Wesley Sneijder‘s free-kick as the hosts raced into a 3-0 lead in under 30 minutes before Ibrahim Afellay put further gloss on an already polished first-half performance with a fourth before the interval.

Afellay added his second and Holland’s fifth just after the break before Ron Vlaar headed a sixth with a little over 10 minutes remaining.

It could have been more had it not been for a combination of some rather dogged defending and a bit of luck – with Rafael van der Vaart hitting a post as the game drew to a close.

With a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal, and his favoured system requiring only one central striker, Bert van Marwijk opted for Arsenal’s Van Persie to start ahead of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

And the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner set the tone for what was a turbulent first half for Michael O'Neill’s men when he headed the hosts into the lead from close range with 11 minutes on the clock.

The visitors seemed content to try to sit deep and soak up pressure but the hosts were rampant and it wasn’t long before Sneijder punished a clumsy challenge on Mark van Bommel with a sumptuous free-kick from 25 yards to double their advantage.

Having packed the midfield to stifle their hosts, Northern Ireland were unable to construct any sort of consistent attacking threat and with very little respite for their defence, it came as little surprise when they conceded a third.

Shane Ferguson handled in the box and Van Persie made no mistake from 12 yards before Afellay finished off a rapid break with a smart finish across Lee Camp to give the hosts a four-goal advantage at the break.

O'Neill made three changes at the interval in an attempt to stem the tide but Afellay expertly curled the ball past substitute goalkeeper Roy Carroll to make it five with six minutes of the second half gone.

A slew of second-half substitutes disrupted the fluency of what was turning into a vintage Dutch performance but the hosts continued to threaten and only a combination of some stout defending, good goalkeeping and fortune kept the score down.

The pick of the efforts not to be rewarded with the ball nestling in the back of the net was a delicate, curling Sneijder chip that just dropped the wrong side of the post with Carroll reduced to the role of spectator.

As the game drew to a close, the pace began to slow but there was still time for Vlaar to head Netherlands' sixth.

Marcus Foley / Eurosport

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  1. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    An All-Ireland team would basically destroy the point­ that, we, as a smaller country, have our own little­ team, made of OUR PLAYERS. Most of the lads that have­ played for Crusaders and Linfield and all have DREAMED­ of playing for their country, but hey, don't listen­ to me... I'm just a purty digger from the North.­ Right Sarah-Jane? From Essex so she thinks she's­ better than all else because she's probably a tart­ and her sister's married a dutch guy. Well guess­ what? I'd rather be from here than a town of sluts­ and hoes any day. Plus, we have Liam Donnelly, David­ Healy, Kyle Lafferty, George Best etc. Plus, if­ ROI's team are so good, why do they need our­ players? Think about that one.

    From Julia, on Sun 3 Jun 14:17
  2. Why use the name Ireland? Just use the name Northern!

    From Ciaran, on Sun 3 Jun 8:59
  3. Too good? This was a bloody rape!

    From Ronaldo O Fenômeno, on Sun 3 Jun 7:12
  4. 1 thing the north when you gonna get a proper national­ anthem then i might take you seriously.

    From brhogg86, on Sun 3 Jun 3:04
  5. no1s talking about the football lets be honest its just­ an excuse to slag lol

    From Bryan, on Sun 3 Jun 2:17
  6. Comment hidden due to its low rating. Show

    I think giovanni trapattoni should bless Sarah Jane...­ :)))

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 2:13
  7. Ah i see now. This all started when you confused the­ two countries in your first comment.Simple mistake that­ any English person could have made.Just so you know,it­ was Northern Ireland that played tonight,not the­ Republic.

    From peter, on Sun 3 Jun 2:13
  8. Sarah Jane... Your Lord godvgiovanni trapattoni will­ kiss your forehead and help you from your­ 'silly' fits xx GV Loves you :))

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 2:08
  9. Nope we now have 2 celtic players playing for us n each­ of them get good receptions when they play doesn't­ bother me/us what you are either way

    From Bryan, on Sun 3 Jun 2:01
  10. @Bryan: I would imagine it's because you burned­ your bridges with the Catholic community a long time­ ago.

    From peter, on Sun 3 Jun 1:48
  11. sean hates the whole religon thing but lives up here­ and supports the roi, i wonder why hmmmm

    From Bryan, on Sun 3 Jun 1:37
  12. Norn Iron are so bad even I almost started to feel­ sorry for them.Then i reconsidered and laughed my head­ off. McClean might have been beneficial for them­ tonight but unfortunately he's engaged with more­ important matters. :)

    From peter, on Sun 3 Jun 1:21
  13. Red Hand..... Best comment of the day! :)

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 1:10
  14. not 1 player from n.i would make it on the roi team­ what about gibson and mcclean both should be playing­ for n.i the roi team is half made up of players who­ should be playing for n.i and english players who­ aren't good enough for england so they turn to roi­ to get international football, they are lika club team­ full o players o different nationalities lol

    From Bryan, on Sun 3 Jun 1:10
  15. Although we got beat i enjoyed the game.

    From Mister Nobody, on Sun 3 Jun 1:06
  16. Awwww Ciara... I love spuds.. I so love them.. I dye­ them Green before I eat them.. How do you like yours?­ God bless you pet xx

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 0:57
  17. Gabriel dude, I hate to do the whole religion thing.. I­ have equal friends from both sides and I love them­ all.... I agree with you, I respect everyone in N I but­ you guys should respect GAA etc If you wana make a­ few quid, stick a few quid on us to get out of the­ group, we havent been beaten in 11 games man..

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 0:55
  18. Sean , the trapp will be gone i around 4 weeks , (after­ a good job well done ) this is the time about being­ realistic about the future of all ireland football , if­ we dont the kids will get fed up supporting hopeless­ causes and start playing some other game

    From GABRIEL, on Sun 3 Jun 0:47
  19. Awww Sarah Jane pet.... Its been a long time.. a long­ long time since Spain 86.... Why don't you cheer us­ on pet.. I know you want us to lose every game but we­ always seem to do well.. ; Stick 20 quid on us to get­ out of the group.... Honestly.. we will....

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 0:47
  20. Sarah Jane - Appears Bin Dippers qualify for major­ tournaments?? You should change your name to Ciara pet­ and cheer on the proper Irish team xx

    From SEAN, on Sun 3 Jun 0:43
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