Netherlands beat Russia 4-1 in friendly

The Netherlands beat Russia 4-1 in an international friendly in Amsterdam on Wednesday night (February 7) with all of the goals coming in the second half.

Substitutes Ryan Babel and Wesley Sneijder both scored in the space of five minutes before Vladimir Bystrov pulled a goal back with a fine curling effort.

But Joris Mathijsen restored the Netherlands' two-goal cushion with a header and Rafael van der Vaart scored from the penalty spot in the final minute to seal the win.

Dutchman Guus Hiddink was back on home soil on Wednesday night as his Russian side faced the Netherlands in an international friendly in Amsterdam.

Hiddink, who coached the Dutch national side from 1994 to 1998, looked on as the two sides shared a dire first half, but the game sparked into life after half-time.

Substitute Ryan Babel was allowed time and space to work his way into the centre of the pitch and the Ajax winger unleashed a powerful shot that eluded the reach of Igor Akinfeev in the 68th minute.

Babel played in his Ajax team-mate, and fellow substitute, Wesley Sneijder five minutes later.

Sneijder went outside a pair of static Russian defenders and hit an unstoppable left-foot shot to make it 2-0.
The goal received a proud smile from Sneijder's club coach Henk ten Cate, who was seated amongst the crowd.
Russia pulled a goal back in the 77th minute after a cross from the left wing was deflected into the path of Vladimir Bystrov.

There appeared to be little threat on the Dutch goal as Bystrov was quickly closed down by stand-in captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but his effort darted past the unsighted Maarten Stekelenburg and the visitors trailed by a single goal.

Any hopes of a resounding fightback were quashed just three minutes later though as The Netherlands exposed poor marking from their opponents at a corner kick.

Joris Mathijsen was left unmarked to steer a simple header past Akinfeev and the home side led 3-1.
Russia's capitulation was completed just before the final whistle when Dennis Kolodin slipped under pressure from substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar and handled the ball in the penalty area, reports.

An attacking Russia lineup had offered little in response, although midfielder Vladimir Bystrov provided hope of salvaging something from the match with a fine volley. The Netherlands continued to surge forward, however, and Joris Mathijsen quickly restored the two-goal advantage when he rose, unmarked, to nod in from close range before Rafael van der Vaart rounded off a compelling final quarter of the game from the penalty spot, rifling in his eighth international goal, reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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Author`s name Alex Naumov