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European Cup 2004 group 2 Standing at a glance

Holland show class and look back on track

Saturday 7 September 2002 22:31 hrs
Holland have shown their true class with a convincing 3-0 win over Belarus. In Eindhoven Davids, Kluivert and Hasselbaink netted to send the Russians packing with no points out of their first encounter.


After a successful performance in Oslo, Advocaat played Edgar Davids on the left wing, with Chelsea-man Zenden backing him up in defence. With Belarus playing for a 0-0 draw, or to sneak a win on the break, Hollandís tactics concentrated on wing-play. Initially Holland looked to struggle handling the pressure, knowing a win was the only result to gain from the match.

Until Davidsí fierce left foot strike, Holland werenít looking the part and never really looked like scoring. The Juventus manís shot shut up some of the complaining fans in the stands. A minute later Kluivert added the second and effectively decided the tie from a Zenden cross. By then, the moaning had turned into euphoria.

Holland after that looked fresher and set out for more goals, but only added a third. Young pretender Van der Vaart, who had to pull out with a knee-injury, played the ball into Kluivert on the right, whose cross was dealt with clinically by Chelsea striker Hasselbaink.

Van der Vaartís injury to the left knee may keep him from playing for club and country for the next six weeks.

Luckily for Ajax, they have just bought Jari Litmanen from Liverpool, but Dick Advocaat was disappointed: ďI think heís a class player, and itís not just a pity for him, but heíll also be missed in the national side.Ē The knock he suffered will surely rule him out for Hollandís next qualifier in Vienna, in four weeks time. Another Ajax player, Andy van der Meyde, suffered a slight fracture to his collarbone.

These were the only two real set backs Holland experienced, on a night when the Dutch put the World Cup behind them and made a first positive step in achieving their ultimate goal: qualification for EURO 2004 in Portugal. The Orange are back.

Holland 1 1 0 0 3
Austria 1 1 0 0 3
Czech Rep 0 0 0 0 0
Moldova 1 0 0 1 0
Belarus 1 0 0 1 0
** **Netherland 3 - 0 Belarus **

Van Nistelrooy most valuable player in 2002

Van Nistelrooy of the Oranje will be featured in the upcoming new game - FIFA 2002 by EA Sports. The game will be availabe in November for both PC and Playstation one and two.