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Holland and Australia share spoils (

4 jun 2006 - Source:

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Holland met Australia in their final friendly ahead of the World Cup in Germany in the Rotterdam Kuip on Sunday afternoon. It was an emotionally charged encounter between the two Dutch coaches Marco van Basten and Guus Hiddink.InjuriesVan Basten will probably review the tie with mixed feelings, as Phillip Cocu limped off the pitch before half time after he had picked up a thigh injury and as Wesley Sneijder was carried off shortly after the start of the second half, when he had sustained an ankle injury. Hiddink will have more reason to be content. The Dutch team had a tempestuous start in the Rotterdam Kuip. First Cocu threatened, when Ruud van Nistelrooy had turned provider and soon afterwards the striker scored the opening goal on nine minutes. André Ooijer had a shot blocked by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer only for 'Van the Man' to cleverly net the rebound. Holland, who started with their first-choice team, got several opportunities to double the advantage, but goalkeeper Schwarzer was in great shape and pulled off a string of fine saves. Holland goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar produced a stunning save from Socceroos captain Mark Viduka, when he had to stretch at full length to push away a header for a corner on the verge of half time. WilkshireThe Australian team played a physical game in a bad-tempered match. Cocu and Sneijder had been the victims of fouls before and after the break Mark van Bommel and Giovanni van Bronckhorst suffered from challenges delivered by Luke Wilkshire. The English referee Michael Dean showed him a yellow card for each two-footed challenge and so the Australian was sent off. Australia had already leveled the score in strange fashion. Joris Mathijsen hauled back Mark Viduka on 53 minutes and Mike Dean awarded the Socceroos a penalty. Eventually Cahill tapped in, after Viduka had blasted the spot kick on the underside of the bar and when van Bommel’s attempted clearance had flown straight at his own goalkeeper. Holland dominated the game in the closing stages, but they could not take their chances from their numerical advantage. Goalkeeper Schwarzer, in particular, did well to deny the Dutch a couple of times. Robin van Persie rattled the bar from a free kick in the final minute of official time. Archie Thompson was given some playing time. Jason Culina played the full 90 minutes. Australia will meet Liechtenstein next Wednesday for a final pre-World Cup friendly, before they play their opening game against Japan on June 12. Holland will face Serbia and Montenegro in Leipzig as first opponent next Sunday.