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Holland continue winning streak at the Philips Stadium (

18 okt 2007 - Source:

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The Philips Stadium played host to the Dutch team for the eleventh time since 1971 and the Netherlands, who had won all of their ten previous matches in Eindhoven, kept their 100% record in tact after goals from Wesley Sneijder and Klaas Jan Huntelaar earned them a 2-0 victory against Slovenia on Wednesday night. PSV striker Danny Koevermans watched on from the substitutes' bench and was not called into action.

The Oranje fielded a great many attack-minded players against Slovenia, and they were soon rewarded for their attacking ideas. Fifteen minutes were on the clock when the home side deservedly took the lead. Sneijder intercepted a poor back pass and rounded keeper Samir Handanovic before simply tapping home the opening goal. The hosts put in a fine first-half display and Sneijder came close to doubling the advantage, hitting the post once. Van Basten suffered an injury blow when Rafael van der Vaart was forced to go off injured on the half-hour mark, after he had picked up a hamstring injury. The HSV player was replaced by Arjen Robben, with Clarence Seedorf moving over from the left flank to the right.

After the break the Dutch frequently lost possession and produced no goal threat in a lacklustre performance and things went from bad to worse when Robin van Persie also hobbled off the pitch with an injury. Van Basten brought on former PSV player André Ooijer as an extra defender, to the disgust of the 35,000-strong hissing crowd. Soon afterwards Robben sustained a hamstring injury and Van Basten made his final substitution, with Ryan Babel coming on. So Koevermans would remain a not used substitute. With two minutes to go, when many spectators had already left the stadium, Babel set up the second goal with a cross for Huntelaar to score with the easiest of finishes; 2-0. The main thing on a disappointing night is that the Netherlands have taken a huge step towards qualification for the Euro 2008 championship in Switzerland and Austria. Bulgaria dropped two precious points in their 1-1 draw against Albania. Romania have already secured a place in the finals following their comfortable 2-0 win away against Luxembourg. Marco Van Basten's side need just three more points to book a place in next summer's tournament and they stand a good chance of reaching their aim when they take on Luxembourg at the Rotterdam Kuip on Saturday 17 November.
Holland's line-up:
Stekelenburg, Jaliens, Heintinga, Bouma, Emanuelson, De Zeeuw, Seedorf, Van der Vaart (29, Robben, 63, Babel), Sneijder, Huntelaar and Van Persie (60, Ooijer)