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Dutch Olympic team book place in the quarter-finals (

13 aug 2008 - Source:

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The Dutch Olympic team booked a place in the quarter-finals at the Olympic football tournament in Beijing after all, following a 1-0 victory against Japan, who had already been eliminated. The Dutch won a penalty in the 73rd minute and Gerard Sibon stepped up to duly convert the spot kick. Nigeria beat the USA 2-1 in the other Group B match.
Sibon converts penalty
Japan proved to be tough opposition for the Netherlands, who were cheered on by over 38, 000 ecstatic, mainly Chinese football fans in the stands of the Olympic Sport Center in Shenyang. Japan had already been eliminated after two group stage losses, while Holland had recorded two draws so far. They drew 0-0 with Nigeria in their opening game and the clash with the USA ended in a 2-2 draw. Ryan Babel was hauled down at the edge of the area by Keisuke Honda, VVV-Venlo's Japanese midfielder, in the 73rd minute and Gerald Sibon converted the resulting penalty. Both teams came close to scoring, but no goals were scored in the thrilling closing stages. Nigeria also advanced to the knock-out stage. They enjoyed a 2-1 win over the USA, who played with ten men from the third minute when defender Michel was sent off.
Pieters came on as a substitute
Defender Dirk Marcellis was the only PSV player who was included in the starting line-up. Otman Bakkal came on for midfielder Hedwiges Maduro after 62 minutes. Erik Pieters was given his first taste of action when De Haan brought on the PSV summer signing as an extra defender to replace Sibon fifteen minutes from time. The Netherlands will now face Argentina in the quarter-final in Shanghai on Saturday.
Dutch Olympic team line-up:
Vermeer, Jaliens, Marcellis, Jong-A-Pin, Maduro (62, Bakkal), Emanuelson, De Guzman (90, Pieters), Babel, Drenthe, Makaay and Sibon (75, Zuiverloon).