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2 June 2012
• Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: R. Schörgenhofer
• Attendance: 50000
R. van Persie 11', 29'
W. Sneijder 15'
I. Afellay 37', 51'
R. Vlaar 78'
FULL TIME! The Netherlands record a resounding 6-0 victory over a timid Northern Ireland side, handing them the perfect send-off into EURO 2012. That's all from me tonight, thanks for joining me and stick around for goal.com's full match report!
90' + 1'
Ooh Heitinga has the chance for a seventh, but his volley is scuffed.
Two minutes of extra time remain, as the Dutch win a corner.
Stijn Schaars concedes a free kick with an unnecessary handball. Not too much confidence oozing from the Sporting Lisbon midfielder, deputising at left-back.
David Healy grabs his side's second attempt on target of the night, but the attempt is timid and Stekelenburg collects.
No he hasn't - he's just covered it with his brand new jersey. The Tottenham man tries for goal from range, but though the attempt is by no means a poor one Caroll is untroubled.
Van Der Vaart seems to have passed on the armband, but to who I have yet to determine. Either that or he's lost the thing...
Northern Ireland have the ball now, as the visitors look to salvage a goal from this one-sided affair.
David Healy comes on for Shane Ferguson.
The ArenA is buzzing now - can the hosts fire themselves into seventh heaven ahead of the tough group stage that awaits them next week?
Goal! It's six and the goal comes from the most unlikeliest of players - Feyenoord centre-back Ron Vlaar rises above the crowd on a Dutch corner and sends a thumping header into the back of the net. 6-0!
Robben cuts in from the left, beats his marker, but sends his right-footed effort way over. Meanwhile, Jetro Willems makes way for Stijn Schaars.
Aaaaaah inches from number six! Van Der Vaart picks it up in midfield, before unleashing a cannoning left-footed effort. The ball hits the post, and with the most agonising of spins bounces across the goal mouth, past the other post, and behind for a goal kick.
Afellay looks to split the NI defence with a through ball, but the pass is a poor one.
Just a little statistic as the game's tempo lowers; seven of the 23 players in the Oranje squad currently ply their trade in the Eredivisie. Comparatively, all but four of Spain’s charges feature in La Liga, while no England player is on a foreign clubs’ books.
Dirk Kuyt looks set to fill the left flank, with Afellay being pushed into the central playmaker role. Bert Van Marwijk seems to be giving the Barcelona man as much game-time as possible, following his recent return from a long-term injury.
Dirk Kuyt comes on, and it's Wesley Sneijder who comes off. McGivern meanwhile registers his side first attempt on target.
Corner to the Netherlands, and Roy Caroll makes a mess of it! The veteran fumbles the ball, allowing Ron Vlaar a rare attempt at goal. The ball flies wide, however.
Dirk Kuyt is about to enter the fray...
Afellay sends a low delivery across the face of goal, but no one is on hand to convert.
OOHHH close, and that would've been a ripper! Willems picks out Sneijder in the box, who turns his marker only to see his speculative attempt fly inches past the post.
Afellay again makes poor contact, failing to beat his marker in the box with his team-mates lurking in front of goal.
A poor back-pass from Afellay gifts the visitors the chance to surge forward. There's no incisiveness however, and the danger seems to have faded.
Defending Northern Ireland’s goal is veteran stopper Roy Caroll, who was once on Manchester United’s books. The glovesman currently plies his trade at Greek side Olympiacos, making him the only player in his nation’s squad to play outside the British Isles.
Jetro Willems seems to have suffered a knock to his hand - undoubtedly unpleasant but clearly much more favorable than an ankle or knee injury.
So, Van der Vaart seems to have been handed a more holding role for the night, with Sneijder still the no. 10 of the Oranje. The Tottenham man is the most capped player in the Dutch squad, with 96 senior appearances to his name.
Robin van Persie
Mark van Bommel
Rafael van der Vaart
Huntelaar and Van Der Vaart come on, and it's Mark Van Bommel who makes way for the latter, passing on the armband in the process. Huntelaar comes on for RVP in a like-for-like switch.
Though they have conceded again, the visitors look more eager to go for goal.
Two men on the verge of a hat-trick now... will they get the chance to grab it or will Van Marwijk choose to bring on the likes of Huntelaar and Kuyt?
AssistRobin van Persie
GOOOAAAL! 5-0! Afellay grabs his second of the night with a thundering finish. Robin van Persie lays it off for the Barcelona man, who leaves Roy Caroll absolutely helpless.
Great pace from Jetro Willems! The youngster is caught out by a through ball, but uses his electrifying speed to recover. Positive stuff from the left-back.
Oliver Norwood concedes a free kick from a good length out, but the Dutch opt to play it short rather than go for goal.
The visitors look more positive following those substitutions, with visibly more pressure being applied in the midfield.
Josh Carson, Roy Caroll, and Ryan McGivern have come on for the visitors at the expense of Grant McCann, Lee Camp, and Daniel Lafferty. The hosts remain unchanged.
The teams are coming back onto the pitch. I'll inform you of any substitutions in just a minute...
It really has been one-way traffic here, with Northern Ireland not getting a sight of the Dutch goal. I look forward to seeing the manager's moving going into the second half - will Michael O'Neill try his luck and bring on David Healy? And will Bert Van Marwijk grant some of his younger stars a cameo? We'll know soon enough.
Half-time in Amsterdam as The Netherlands go into the break with a resounding and deserved 4-0 lead. See you in 15!
The Dutch are knocking at the door here, with Robben, Affelay, and Van Der Wiel all having a crack at goal. The latter draws a particularly fine save from Camp.
Robben has a crack for the fifth! The winger cuts in from the left, before testing Camp with a palm-stinging effort.
Willems appears to have taken a knock, but looks set to play on nonetheless.
AssistRobin van Persie
Goal! 4-0! Van Persie picks up the ball in the box, and unselfishly tees it up for the onrushing Afellay, who converts in clinical fashion.
So close to the fourth! Van Der Wiel's low delivery across the box is unmet, which sees Willems pick up the ball at the other end. The youngster has a crack, but can only hit the side netting.
And it very nearly pays off immediately! The winger sends in a low cross from the right, but RVP's attempt at a stylish back-heel doesn't come off.
Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Afellay seem to have temporarily swapped births, with the latter now occupying the right flank.
Penalty GoalRobin van Persie
Goal! The striker finishes with aplomb, rifling it into the bottom right corner as Camp goes the other way. 3-0!
Penalty to The Netherlands! Ferguson handles the ball in the area, and the referee is quick to point to the spot... RVP to take.
Sneijder!!! The playmaker looks to be through on goal, but with defenders charging at him the Dutchman just can't get the final touch from 6 six yards out.
Jetro Willems, the left back called up to deputise for club team-mate Erik Pieters, looks to charge forward on one of his mazy runs. No way through however, as NI look to defend in numbers.
Ooooh close offside call - Robben is released by Sneijder but the Bayern man is inches offside. Correct call by the linesman.
Afellay has a crack from range, but its the photographers in the media zone behind the goal who appear to be the target...
All Netherlands now as the visitors look to park the bus. Can they survive the Oranje onslaught, or are we in for a thrashing... the home fans seem to be calling for the latter, and who can blame them following that dismal showing against Bulgaria last Saturday.
Afellay sends a low delivery into the six-yard box, but Van Persie cannot get to it.
NI enjoy a short spell of possession... can they claw themselves back against the hungry hosts?
Yellow CardLee Hodson
OOOOOOH GOAL! Wesley Sneijder curls home the hosts’ second with a wonderful free kick! Michael Duff had picked up the game’s first booking with a reckless leg on Van Bommel, and the Inter man punishes the visitors with style from the resultant free kick!
Yellow CardMichael Duff
GoalRobin van Persie
GOAL! Robin Van Persie opens the scoring with a pinpoint header! Wesley Sneijder plays the corner short, and sends a curling cross towards the forward on the return, who heads home with ruthless accuracy. 1-0 Netherlands!
And its Van Persie who has a crack! The Arsenal star sends a curling effort towards the far corner, but the ball fails to get through a wall of NI defenders.
Arjen Robben is released towards goal, and is brought down just outside the penalty box. The Oranje free kick specialists are lining up for this one...
Wesley Sneijder picks up the ball outside the box, and opts to test Camp with a long range effort. The NI stopper is untroubled however, and collects with ease.
NI win the game's first corner, but Ron Vlaar is on hand to head the ball to safety.
Arjen Robben truly is a fan's favorite in Holland - the home crowd seems to come alive every time he's on the ball. No moments of brilliance from the forward yet however...
The visitors look content sitting back in these opening exchanges, allowing the Dutch to build with short passes. Afellay attempts a cross from the left wing, but the ball disappears behind the goal-line.
Netherlands take possession quickly, and look to get an early breakthrough with a long ball towards Arjen Robben. It's overhit however, and Lee Camp collects.
Northern Ireland get us underway, kicking from right to left.
Moments from kick-off now, and the atmosphere is nothing short of electric - will the Dutch get their perfect Euro 2012 send-off or are we in for a classic David vs. Goliath upset?
All set here in Amsterdam as the national anthems, performed by what looks like at least a 50-man orchestra, echo through the ArenA...
It is clear who carries the ‘underdog’ tag tonight – Northern Ireland sit 87th in the FIFA standings, while today’s hosts find themselves in fourth place. Such rankings have been irrelevant during this past internationals week however, Switzerland’s 5-3 victory over Germany and Bulgaria’s late winner in a 2-1 defeat for the Dutch last Saturday both noteworthy upsets.
The Netherlands’ current form sheet is hardly inspirational. The Dutch have won just one of their last three, their 2-0 win over Slovakia having been preceded by losses to Bayern Munich and Bulgaria. Northern Ireland’s recent results are arguably even more disappointing. Just six points were collected in their unsuccessful quest for Euro 2012 qualification, while their last outing - a friendly against Norway - saw the Green and White Army concede three goals without response.
Full Lineups: Netherlands (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg; Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Vlaar, Willems; De Jong, Van Bommel; Robben, Sneijder, Afellay; Van Persie Northern Ireland (4-5-1): Lee Camp; Hodson, Duff, McPake, Lafferty; Little, Clingan, McCann, Norwood, Ferguson; Grigg
Little surprise from either side then, with Van Persie getting the nod ahead of Huntelaar perhaps the biggest talking point from a Dutch perspective. One notable absence for the visitors is striker David Healy, the nation's top scorer and the most capped player in the squad.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com’s LIVE coverage of tonight’s international friendly between The Netherlands and Northern Ireland. My name is Renger Dotinga and I will be talking you through the action as it unfolds at the Amsterdam Arena.
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