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March 22, 2013
• Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: V. Meshkov
• Attendance: 48675
R. van der Vaart 47'
R. van Persie 72'
R. Schaken 84'
Full time in Amsterdam. A poor first half performance is largely forgotten as goals from Rafael Van der Vaart, Robin Van Persie, and Ruben Schaken seal a professional 3-0 victory for Netherlands over Estonia. The visitors were plucky in the opening 45 minutes and defended solidly, but the class of Oranje eventually shone through and Louis van Gaal's men make it five wins out of five in Group D. I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
90' + 1'
Van Persie picks out Robben with an absolutely sensational cross-field pass and the Bayern man cuts inside, but his curled attempt to the top corner goes just over the bar. Just a couple of minutes remaining now.
Oranje are just professionally seeing out the match now. They are inviting Estonia on to them as they attempt to see out the clock and the remaining minutes in the match.
At half time you wouldn't really have predicted this scoreline, what with Estonia having defended so valiantly in the first period. In the end though, they ran out of steam, and were picked off by the home side.
Jonathan De Guzmán
Louis van Gaal makes another change as Jonathan De Guzman is replaced by Jordy Clasie.
Assist Robin van Persie
Goal Ruben Schaken
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR NETHERLANDS!!! Game, set, and match! Van Persie drifts out to the left-hand side and floats a cross to the back post, where substitute Ruben Schaken is waiting to chest down and smash into the far corner ! 3-0!
The visitors are indeed starting to move up the pitch now. Lindpere and Zenjov are beginning to press the ball deep in the Netherlands half. Fair play to them for having a go, but this may play straight into the hands of the hosts.
We enter the last 10 minutes now. If Estonia are going to stage a very unlikely comeback, they would probably need to net their first round about now. Not likely, though...
ESTONIA MISS A SITTER!!! Vassiljev slides the ball through the middle and Martin Vunk runs through on goal, but he lifts his strike way over the bar from just inside the box. He only had Vermeer to beat!
There's a swagger about the home side now. The goal from Van Persie has allowed them to enjoy the game a little bit better, but any further strikes would probably be harsh on Estonia.
Van Persie is now just one goal away from Johan Cruyff's goal record for Oranje. The Manchester United man is on 32, one away from the Netherlands legend's 33.
Assist Daryl Janmaat
Goal Robin van Persie
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR NETHERLANDS!!! Some breathing space for the hosts!! The impressive Janmaat once again finds himself in an advances position, and whips a cross into the six-yard-box where Van Persie is lurking to stab home from a few yards out! 2-0! The visitors have a mountain to climb now!
Stranger things have happened than Estonia grabbing a goal here. They haven't posed any kind of threat whatsoever, but with the score only at 1-0, they should always feel as if they have a chance.
Estonia still proving to be a formidable barrier at the back. De Guzman and Strootman are the players seeing most of the ball in the midfield area but they are being faced with a sea of blue jerseys any time they receive possession. It's making it hard to thread passes through the middle.
DE GUZMAN!!! The Swansea man almost opens his Dutch account! Robben shows his speedy feet down the left and touches inside to Van Persie, who lays the ball off for the on-loan Villarreal man, but his shot flies just north of the crossbar!
There is still signs of frustration among the Amsterdam Arena faithful here. The hosts may be 1-0 up, but such a scoreline against a nation like Estonia isn't good enough for the home crowd!
If Netherlands can see out this victory, it will be their 13th straight World Cup Qualifying win. Only West-Germany can boast a better record in qualifying.
Second change of the match from Estonia. Kruglov is replaced by Tarmo Kink.
A feature of Robin van Persie's play tonight has been his desire to come extremely deep to receive the ball. As a result, the Dutch are being left with no target inside the box.
VAN PERSIE MISSES AGAIN!! Janmaat once again shows attacking ambition down the right and gets to the byline before reversing a cross inside, but the 29-year-old blazes his right-footed strike way over the bar!! That should have doubled the lead!
Fair play to Estonia. The visitors do not appear to be fazed by going a goal behind and still seem eager to see out their solid gameplan at the back. It'll be interesting to see whether they opt to come out of their shell as time runs on.
A pacey opening to the half has toned down slightly as Oranje look to dictate possession in the middle of the park again. That goal from Van der Vaart has certainly took the pressure off!
This is what we were expecting from the home side. Van Gaal has clearly tore into his side at half-time as they have upped their play two or three gears since the beginning of the half.
VAN PERSIE!!! The Dutch come close again!! Van der Vaart curls a cross to the back post and the former Arsenal striker rises high to power a header at goal, but Pareiko manages to shift his feet quickly to make the save.
Assist Daryl Janmaat
Goal Rafael van der Vaart
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR NETHERLANDS!! They come flying out the blocks after half-time!! Janmaat goes on a marauding run down the right-flank and flicks the ball inside before passing to the feet of Van der Vaart. The substitute spins the ball inside with a wonderful first touch before creeping a left-footed strike into the bottom corner! 1-0!
We are back under way in Amsterdam!
Don't forget to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match onto the Goal.com International Twitter page at @goal_intl and the page of yours truly, @MartinMac1.
Half time in the Amsterdam Arena. Netherlands have had the large majority of the possession so far but Estonia's gameplan has worked perfectly as they have left the hosts with very little goalscoring chances. The Dutch seriously have to up their game if they are to pick up all three points here. Join us in 15 minutes for the second period!
Double save from Vermeer!!! Estonia almost take the lead!! Vassiljev gallops down the right-hand side and smashes a powerful shot towards the near post, which is saved. His second attempt is weaker and the Dutch 'keeper pounces on the ball.
The Oranje crowd are never ones to give up on their team, but they are starting to get slightly unsettled in the stands of the Amsterdam Arena. Their team has desperately lacked urgency so far.
Yellow Card Arjen Robben
Another disallowed goal for Netherlands. This time Robben runs through on goal and delightfully chips Pareiko with his right foot, but once again it's ruled as offside. The former Real Madrid man receives a booking for kicking the ball away. Petty refereeing.
Poor touch from Strootman!! The PSV midfielder latched on to a pass inside from Robben and looked to burst into the box but he let the ball bounce off his foot and run through to Pareiko. He would have been through on goal!
After a small period when the game was fairly stretched, Estonia have reverted back to their solid 4-4-2 shape and the Netherlands once again look stumped as they attempt to find an opening.
Rafael van der Vaart
Louis van Gaal is forced to make an early change. Captain Wesley Sneijder appears to have picked up a groin injury and he'll be replaced by Hamburg man, Rafael van der Vaart.
ROBBEN!!! The winger twists and turns on the left-hand side before cutting inside and lashes a strike towards the bottom corner, but it evades the corner by a yard! Pareiko was certainly scrambling to get across!
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR NETHERLANDS!! WAIT! NO! OFFSIDE!! Sneijder picks up possession in the pocket in front of the Estonia defence and stabs a ball through to Van Persie, who clinically smashes into the far corner, but the Dutchman was flagged as offside. Good decision, he was a yard off.
Netherlands just starting to up the pace in their attacks slightly, and as a result, Estonia are getting a little more disjointed at the back.
ALMOST 1-0 NETHERLANDS!!! Robben whips a teasing cross to the back post and the ball evades everyone and looks destined to nestle in the corner, but Pareiko manages to scramble across goal to make the save at the vital moment!
Just wide from Sneijder!! Blind drives down the left and whips a cross to the back post where Van Persie nods the ball back down to the former Inter Milan man, who slams a strike a few yards wide of the right-hand post. Much better from the hosts!
Why didn't Robben have a crack?! Normally the Bayern man doesn't need to be told twice to have a shot at goal but this time he opts to play the ball wide to Van Persie when he had a clear route towards goal.
The hosts must have racked up around 30 passes in a row in and around midfield there, but again there is very little impetus whenever they venture forward. Estonia looking relatively comfortable.
There seems to be a distinct lack of urgency among the Dutch. They have seen the vast majority of the ball but the Estonia goal has remained largely safe from danger. The hosts just need to up the tempo a little and add some intensity in their passing.
Arjen Robben looks to be the main threat for the Dutch, so much so that he is now being doubled up on by the Estonians. Puri had moved deeper to help out right-back, Jaager.
Not a lot of goalmouth action to speak of in the opening quarter-hour. The hosts have been well on top and are bossing the match but Estonia have remained fairly solid in the opening stages.
Superb interception from Klavan. Kevin Strootman looks to thread a pass through the middle for Van Persie, but the Estonia captain is there once again to put out a fire at the back.
Good defending from the young Dutch backline. The experienced Oper cuts inside before sliding the ball into Henrik Ojamaa, but the Motherwell striker is crowded out and Oranje reclaim possession.
Terrific turn from Van Persie. The Man United man receives the ball to feet from Sneijder and quickly swivels before driving towards goal, but a well-timed challenge from Klavan stops the Dutchman in his tracks.
Sneijder has another crack, and this time his attempt is on target. He picks up the ball from around the same distance and goes for the finesse approach with a curled strike towards goal, but Pareiko makes a comfortable save in between the sticks.
First shot of the match comes from Netherlands captain, Sneijder. Galatasaray's new signing picked up the ball 22 yards from goal and looked to clip a strike into the top left corner, but it was always rising and doesn't bother goalkeeper, Pareiko.
Just one touch too many from Robben. The Bayern Munich takes on Jaager down the left-hand side but as he looks to shift the ball onto his right foot, and back again, the Estonia fullback manages to clear into the stand.
Estonia's gameplan looks pretty clear from the get-go. Henrik Ojamaa is the only players staying forward at the moment and even record goalscorer, Andres Oper, has dropped deeper into midfield.
Perhaps predictably, Netherlands settle into the game the quickest and look to asset their domination on the match. All the play in the early stages in going through the returning Wesley Sneijder.
We are under way in Amsterdam!
Netherlands always provide a colourful crowd, and the sea of orange is once again on show tonight!
The players have took to the field now, as we prepare for the national anthems. Only a few moments from kick-off now!
Estonia's all-time leading goalscorer, Andres Oper, plied his trade in the Eredivisie from 2005 until 2009 at Roda before leaving for Shanghai Shenhua, only to return to Netherlands one year later at ADO Den Haag.
Robin Van Persie needs only two more goals to equal the legendary Johan Cruyff's record of 33 international strikes for Holland. You wouldn't put it past the Man United striker doing it tonight!
Netherlands are one of only two European teams that have yet to lose points in the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup, Russia being the other side.
Estonia (4-4-2): Pareiko; Jaager, Morozov, Klavan, Teniste; Puri, Vunk, Vassiljev, Kroeglov; Ojamaa, Oper
Netherlands (4-3-3): Vermeer; Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind; De Guzman, Sneijder, Strootman; Lens, Van Persie, Robben.
Louis van Gaal's outfit are currently top of Qualifying Group D after taking maximum points from their opening four matches. Tarmo Ruutli's men haven't had the best of starts to their campaign, and currently sit fifth with just three points.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through this international action this evening!
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the FIFA World Cup Qualifying clash between the Netherlands and Estonia at the Amsterdam Arena!
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