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woensdag, juni 06, 2012

Dutch hit six in final warmup

Robin van Persie celebrates with Ibrahim Afellay, who also scored twice in the Netherlands' 6-0 win against Northern Ireland on Saturday.
Robin van Persie celebrates with Ibrahim Afellay, who also scored twice in the Netherlands' 6-0 win against Northern Ireland on Saturday.
  • Netherlands crush Northern Ireland 6-0 in final Euro 2012 warmup match
  • Portugal lose at home to Turkey while England suffer more injury problems
  • Uruguay held by Venezuela in South American World Cup qualifying match
  • Cameroon and Ivory Coast win as African qualifiers start for Brazil 2014

(CNN) -- The Netherlands finally found some pre-Euro 2012 form on Saturday with an ominous 6-0 thrashing of Northern Ireland that will boost the 2010 World Cup finalists' hopes of a second continental title.

Having lost to German club Bayern Munich and 96th-ranked Bulgaria before beating Slovakia 2-0 on Wednesday, the 1988 European champions needed a good result before heading to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Coach Bert van Marwijk gave a pointer to the opening Group B game against Denmark on June 9 by leaving free-scoring striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the bench, as Robin van Persie spearheaded the attack with Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Afellay on the wings.

The Arsenal forward continued the form that made him the English Premier League's top scorer as he netted twice, while Barcelona's Afellay also bagged a double.

Wes Sneijder scored the second goal with a superb free-kick in the 15th minute as the Inter Milan playmaker shook off an ankle worry that saw him fail to finish the Slovakia game, while defender Ron Vlaar sealed it with a header on 78.

Czech Republic were solid in a kind qualifying group, finishing second to reigning champions Spain after conceding just eight goals in eight games. The Euro 1996 finalists' problems are in attack, where 30-year-old striker Milan Baros will be expected to provide a cutting edge.Czech Republic were solid in a kind qualifying group, finishing second to reigning champions Spain after conceding just eight goals in eight games. The Euro 1996 finalists' problems are in attack, where 30-year-old striker Milan Baros will be expected to provide a cutting edge.
Greece shocked the whole of Europe eight years ago, emerging from nowhere to be crowned Euro 2004 winners. One of the survivors of that team is midfielder Giorgos Karagounis, whose experience will be key if Greece are to reach the quarterfinals.Greece shocked the whole of Europe eight years ago, emerging from nowhere to be crowned Euro 2004 winners. One of the survivors of that team is midfielder Giorgos Karagounis, whose experience will be key if Greece are to reach the quarterfinals.
Co-hosts Poland boast one of Europe's most in-form strikers in the shape of Robert Lewandoski. The 23-year-old had a fine season with German champions Borussia Dortmund and he will be Poland's main goal threat in Group A.Co-hosts Poland boast one of Europe's most in-form strikers in the shape of Robert Lewandoski. The 23-year-old had a fine season with German champions Borussia Dortmund and he will be Poland's main goal threat in Group A.
The surprise inclusion in the Russia squad was uncapped CSKA Moscow defender Kirill Nababkin(left). Under Guus Hiddink in 2008, Russia enjoyed a run to the semifinals in Austria and Switzerland. Hiddink's compatriot Dick Advocaat will be hoping for a similar performance this year.The surprise inclusion in the Russia squad was uncapped CSKA Moscow defender Kirill Nababkin(left). Under Guus Hiddink in 2008, Russia enjoyed a run to the semifinals in Austria and Switzerland. Hiddink's compatriot Dick Advocaat will be hoping for a similar performance this year.
The star of the Denmark squad is young playmaker Christian Eriksen. The Ajax midfielder could earn a move to one of Europe's big clubs with an impressive showing in Poland and Ukraine.The star of the Denmark squad is young playmaker Christian Eriksen. The Ajax midfielder could earn a move to one of Europe's big clubs with an impressive showing in Poland and Ukraine.
Germany go into Euro 2012 with a squad full of proven international performers and as one of the favorites to lift the trophy. Coach Joachim Low's main concern will be midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is battling to be fit for Germany's first match against Portugal on June 9.Germany go into Euro 2012 with a squad full of proven international performers and as one of the favorites to lift the trophy. Coach Joachim Low's main concern will be midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is battling to be fit for Germany's first match against Portugal on June 9.
Netherland's Robin van Persie enters the four-yearly tournament off the back of a prolific season with Arsenal. In addition to Van Persie's firepower, the Euro 1988 winners also have Schalke hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.Netherland's Robin van Persie enters the four-yearly tournament off the back of a prolific season with Arsenal. In addition to Van Persie's firepower, the Euro 1988 winners also have Schalke hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Portugal have exciting talents such as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani of Manchester United in wide positions, but Paulo Bento's team arguably lack a true goalscorer.Portugal have exciting talents such as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani of Manchester United in wide positions, but Paulo Bento's team arguably lack a true goalscorer.
Croatia impressed many spectators with their performances at Euro 2008, before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Turkey. Luka Modric was their stand-out performer four years ago, and the pressure will be on the midfelder once again in June.Croatia impressed many spectators with their performances at Euro 2008, before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Turkey. Luka Modric was their stand-out performer four years ago, and the pressure will be on the midfelder once again in June.
Italy's preparations for Euro 2012 might have been hit by a recent match-fixing investigation, but in striker Mario Balotelli, who has been handed the No. 9 shirt, the Azzurri have a player who could, if he's in the right mood, be the star of the tournament.Italy's preparations for Euro 2012 might have been hit by a recent match-fixing investigation, but in striker Mario Balotelli, who has been handed the No. 9 shirt, the Azzurri have a player who could, if he's in the right mood, be the star of the tournament.
Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland qualified for Euro 2012 courtesy of a strong defence. In a group which includes multiple attacking threats, Richard Dunne will be key to Ireland's chances of reaching the quarterfinals.Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland qualified for Euro 2012 courtesy of a strong defence. In a group which includes multiple attacking threats, Richard Dunne will be key to Ireland's chances of reaching the quarterfinals.
An injury to David Villa has opened the door for Fernando Torres to spearhead reigning champions Spain's challenge. Can the Chelsea striker put a difficult couple of years behind him and produce another European Championship-winning goal?An injury to David Villa has opened the door for Fernando Torres to spearhead reigning champions Spain's challenge. Can the Chelsea striker put a difficult couple of years behind him and produce another European Championship-winning goal?
England will be without striker Wayne Rooney for the first two matches of the tournament due to suspension. Can new coach Roy Hodgson adapt and navigate his team out of a tricky group?England will be without striker Wayne Rooney for the first two matches of the tournament due to suspension. Can new coach Roy Hodgson adapt and navigate his team out of a tricky group?
Striker Olivier Giroud enjoyed an impressive campaign in the French Ligue 1, playing a key part of Montpellier's championship-winning team. Can the 25-year-old usurp Real Madrid's Karim Benzema as Laurent Blanc's first-choice striker?Striker Olivier Giroud enjoyed an impressive campaign in the French Ligue 1, playing a key part of Montpellier's championship-winning team. Can the 25-year-old usurp Real Madrid's Karim Benzema as Laurent Blanc's first-choice striker?
Sweden's challenge will be led by the unpredictable talents of AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Despite world-class performances at club level, the striker has so far failed to convince on the international stage.Sweden's challenge will be led by the unpredictable talents of AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Despite world-class performances at club level, the striker has so far failed to convince on the international stage.
Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko (left) will be taking part in his final international tournament and the former AC Milan striker will be hoping to go out with a bang in front of his home fans.Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko (left) will be taking part in his final international tournament and the former AC Milan striker will be hoping to go out with a bang in front of his home fans.
Sweating on Schweinsteiger
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Denmark also wrapped up preparations with a win, bouncing back from the 3-1 defeat by Brazil to beat Australia 2-0.

Daniel Agger netted a first-half penalty and fellow central defender Andreas Bjelland doubled the lead in the second half.

However Portugal -- who face Germany in the other Group B opener -- crashed to a disappointing 3-1 home defeat against Turkey as Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty.

Having been held goalless by Poland and Macedonia, the Euro 2004 finalists needed a good result but went 2-0 down as Toulouse striker Umut Bulut scored in each half.

Midfielder Nani reduced the deficit in the 57th minute, but Real Madrid top scorer Ronaldo's penalty was saved by Volkan Demirel before defender Pepe diverted an attempted clearance by teammate Ricardo Costa into his own net near the end of the match.

Co-hosts Poland, who kick off the tournament with a Group A match against Greece on Friday, won 4-0 against European minnows Andorra.

Ludovic Obraniak and striker Robert Lewandowski scored before Jakub Blaszczykowski's penalty made it 3-0 at halftime, while Marcin Wasilewski added another spot-kick after the break in front of a 30,000 crowd in Warsaw.

New England boss Roy Hodgson enjoyed his second successive 1-0 victory, but faces more injury problems following the home match against Belgium.

Hodgson has already lost midfielders Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard for Euro 2012, and now Gary Cahill needs a scan on a suspected broken jaw and fellow central defender John Terry will have a tight hamstring checked.

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored the only goal of the game in the first half, but was taken off as a precaution in the second period.

Croatia conceded a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Norway, as striker Eduardo's second-half header was canceled out by Tarik Elyounoussi.

Slaven Bilic's team, who beat Estonia 3-1 on May 25, will face the Republic of Ireland in their Group C opener next weekend.

In World Cup qualifiers, Uruguay and Venezuela moved to the top of the South American group after a 1-1 draw in Montevideo.

However, both nations could be overtaken by Argentina and Chile, who were to play fifth-placed Ecuador and bottom team Bolivia respectively later on Saturday.

In African qualifiers, Cameroon's Indomitable Lions made a winning start to their bid to appear at the World Cup for the seventh time, beating Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0.

With captain Samuel Eto'o suspended, the winner came via a second-half penalty from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

In Group B, Tunisia beat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 while Sierra Leone won 2-1 at home Cape Verde Islands.

In Group C, Ivory Coast opened with a 2-0 win over 10-man Tanzania thanks to goals from European Champions League winners Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba, while Morocco fought back to earn a 1-1 draw away to Gambia.

In Group D, African Cup of Nations champions Zambia lost 2-0 away to Sudan -- and next weekend face Ghana, who thrashed Lesotho 7-0.

Senegal beat Liberia 3-1 in Group J, while on Friday Egypt won 2-0 against Mozambique in Group G.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/xIQ4fyTcIGs/index.html

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