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[Soccer Guru] Dutch down Czechs 2-0 in World Cup qualifying

knvb

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Aug 17, 2001
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Dutch down Czechs 2-0 in World Cup qualifying

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Pierre van Hooijdonk scored twice Wednesday as Marco van Basten's new-look Dutch side downed the Czech Republic 2-0 in a Group 1 World Cup qualifier.

The win was a revenge for the Czechs' 3-2 defeat of Holland in Euro 2004's most thrilling match only eleven weeks ago. Van Hooijdonk tapped the ball into an empty net after 33 minutes at the end of a move that would not have looked out of place on a training field.

Mark van Bommel found Rafael van der Vaart, who traded passes with Dirk Kuijt and found himself one-on-one with Petr Cech. Van der Vaart waited for the 'keeper to advance and rolled the ball sideways to the unmarked Van Hooijdonk.

And Van Hooijdonk was on hand to wrap up the game six minutes from time, heading a bouncing Kuijt cross in at the far post with the Czech defence in tatters.

The first goal crowned the only convincing Dutch attack of the first half and up until then Van Basten's fragile three-man defence had looked most likely to concede a goal.

Fulham goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar made three fine saves to keep the Dutch in the game, denying Tomas Rosicky, Liverpool forward Milan Baros and a clean-through Marek Heinz.

German referee Markus Merk booked Baros for playing on after losing one of his blue boots in a tackle.

Five minutes into the second half, giant striker Jan Koller leapt to meet Baros' looping cross from the right and cannoned a header against the Dutch bar.

Rosicky put Baros through with twenty minutes left and he went down after tangling with Dutch defender John Heitinga at the edge of the box. And with Czech coach Karel Bruckner throwing everything into attack late on, Nigel de Jong brought down Baros in the box but Merk waved away both penalty appeals from the Czechs.

Van Hooijdonk should have sewn up the game earlier than he did. He could only sidefoot a close-range chance straight into Cech's body.

The Czech's last hope faded when Van der Sar leaped to tip over Marek Jankulovski's dipping free kick two minutes from time.
Now, if we can just stay away from the Irish...
 

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