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Dutch News
Holland - Russia 4:1 2/9/2007
8 February 2007

AMSTERDAM — Yesterday’s friendly between the Dutch and the Russian national football teams had a slow start, but turned into a spectacular show in the second half, the Orange team winning 4-1.

Amsterdam Arena was full of Russian fur coats during this first international game of the year. Adding some spice to the game was the fact that both teams have a Dutch coach.
That said, Guus Hiddink’s players, who only began training as a team a couple of weeks ago, were obviously weaker and less experienced.

Besides the beautiful goal by Wesley Sneijder in the 71st minute, Ryan Babel, Joris Mathijsen and Rafael van der Vaart all successfully stormed the goal guarded by Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev. Russia’s only goal came from Vladimir Bystrov on the 76th minute.

The Orange team had to play without some of the country’s leading players - Edwin van der Sar, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Urby Emanuelson, Jan Kromkamp and John Heitinga. AZ player David Mendes da Silva made his debut on the national team.

Holland’s opponents in the qualification matches with Romania and Slovenia coming at the end of March will be much fitter than the Russians, Het Parool writes, challenging
Dutch coach Marco van Basten to come up with a quicker team in the first half.

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