NETHERLANDS 4-0 MACEDONIA, Amsterdam, 1 April 2009
Kuyt 16, 41, Huntelaar 25, Van der Vaart 88
The Netherlands were convincing winners in tonight’s UFWCWCQ match, and retained the UFWC title.
Wesley Sneijder replaced the injured Robin van Persie from the Dutch side that defeated Scotland on Saturday, and Sneijder combined with Arjen Robben to set up the first goal, with Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt finishing from close range after 15 minutes.
Macedonia had been forced to replace injured goalkeeper Petar Milosevski with Tome Pacovski, and Pacovski made good saves from Robben and Joris Mathijsen, but he was beaten by Klaas Jan Huntelaar in the 25th minute as the Netherlands doubled their lead.
And it was 3-0 before the break, with Sneijder sending Kuyt free to claim his second goal of the game, and set up a comfortable second half for the Dutch.
Pacovski again kept the score down after half time, saving twice from substitute Ryan Babel, and then from Mark van Bommel.
Macedonia were struggling to create chances, with a Goran Pandev free kick and a Ilco Naumoski header failing to trouble Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Netherlands capped a fine performance two minutes from time, with captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst crossing to substitute Rafael van der Vaart, who fired a low shot past Pacovski to make the final score 4-0.
The Netherlands will now take the title into their next World Cup Qualifier, against Iceland in Reykjavik on 6 June. The last match between the two sides was in October, ending 2-0 to the Netherlands.
Iceland have failed to win any of their previous five UFWC title matches, two of which were World Cup Qualifiers against the Netherlands, both in 1973, ending 5-0 and 8-1 to the Dutch.
If the Netherlands can retain the title against Iceland, they will then play Norway in Rotterdam four days later, and then England in Amsterdam in August.
Netherlands fans can get an exclusive Netherlands UFWC T-shirt at the UFWC T-Shirt Store.