NETHERLANDS 3-0 SCOTLAND, Amsterdam, 28/03/09
Huntelaar 30, Van Persie 45, Kuyt 78 (pen)
Reigning champions the Dutch defeated all-time champions the Scots in tonight’s UFWC/WCQ match to retain the UFWC title. The scoreline might have been harsh on Scotland, who battled well for long periods, but the Netherlands’ extra class shone through.
It was the Scots who created the first good chance of the game, with Kenny Miller beating the offside trap only to delay his shot long enough for Joris Mathijsen to put in a saving tackle.
And after half an hour the Dutch took control, with an unchallenged Klaas-Jan Huntelaar finishing a Mark van Bommel cross. Deep into first half injury time, Robin van Persie headed home a Arjen Robben cross to give the Netherlands a 2-0 half-time lead.
Scotland manager George Burley was unhappy that French referee Laurent Duhamel had not seen an apparent obstruction on keeper Alan McGregor, and was furious in the second half when Duhamel – currently suspended by the French FA – disallowed a Gary Caldwell headed goal that could have been Scotland’s lifeline.
That the ref then awarded the Dutch a penalty further angered the Tartan Army, although replays showed that debutant Christophe Berra had fouled Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt slotted home the penalty to make the score 3-0.
The next UFWC title match will be this Wednesday 1 April when the Netherlands host FYR Macedonia. This will be Macedonia’s first-ever involvement in the UFWC. Will it be first time lucky?