NETHERLANDS 3-0 JAPAN, Enschede, 05/09/09
van Persie 69, Sneijder 74, Huntelaar 86
The Dutch successfully defended their UFWC title with this comfortable victory over Japan. Both sides have already qualified for World Cup 2010, so this friendly provided a preview of what might happen in South Africa.
It was Japan who had the best of the first half, with Shunsuke Nakamura, Keiji Tamada and Shinji Okazaki all wasting scoring chances. Robin van Persie missed twice for the Netherlands, who disappointed following a run of impressive performances.
But in the second half, the Dutch took control. On 69 minutes, van Persie slotted the first past Japan keeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi. Wesley Sneijder added a second from long range five minutes later. Then, with 4 minuted left, substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar made it 3-0.
The Netherlands’ next match should be a lot tougher. The Dutch travel to Glasgow on Wednesday night for a World Cup qualifier against all-time UFWC champions Scotland. While the Dutch have already qualified, Scotland are desperate to clinch second place in their qualifying group.
The Netherlands could be without Wesley Sneijder, who picked up an ankle injury. Scotland will need to wait on the fitness of Scott Brown, and will be without the suspended James McFadden, who scored a fantastic solo goal in Scotland’s 2-0 win over Macedonia today.
Check back on Monday for all the build-up to another huge UFWC title clash.