Dec 12

Netherlands 3-1 Sweden

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Amsterdam Van Persie 32, 48, Kuyt 90+2 - Kallstrom 49

The Netherlands are the new UFWC champions after Robin van Persie scored twice to see off Sweden in Amsterdam. The Dutch lined up with reserve goalkeeper Henk Timmer between the posts, and Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt in attack, with Maarten Stekelenburg, Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar injured. Swedish striker Zlatan Irahimovic was rested, with Marcus Berg joining Henrik Larsson up front. The game took a half hour to get warmed up, with Mark van Bommel having a goal disallowed for offside just moments before van Persie broke the deadlock. The Arsenal striker was unmarked as he headed home a Wesley Sneijder corner after 32 minutes. Three minutes into the second half van Persie made it two, netting from Rafael van der Vaart's lay-off. Sweden should have been dead and buried, but instead they immediately hit back. Lyon's Kim Kallstrom played a quick one-two with Sebastian Larsson and hit a powerful long range shot that flew too easily over substitute keeper Michel Vorm. The Dutch, however, remained on top, and had several chances to increase their lead. As it was, Sweden held out until injury time, when Kuyt headed in a Tim de Cler cross to make the final score 3-1. International football and the UFWC now takes a winter break.

The next title match will be on 11 February 2009, when the Netherlands will travel to Tunisia. If the Dutch can retain the title in that match, their next game will be a clash against UFWC All-Time Champions Scotland...

Netherlands: Timmer (Vorm 46); Heitinga (Mendes Da Silva 78), Ooijer, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst (De Cler 46); De Zeeuw (Van der Vaart 46), Van Bommel; Van Persie, Sneijder (Engelaar 74), Babel (Afellay 64); Kuyt Sweden: Isaksson; Nilsson, Majstorovic, Hansson (Granqvist 80), Safari (Stoor 46); Wilhelmsson (S. Larsson 46), D. Andersson (Kallstrom 46), Lindgren, Holmen (V. Elm 77); H. Larsson (Rosenberg 46), Berg

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