Holland 3-0 Scotland

Headers from Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Robin van Persie and a Dirk Kuyt penalty gave Holland a comfortable and expected win over Scotland in their World Cup qualifier at the Amsterdam ArenA.

The Scots were made to pay for the chance Kenny Miller spurned early in the game when Real Madrid striker Huntelaar headed in a Mark van Bommel cross after 29 minutes.

Any hopes of a Scotland comeback were crushed right on the break when Van Persie headed in from an Arjen Robben corner.

There was more misery for George Burley's gallant but inferior side after the interval.

Scotland defender Gary Caldwell had a goal mysteriously chalked off by referee Laurent Duhamel before Kuyt scored from the spot in the 76th minute after Christophe Berra had fouled Huntelaar in the box.

There was no real surprise about the result but Scotland now need to take three points against Iceland at Hampden on Wednesday to keep their chances of reaching South Africa alive.

The build-up had been fantastically raucous with both sets of support battling for supremacy.

Although several hundred Scots fans had been denied entry after the Dutch FA had blocked the use of 800 black

market tickets, there was still more than the official travelling support of 8000 inside the stadium by kick-off. However, when Duhamel blew to start the game, the Dutch asserted themselves immediately and it promised to be a long night for the visitors.

It took Holland six minutes to get a shot away, however, and Huntelaar's drive from the edge of the box, after he had been set up by Robben, took a deflection before it bounced harmlessly through to keeper Allan McGregor.

Moments later, Van Persie mis-kicked from 10 yards out but in the 11th minute Scotland squandered a great chance to take the lead. Miller beat the offside trap to race on to Darren Fletcher's through-ball but the Rangers striker hesitated too long before shooting and Holland defender Joris Mathijsen recovered to put in a saving tackle, with the Scots not even getting the benefit of a corner.

Scotland's 4-1-4-1 formation looked relatively tight and compact although there was more than enough menace any time that Holland broke.

In the 27th minute Robben, the most impressive Dutch player, skipped past Scott Brown and Caldwell with McGregor coming to the rescue by blocking the cut-back with his foot for a corner.

The Scots survived the set-piece but the respite lasted only for a few moments as the home side eased ahead in the 29th minute, through Huntelaar who grabbed a simple goal.

When Van Bommel's searching cross from the right reached the back post, the former Ajax frontman got in behind Caldwell to steer his header back across McGregor and into the net.

The goal deflated the Scots and all hope was gone seconds before the interval when Van Persie headed in a Robben corner from close range, with little hindrance from the Scottish defence.

Damage limitation might have been high on Burley's agenda as he sent his players out for the second half.

Holland re-asserted their authority immediately, pinning Scotland back and the Mexican wave from the Oranje fans showed how little tension they thought remained in the game.

In the 50th minute, after more fancy footwork from Robben to set him up, Kuyt came close with a right-footed drive which appeared to take a deflection before sneaking just past McGregor's right-hand post.

Scotland defended that corner with more determination and, with Ross McCormack swapping flanks with Gary Teale, they slowly tried to find a way back in to the game. But on the hour mark it was McGregor who had to stretch to his right to grab Robben's curling effort from the edge of the box after he had linked well with Huntelaar.

Caldwell had the ball in the net from a McCormack corner in the 73rd minute but referee Duhamel mysteriously and controversially ruled it out and the Scots were punished further three minutes later when they went three behind.

After Berra had conceded a penalty by felling Huntelaar in the box, Kuyt sent McGregor the wrong way with his spot-kick to leave Scotland looking to Wednesday's game against Iceland to get their qualification campaign back on track.


Holland Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Mathijsen, Ooijer,Van Bronckhorst, Kuyt, Van Bommel, De Jong (Schaars 80),Robben, Huntelaar (Afellay 80), Van Persie (Sneijder 65).

Subs Not Used: Timmer, Boulahrouz, Braafheid, Van der Vaart.

Booked: De Jong, Huntelaar.

Goals: Huntelaar 30, Van Persie 45, Kuyt 78 pen.

Scotland McGregor, Alexander (Hutton 73), Berra, Caldwell,Naysmith, Brown, Darren Fletcher, Ferguson, McCormack,Teale (Morrison 85), Miller (Steven Fletcher 71).

Subs Not Used: Gordon, Barr, Iwelumo, Rae.

Att: 49,552

Ref: Laurent Duhamel (France).



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