Robin van Persie and Ibrahim
Afellay scored two goals apiece on Saturday to inspire
Netherlands to a 6-0 thrashing of Northern Ireland in their
final Euro 2012 warm-up friendly.
Fielding a team that is likely to be coach Bert van
Marwijk's starting line-up in Ukraine and Poland, apart from the
injured Joris Mathijsen, the Dutch took the Irish apart.
Van Persie opened the scoring after 11 minutes with a
near-post header and added his second from the penalty spot
after Wesley Sneijder had doubled the lead with a curling free-kick.
Afellay, who has been out for most of the season with a bad
knee injury, finished off a fine move involving Van Persie and
Arjen Robben to make it 4-0 by half-time.
The Dutch added a fifth through Afellay in the 51st minute
before central defender Ron Vlaar completed the rout with a
close-range header 12 minutes from time.
"I'm satisfied with the execution of our tactical plan today
but the score means little to me as they were very poor
opponents," Van Marwijk told reporters.
"My main concern is at left-back because Giovanni van
Bronckhorst is now retired and his successor Erik Pieters is
"Jetro Willems is young and has a lot to learn, Stijn
Schaars has to get used to this position and Wilfred Bouma is
another option," the coach added.
Netherlands travel to Poland on Monday and start their Euro
campaign next Saturday against Denmark. Germany and Portugal are
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