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Netherlands close in on Brazil spot

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27 Mar 2013 05:16:52

Netherlands close in on Brazil spot

Manchester United star Robin van Persie bagged a brace as the Netherlands continued their march to Brazil with a 4-0 win over Romania on Tuesday at the Amsterdam ArenA.

In so doing the 29-year-old reached 34 international goals, overtaking the legendary Johan Cruyff.

Rafael van der Vaart scored the opener and Jeremain Lens added gloss in the last minute as the Dutch stretched their perfect record to six matches, and their lead at the top of qualifying Group D to seven points.

The Netherlands need just two more wins from their final four matches to ensure their passge to the finals in Brazil next year.

Even without injured playmaker Wesley Sneijder, Louis van Gaal's team were simply too good for their visitors.

Van Persie teed up Van der Vaart to score his 24th goal in 105 appearances for the Oranje after just 12 minutes.

With Adrian Mutu warming the bench for three-quarters of the game, Romania were starved of possession and failed to register a single shot on target in the opening period.

Van Persie headed home the second on 56 minutes after good work from Daley Blind and Arjen Robben before slotting home a penalty nine minutes later after Cristian Tanase fouled Lens, who rounded off the rout late on.

Having already thumped Romania 4-1 in Bucharest, the Netherlands completed a crushing double over their opponents, who dropped to third in the standings, a point behind Hungary.

The clean sheet meant the Netherlands have not conceded a goal in a home World Cup qualifier for more than 1,100 minutes.


AFP

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