Soccer

Sneijder still out of favor for Netherlands squad

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AMSTERDAM (AP)

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has left playmaker Wesley Sneijder out of his squad for two World Cup qualifiers that could seal his team's place in Brazil.

Van Gaal preferred veteran midfielder Rafael van der Vaart over Sneijder for matches at Estonia on Sept. 6 and at Andorra on Sept. 10. Wins in both games would guarantee the 2010 runners-up a berth in the World Cup in Brazil.

The Dutch have won all six of their qualifiers in Group D and lead second-place Hungary by seven points.

Van Gaal's squad also includes the striking combination of Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben.

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