World

Netherlands maintain perfect record

Rafel van der Vaart of the Netherlands
Rafel van der Vaart scored the Netherlands' first goal against Andorra Friday night.
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Holland made it three wins from three in World Cup qualifying as they coasted to an expected 3-0 victory over an outclassed Andorra at De Kuip Stadion.

The Oranje were off and running in the seventh minute when Rafael van der Vaart hammered home from long range and although a possible landslide did not materialise there were further goals from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and debutant Ruben Schaken, while Ron Vlaar and Jeremain Lens both hit the woodwork.

While three goals was a modest return for the hosts, who left Robin van Persie on the bench, the visitors never looked likely to make inroads of their own.

Darryl Janmaat was first to try his luck with a 25-yard strike in the fourth minute but Josep Anton Gomez was on hand to make the save.

Van der Vaart's powerful strike could not be stopped, though, as Holland took an early lead. Nigel de Jong met Van der Vaart's corner in the 10th minute but could not direct his attempt on goal.

After 15 minutes it was 2-0 and a rout looked likely. Lens was the creator, providing the cross that Huntelaar headed past Gomez from 12 yards.

But there was no further scoring before the break. Holland had a handful of chances to change that, Huntelaar off target from just six yards and Kevin Strootman shooting wide in the space of two minutes.

Van der Vaart chanced his arm with a spectacular effort from inside his own half three minutes before the whistle but cleared the crossbar.

For their part, the Andorrans were reduced to a couple of hopeful shots from 30 yards.

The second period started in similar fashion, another chance for Holland and another miss from De Jong, who had stayed in an advanced position from a corner.

The long-awaited third goal did arrive in the 50th minute, the lively Lens again claiming the assist from the left flank.

Schaken marked his first international appearance with the finish, turning home left-footed from a central position. It seemed unlikely that the next 40 minutes would pass without further addition to the score, but somehow Holland did not build on what was by now a certain victory.

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Vlaar was close when he headed the ball onto the bar in the 55th minute and Lens was just as close soon after when his slanted shot clipped the post and bounced clear.

Lens left the field in some discomfort to be replaced by Dirk Kuyt with 20 minutes to play, while Ibrahim Affelay and Urby Emanuelson were also given game time in place of Van der Vaart and Strootman.

The chances dried up in the closing stages, a series of corners for the Dutch coming to nothing, but two of the substitutes did combine for one final chance.

Affelay won a free-kick when he was fouled by Josep Ayala and Emanuelson stepped up, only to fire his shot wide of the far post.

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