The Netherlands earned a sixth successive victory in European Championship qualifying Tuesday by beating Hungary 5-3 after two late goals by Dirk Kuyt.
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Kuyt struck in the 78th and 81st minutes to keep the Dutch perfect in Group E with 18 points, nine more than Sweden and Hungary.
Netherlands forward Robin van Persie scored in the 13th minute with a dipping shot from Wesley Sneijder’s corner.
Hungary leveled when Gergely Rudolf’s shot found the net in the 46th, and Zoltan Gera gave the visitors a 2-1 lead in the 50th.
Sneijder equalized 10 minutes later, and Ruud van Nistelrooy made it 3-2 from the edge of the area in the 72nd.
But Gera hit his second goal three minutes later to give Hungary hope before Kuyt’s late double.
”You need to have discipline,” Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said. ”We started well, scored a quick goal but then things changed. We kept losing the ball uncessarily.”
The Netherlands, which last week beat Hungary 4-0 with its crisp passing game, produced a disjointed performance and struggled to counter the a well-organized Hungarian attack.
Van Persie stabbed a left-footed shot to put the Netherlands ahead after John Heitinga had flicked on Sneijder’s corner.
Van Persie created a chance for Kuyt in the 16th, but the Liverpool forward fired wide under pressure from the defense.
Hungary winger Balazs Dzsudzsak had an effort ruled out in the 19th because his team had taken a free kick before Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen had allowed them to do so.
Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay tried his luck with a hard shot from 25 yards in the 35th but Kiraly reacted well.
Rudolf came close to equalizing for Hungary after combining with Gera in the 40th, but his low shot was saved by goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Hungary scored in the first minute of the second half, Rudolf dazzling past a disorganized Dutch defense before firing past a helpless Vorm.
”We were a bit naive but we scored some brilliant goals,” Van Marwijk said.
Opportunities kept coming for Hungary, with Gera and Rudolf failing to convert clearcut chances. However, Gera, the source of Hungary’s most potent scoring threats, put his team ahead after his side had mounted an attack down the left flank.
”It was a spectecular game but we made some mistakes,” Van der Vaart said. ”We had to just play our own football.”
Sneijder and Van Nistlerooy gave the home crowd something to cheer, until Gera’s second goal put them on edge again.
The Netherlands reacted with two quick goals to silence the traveling Hungary fans. Kuyt first converted Afellay’s left-wing cross, before drilling a long-range shot for his 21st goal for the Netherlands.
Netherlands: Michel Vorm, Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Erik Pieters (Urby Emanuelson, 64), Nigel de Jong, Rafael van der Vaart; Dirk Kuyt (Eljero Elia, 90), Wesley Sneijder, Ibrahim Afellay; Robin van Persie (Ruud van Nistelrooy, 46).
Hungary: Marton Fulop, Pal Lazar, Vilmos Vanczak, Roland Juhasz, Zsolt Laczko, Krisztian Vadocz (Peter Czvitkovics 90), Balazs Dzsudzsak, Gergely Rudolf (Vladimir Koman,46), Tamas Priskin (Attila Tokoli, 73), Zoltan Gera, Adam Pinter