Switzerland holds Netherlands to 0-0 draw

Goalkeeper Diego Benaglio made several key saves as a

defense-minded Switzerland held the Netherlands to a 0-0 draw

Friday in an international friendly.

Switzerland created few chances of its own, but its defense

managed to keep at bay a Dutch strikeforce missing forwards

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Arjen Robben.

The Netherlands has already qualified for next year’s European

championships in Poland and Ukraine while Switzerland missed out on

a playoff spot and was eliminated.

”Today we didn’t really manage to show what we are capable of

doing,” Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder said. ”We didn’t

really play our game. We can do better.”

Bert van Marwijk’s side travels to Germany for another friendly

Tuesday.

Recalled winger Ryan Babel had the first chance for the

Netherlands, unleashing a right-footed shot from within the area in

the 15th only for Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio to palm his

effort away from danger.

The Wolfsburg goalkeeper was called into action again in the

23rd when Babel, playing his first game for the Netherlands in a

year, fired a low shot from the edge of the area but Benaglio

swiftly reacted with a diving save.

Switzerland captain Gokhan Inler then forced Netherlands

goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg into a save with a long-range shot

in the 29th.

With both sides seeking to break the deadlock in the second

half, Benaglio kept Switzerland in the game with another diving

save in the 50th, blocking Robin van Persie’s bullet header.

Moments later, Wesley Sneijder’s volley narrowly missed the

target while Rafael van der Vaart’s shot went over the bar.

After coming face-to-face with Benaglio in the 63rd, Van Persie

sent his effort narrowly wide.

Inler’s free kick in the 58th nearly put Switzerland ahead but

Stekelenburg made the save.

PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters sat out with an injury while

Ibrahim Afellay and Robben were also sidelined. Captain Mark van

Bommel was rested.

Reto Ziegler, Valon Behrami and Eren Derdiyok were missing for

Switzerland after picking up injuries prior the game.