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
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.