Netherlands beats Moldova 1-0 in Euro qualifier
An injury-depleted Netherlands team beat Moldova 1-0 on Friday to seal qualification for Euro 2012 as winners of Group E.
The Netherlands' lone goal came in the 40th when Dirk Kuyt ran past the Moldovan defense on the right before picking out Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who beat Moldova goalkeeper Stanislav Namasco with a close range shot.
The Dutch went into Friday's game already assured of a spot at the finals next year but needed at least a point to advance top of the standings.
The Netherlands has won all nine of its games and has 27 points, six more than Sweden. The two sides meet Tuesday in their last game.
''It was a difficult evening,'' Kuyt said. ''We would have liked to score a second goal. I think we should be happy that we won the game.
Key players including goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, defender John Heitinga, midfielders Hedwiges Maduro, Wesley Sneijder and Ibrahim Afellay as well as forward Arjen Robben all sat out with injuries.
Namasco kept the score at bay when he stopped a powerful Robin van Persie header in the 36th.
Van Persie had another shot blocked in the 90th following another Netherlands attack.
Ajax rightback Gregory van der Wiel almost doubled the lead in the 42nd when he exchanged passes with Kevin Strootman, before sending his shot over the bar.
Van Persie made another effort from the edge of the area just before the break but his shot hit the bar as the Netherlands dominated play but failed to create meaningful chances.
Victor Golovatenco had the only chance for Moldava but his glancing header went over in injury time.
Netherlands: Michel Vorm, Gregory van der Wiel, Jeffrey Bruma, Joris Mathijsen, Erik Pieters, Mark van Bommel, Robin van Persie, Kevin Strootman, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Rafael van der Vaart (Eljero Elia, 78) Dirk Kuyt
Moldova: Stanislav Namasco, Igor Armas, Victor Golovatenco, Alexandru Epureanu, Petru Racu, Stanislav Ivanov, Eugeniu Cebotaru, Anatoli Cheptine (Gheorghe Ovseannicov, 84), Serghei Alexeev ( Igor Bugaev, 69) Semion Bulgaru, Alexandru Suvorov (Denis Zmeu, 58)