The Dutch national team keeps winning. In Rotterdam, the Dutch team posted a slim 1-0 win over Moldavia on Friday in group E. Klaas Jan Huntelaar won the match for the Netherlands. Gregory van der Wiel played the entire match.
The Dutch team had already qualified for the European Cup 2012. The team’s undefeated status, coupled with their desire to lead the group going into the European Cup draw were enough to motivate the team to defeat Moldavia in a mediocre duel. Rafael van der Vaart substituted for the injured Wesley Sneijder, while keeper Michel Vorm earned his spot on the squad thanks to Maarten Stekelenburg’s injury. Jeffrey Bruma was another surprising name in Bert van Marwijk’s starting line-up.
Despite numerous opportunities, Jan Klaas Huntelaar scored the 1-0 goal in the 40th minute. On a pass from Dirk Kuyt – who, in turn, had been beautifully set up by Mark van Bommel – the centre forward shot straight in. Huntelaar scored his eleventh goal in the European Cup qualification matches on Friday evening. The former Ajax player’s goal seemed to break open the game; the Moldavian defensive wall finally seemed to crumble. But that was only an illusion. The wall remained intact for the rest of the match, and kept any additional Dutch goals at bay. The Netherlands created more opportunities, but failed to finish properly. Robin van Persie aimed the ball onto the crossbar soon after the break. A second Dutch goal remained elusive. With this victory, the Dutch team are automatically in first place in the group for the draw. Therefore, they will play all of their pool matches in the same match during the European Cup.
The Dutch team can close the European Cup qualifications with an undefeated status. Sweden will be their last opponent in Stockholm. The Swedes won their away match against Finland 1-2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a yellow card during the match and is thus suspended for Tuesday’s match.
The Belgians experienced a more exciting football evening. The Red Devils knew that qualification was definitely not a given when they kicked off against Kazakhstan. Before an enthusiastic home crowd, the Belgians did what they needed to do: win in order to stay in the race. They were also following the developments in the Turkey-Germany game. Turkey is their biggest competitor for the second place in the pool. Germany’s hold on the number one spot is iron-clad.
With Jan Vertonghen as left back in the squad, the Belgians took a 2-0 lead before the break. Timmy Simons (from a penalty) and the artful Eden Hazard scored before halftime. Vincent Kompany, plus an own goal by Jevstignejev gave the Belgians a 4-0 lead. The team from Kazakhstan earned something back on a penalty kick: 4-1. Turkey’s defeat against Germany (1-3) was greeted with pleasure by the Belgians, after their own 4-1 win. Belgium can now determine its own fate in terms of qualifying. But it will not be simple for the Red Devils on Tuesday. Only an upset away against Germany can help the Belgians qualify for a ticket for the tournament in Poland and Austria. Vertonghen played the entire match against Kazakhstan. Toby Alderweireld is out due to an ankle injury.
Denmark is heading in the right direction to qualify for the European Cup 2012. In Cyprus, coach Morten Olsen’s team came running out of the starting blocks. Christian Eriksen played the entire match. In the first 22 minutes, no fewer than 4 goals were scored. After Jacobsen’s opening goal, former Ajax player Dennis Rommendahl scored twice. Michael Krohn-Dehli also scored in the 1-4 win. If the Danes can win at home against Portugal on Tuesday, they will qualify for the European cup tournament.
Eyong Enoh won during the Africa Cup qualifications on Friday, 2-3 against Congo. Cameroun thus strengthened their hold on second place in group 5.