Netherlands beats Moldova 1-0 in Euro qualifier

By Christiaan Frankin

AMSTERDAM – A 40th minute strike by  Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was enough to secure a win against a Moldovan team that never looked ready enough to upset the Netherlands at home in De Kuip Friday.

Despite enjoying complete dominance over Moldova, recording an
impressive 80 percent possession in the first half, the Dutch side was
unable to extend its lead beyond 1-0.

Huntelaar opened the scoring after just three minutes of play, but his early
strike was rightly disallowed for offside.

A number of attempts followed, with Robin van Persie being denied by the
crossbar on two occasions, and the Moldovan goalkeeper, Stanislav
Namaco making several good saves to keep his team in the game.

Holland coach Bert Van Marwijk chose to start with Rafael van der Vaart in
the attacking midfield position, and picked PSV’s Kevin Strootman over
Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong to occupy the central midfield alongside
captain Mark van Bommel.

Holland, despite missing several key players in Arjen Robben, Wesley
Sneijder, and John Heitinga due to injury, maintained its unbeaten record
in the European Championships qualifiers.

After nine games, Holland leads Group E with 27 points, scoring 35 goals and conceding only five.

Though Holland had already qualified for the 2012 European Championships
after beating Finland in the previous international week, the win left the world’s top-ranked side top of its group.

Holland will play the final game of their qualifying campaign on Tuesday
against Sweden.

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