Archive

Holland beat Hungary 5-3 in rollercoaster qualifier

The Netherlands have gone nine points clear at the top of their qualifying group for next summer’s European Championship by beating Hungary in Amsterdam 5-3 tonight.
 
Friday’s first fixture in Budapest between the leading pair in Group E ended in a convincing 4-0 victory for Holland. The mood right after the match was "a blend of distress and despondency over a dismal performance," said József Berkó, honorary member of the Hungaria Club Amsterdam, speaking a few moments before the return match.
 
"But there was some hope that Hungary could do better tonight and perhaps manage to qualify with the second spot in the group." That would earn the Magyars their first ticket to a major tournament in 25 years.
 
Opening goal
Holland got off to a promising start, with Robin van Persie tucking in a deflected corner kick in the 13th minute. Four minutes later, Dirk Kuyt could have doubled the lead, but with only the goalkeeper in front of him, he stroked the ball agonisingly wide.
 
The greatest danger, though, came from the left flank, where Ibrahim Affelay cut through the defence lines with remarkable ease. Desperate attempts to stop him twice prompted a yellow card. 
 
In the meantime, Hungary ventured forward too, creating a flurry of chances that forced a few saves from goalkeeper Michel Vorm. 
 
Dutch domination
1-0 reflected the state of play on the pitch, was Mr Berko’s analysis at half-time:
 
“The Dutch dominated much of the game, but occasionally displayed a lack of precision, which could signal some degree of complacency and may cost them dearly in the second half. Hungary on the other hand demonstrated technical skill but seemed powerless when close to the penalty area.”
 
Whether it was due to Dutch complacency or to a few unfortunate lapses of attention, the Magyars suddenly found themselves in the lead just five minutes into the second half, with goals from Gergely Rudolf and captain Zoltán Gera, who fired a splendid volley from inside the penalty box.
 
Bizarre goals
The two Hungarian goals opened up the hitherto static game and galvanised the Dutch into some more decisive action. Leading the way were playmakers Wesley Sneijder and Ibrahim Affelay, with the former slicing through the defence lines to net the equalizer in the 60th minute and the latter crossing to Kuyt who found Ruud Nistelrooy in scoring position minutes in the 73th minute: 3-2.
 
It was another perfect Affelay cross that enabled Dirk Kuyt to find the net just a few minutes later. That goal put Holland in the lead again, after Gera had hammered in the equaliser moments before. A sublime Kuyt chip from 25 meters flew just over the goalkeeper's fingertips, making the final score 5-3. 
 
“It was a bizarre rollercoaster with a narrow escape for the Dutch,” Mr Berko commented after the match. "Fortunately, Hungary was able to put up some solid opposition, which bodes well for the future."
 
Crazy game
Hungary coach Sándor Egervári was less pleased. "We were unlucky," he told a press conference, "and the ref should never have disallowed our perfect first-half goal [out of a too hastily taken free-kick, ed]."
 
His Dutch counterpart, Bert van Marwijk, admitted that this had been one of the craziest games in his career.
 
"But matches like these are part of football, and I'm glad we managed to turn the score around twice. Of course, after our 4-0 win on Friday, expectation had been excessively high and the players must have been affected by that result. Fortunately, no damage was done."
 
[media:images] 

Holland 5 - Hungary 3

Goals:
Robin van Persie (9')
Gergely Rudolf (46')
Zoltán Gera (50', 75')
Ruud van Nistelrooy (72')
Dirk Kuyt (78', 81')

Holland starting line-up:

1-Michel Vorm; 2-Gregory van der Wiel, 3-John Heitinga, 4-Joris Mathijsen, 5-Erik Pieters; 6-Nigel de Jong, 18-Rafael van der Vaart (C); 7-Dirk Kuyt, 10-Wesley Sneijder, 11-Ibrahim Afellay; 9-Robin van Persie

Substitutions: Ruud van Nistelrooy, Urby Emanuelson, Eljero Elia for Robin van Persie, Erik Pieters and Dirk Kuyt
 

Hungary starting line-up:

1-Márton Fulöp; 2-Pál Lázár; 3, Vilmos Vanczák; 4-Roland Juhász; 5-Zsolt Laczkó; 6-Krisztian Vadócz; 7-Balázs Dzsudzsák; 8-Gergely Rudolf; 9-Tamás Priskin; 10-Zoltán Gera (C); 11-Ádám Pintér

Substitutions: Attila Tököli, Vladimir Koman, Péter Czvitkovics for Ádám Pintér, Krisztian Vadócz and Tamás Priskin

UEFA EURO 2012 Group E standings after the Holland-Hungary match:

 

Teams

P

W

D

L

Pts

1

 Netherlands

6

6

0

0

18

2

 Sweden

4

3

0

1

9

3

 Hungary

6

3

0

3

9

4

 Moldova

5

2

0

2

6

5

 Finland

4

1

0

3

3

6

 San Marino

5

0

0

5

0

 

Archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011 Dutch government’s decided to cut funding and shift RNW in 2013 from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW’s current activities can be found at http://www.rnw.org/about-rnw