Tuesday 10 June 2008

Flying start stirs Van Nistelrooy

The forward opened the scoring in the 26th minute

Despite the confidence coursing through the Netherlands camp ahead of their opening match against Italy, Ruud van Nistelrooy admitted the manner and margin of the 3-0 victory at the Stade de Suisse had taken the Oranje by surprise.

'Best start'
"We never expected this," said the scorer of the opening goal in Berne. "To play like this against the world champions, and also to win 3-0, is the best start you could wish for." Van Nistelrooy's 26th-minute opener was quickly added to by his Real Madrid CF colleague Wesley Sneijder before a Giovanni van Bronckhorst header (79) capped a memorable success for Marco van Basten's side. "We had a lot of respect for the Italians but we wanted to impose our own game on them and succeeded in doing that. All eleven players and the guys who came on delivered an excellent performance."

Wesley Sneijder scored a wonderful second

Having struck four times in the previous finals in Portugal, the 31-year-old's close-range finish moved him on to five UEFA European Championship goals, level with his coach Marco van Basten and one behind Patrick Kluivert in the all-time Dutch list. "I've been out for some time and to return like this, scoring such an important goal, is just terrific," said the former Manchester United FC marksman, who nonetheless urged caution ahead of the return to the Stade de Suisse to meet France on Friday. "This is the way we have to play. It's how we've been training and when it works out it gives you a lot of confidence. But we have to take each match as it comes, we can't afford to look too far ahead yet."

Giovanni van Bronckhorst heads in his team`s third goal