Holland sink ragged Wales

Robben and Sneijder secure send-off victory

Robben: Found the net for Dutch

Holland recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wales at De Kuip stadium in their final warm-up game before Euro 2008.

A first half Arjen Robben strike and a second half free-kick from Wesley Sneijder proved enough to end Wales' six game unbeaten streak as Holland strolled through the Rotterdam encounter.

Holland took the lead in the 35th minute when Real Madrid winger Robben latched on to a poor back header from Carl Robinson and sped clear to poke past Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

Wales offered little as an attacking force, but as the first half came to a close Freddy Eastwood troubled Edwin van der Sar after showing quick-feet in the penalty area and Chris Gunter should have done better with a header.

After the interval, Wales were made to pay for their missed chances as Real ace Sneijder expertly curled a 25-yard free-kick past Hennessey in the 54th minute.

Marco van Basten's side should have extended their lead through a string of wasted chances, but they comfortably held on for the win before they begin their Euro 2008 campaign in Group C against world champions Italy on 9th June.


A young Wales side gained tremendous experience under the captaincy of Jason Koumas for the first time, while Hull play-off hero Sam Ricketts was back in the line-up along with Toronto's Carl Robinson.

Holland were without Liverpool winger Ryan Babel, who tore ankle ligaments on Saturday which could rule him out of the early part of next season.

One early Koumas free-kick was easily dealt with by the Dutch defence, while a good break by David Edwards ended with a poor pass across field, which almost presented Robben with a goal as he cut in from the left.

Joris Mathijsen headed over from a Sneijder corner and then the Real man tested Hennessey from long range.

But Wales deserved credit for maintaining their organisation and the three youngsters in the centre of defence - Craig Morgan, Ashley Williams and Lewin Nyatanga - were striving to contain Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The former Manchester United striker had one long-range shot held by Hennessey before Morgan blocked a close-range shot from the same player following Robben's run and cross.


But two minutes later, Robinson's poor header allowed Robben to surge away. He held off Chris Gunter before rolling the ball expertly past an exposed Hennessey.

That was the first goal Wales had conceded in 394 minutes and Hennessey then had to save well to his left from the impressive Orlando Engelaar.

Van der Sar was forced into his first save by Eastwood two minutes from the break before Gunter saw a far-post header from Edwards' cross slam into the side netting.

Wales sent on Jack Collison for Robinson at the break, with the Dutch replacing Giovanni van Bronckhorst, John Mathijsen, Engelaar and Demy de Zeeuw with Tim de Cler, Mario Melchiot, Nigel de Jong and Dirk Kuyt.

The Dutch instantly increased the pace with Robben, Van Nistelrooy and Kuyt all going close and, nine minutes after the interval, the hosts scored their second.

Joe Ledley was penalised for a foul on Rafael van der Vaart and even the giant Hennessey at full stretch could not keep out Sneijder's free-kick.

Wales sent on Ched Evans and Craig Bellamy - who reclaimed the captain's armband - for Edwards and Eastwood after 56 minutes.

Andrew Crofts came on for Ricketts and when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink replaced Mathijsen for the Dutch, the game had become little more than a stroll.

Evans' touch put Bellamy clear in the box, but Van der Sar managed to block the West Ham forward's shot with his legs.