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February 7, 2007
Friendly Match
22,000 at the Arena Amsterdam
Referee: M Clattenburg (Eng)
Netherlands: Maarten Stekelenburg, Wilfred Bouma, Kew Jaliens,  Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (Ů), Nigel De Jong (David Mendes Da Silva, 63), Denny Landzaat (Wesley Sneijder, 46), Clarence Seedorf (Tim De Cler, 78), Rafael Van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt (Ryan Babel, 46), Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 78)
Coach - Marco van Basten
Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Aleksandr Aniukov, Alexei Berezutsky (Vasili Berezutsky, 69), Denis Kolodin, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Dmitri Sychev, 45), Vladimir Bystrov, Igor Semshov, Egor Titov (Ů) (Eugeni Aldonin, 58), Yuri Zhirkov, Andrei Arshavin (Roman Pavluchenko, 72), Ivan Saenko
Coach - Guus Hiddink
Scorers: Ryan Babel (68); Wesley Sneijder (71); Vladimir Bystrov (76); Joris Mathijsen (80); Rafael van der Vaart (89- pen)
Yellow Card: Vasili Berezutsky (90)

Dutch Score Four, Add to Hiddinkís Woe

AMSTERDAM ó Four Dutch goals in the second half made up for a poor first half as the Netherlands scored a comfortable 4-1 win over Russia in a friendly international on Wednesday.

Ryan Babel opened the scoring with a goal in the 68th minute with fellow substitute Wesley Sneijder doubling the lead two minutes later.

Vladimir Bistrov scored the best goal of the night to give the visitors some hope but Joris Mathijsen added a third with a header after 79 minutes before Rafael van der Vaart converted a penalty to make it 4-1 two minutes before time.

Russiaís Dutch Coach Gus Hiddink

Russiaís Dutch Coach Gus Hiddink. Reuters

Marco van Basten was missing a complete team through injury and improvised, going against the Dutch nature by starting without wingers and missing the creativity to pierce the well-organised Russian defence.

Van Basten said afterwards: "We looked secure with our starting line-up but it didnít work out as we planned, so we made some changes at halftime.

"We took more risks and played more football with Sneijder and Babel, who both did very well."

Russiaís Dutch coach Guus Hiddink agreed the Dutch had the better of the second half ó and much of the first half too.

"We didnít have the power to harm them, but we kept them down to one chance before the break," he said.


In a lacklustre first half the home team threatened Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfejev only once, while the Russians frustrated Hiddink by failing to launch a proper attack.

Two minutes before the interval Clarence Seedorf set Giovanni van Bronckhorst away, but his cross was missed by Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink before Van der Vaart fired wide from a tight angle.

A double Dutch substitution with Sneijder and Babel coming on, revived the home teamís hopes and Sneijder twice tested Akinfejev with long distance strikes, while Vennegoor of Hesselink came close to a first international goal with a close range header.

Midway through the second half Babel broke the deadlock with a well-taken shot and two minutes later Sneijder made it 2-0 when he beat Akinfejev with a fierce shot at the near post.

Bistrov pulled one back for the visitors with a fine volley after the Dutch defence failed to clear a cross though Mathijsen restored the two-goal lead with a close range unmarked header from a corner minutes later.

An unlucky handball by a Russian defender gave Van der Vaart the opportunity to score his eighth goal in his 41st international match.


Dutch prosecutors called on Tuesday for a 10-month jail sentence for Russiaís national football coach Guus Hiddink on tax fraud charges, a Dutch court said in a statement.

Prosecutors say Dutchman Hiddink evaded almost 1.4 million euros (0.92 million pounds) in Dutch taxes while falsely claiming he was a resident of Belgium in 2002 and 2003.

From 2000 to 2002 Hiddink was employed as the national coach of the South Korean national team, guiding the co-hosts to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup tournament.

A prosecutor said Hiddink, who is on trial alongside his tax advisor for whom prosecutors are seeking a 13-month sentence, had instead stayed at his girlfriendís home in Amsterdam. He called calling Hiddinkís Belgium residence a "joke".

He went on to describe Hiddink as a stubborn man who had ignored the advice of his accountant to at least spend the occasional night in Belgium, according to the Dutch news agency ANP.

Netherlandís van Bronckhorst (l) is challenged by Russiaís Anjoekov

Netherlandís van Bronckhorst (l) is challenged by Russiaís Anjoekov. Reuters

"Hiddink has fallen from a high pedestal," he added.

Hiddink admitted that he had not spent a single night at his Belgian residence at the trialís opening in late January, describing himself as a sort of football "nomad", according to the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

"I never felt comfortable there and no desire to lie there staring at the ceiling," Hiddink said.

He said he had instead slept all over the place ó in hotels, at his girlfriendís home, at the training ground of PSV Eindhoven, whom he was also coaching at the time, and sometimes even behind the wheel of his car.

The Russia coach said his income from coaching South Korea had already been taxed in Asia and he has acknowledged he chose Belgium as his official residence for taxation purposes.


In Moscow, Russian Football Union president Vitaly Mutko said he was not too concerned about the case.

"I donít think itíll get to a jail sentence," Mutko, the man responsible for luring Hiddink to Moscow, said.

"We live in a civilized world, not in medieval times. Holland is a European country, so I donít think they will go to the extreme.

"Besides, this is just a prosecutorís demand. Letís wait and see what the judges will actually make of it."

Prosecutors began legal proceedings against Hiddink last July. A verdict is due on February 27.

Reuters - By Theo Ruizenaar. The St. Petersburg Times, February 9, 2007

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