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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Holland 3-0 Latvia

Ruud van Nistelrooy
A Ruud van Nistelrooy brace set up Holland's quarter-final qualification.

But the Dutch owe Group D winners Czech Republic a huge debt after a reserve Czech team surprisingly beat Germany to enable Holland to reach the last eight.

Van Nistelrooy's penalty put the Dutch in front after Vitalijs Astafjevs was judged to have fouled Edgar Davids.

Philip Cocu then nodded back Clarence Seedorf's free-kick to create Van Nistelrooy's second and Roy Makaay swept home a third late in the game.

Throughout Euro 2004 the Dutch camp has been riven by dissent, but as news of Germany's defeat filtered through from Lisbon, Holland's players grouped together to celebrate wildly.

Nobody will be more relieved than Dutch coach Dick Advocaat.

In the build-up to this match, Advocaat had been pilloried by the Dutch media and fans alike for substituting Arjen Robben in Saturday's 3-2 defeat to the Czechs when Holland were 2-1 ahead.

KEY MOMENTS
27 mins: Van Nistelrooy strokes home a penalty
35 mins Van Nistelrooy grabs a second with a header
84 mins Roy Makaay strikes home a third Dutch goal
Restored to the Dutch starting line-up on Wednesday, Robben's influential play from the left wing once again demonstrated his importance to Holland.

On 12 minutes his vision and sublime pass released Van Nistelrooy, but Latvian goalkeeper Aleksandrs Kolinko was quick to narrow the angle and thwart the Manchester United striker.

Holland went ahead through a rather fortunate penalty midway through the first-half.

Davids squirmed his way past Mihails Zemlinskis and Astajevs and then tumbled in the box, prompting referee Kim Nielsen to point to the spot, and Van Nistelrooy calmly sent Kolinko the wrong way.

Eight minutes later the Dutch striker scored his third goal of the tournament stooping to nod home Cocu's headed cross.

Just before the interval Kolinko foiled Van Nistelrooy, reacting well to block the Dutchman's fierce volley.

Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar had been a virtual spectator during the first-half but he was quickly into action after the restart as Latvia adopted a more attacking strategy.

First Van der Sar parried Andrejs Rubins' rising shot and then he watched with relief as Valentins Lobanovs' shot after a corner almost crept into the net.

Just past the hour Kolinko and Van Nistelrooy resumed their duel with the Latvian keeper doing well to get down quickly to save the Dutchman's low shot.

Kolinko continued to defy the Dutch with a string of athletic saves but he had no chance as substitute Makaay added a third goal with a cool piece of finishing.


Holland: Van der Sar, Reiziger, Stam, de Boer, Van Bronckhorst, Seedorf, Cocu, Davids (Sneijder 77), Van der Meyde (Overmars 63), van Nistelrooy (Makaay 70), Robben.
Subs Not Used: Waterreus, Westerveld, Kluivert, Van der Vaart, Van Hooijdonk, Bosvelt, Bouma, Zenden.

Latvia: Kolinko, Isakovs, Zemlinskis, Stepanovs, Blagonadezdins, Bleidelis (Stolcers 83), Lobanovs, Astafjevs, Rubins, Prohorenkovs (Laizans 74), Verpakovskis (Pahars 63).
Subs Not Used: Pavlovs, Piedels, Miholaps, Korablovs,

Pucinskis, Rimkus, Smirnovs, Zakresevskis, Zirnis.
Booked: Lobanovs.

Attendance: 30,000.

Referee: Kim Nielsen (Denmark).


OFFICIAL STATS BY UEFA
Category Holland Latvia
Total shots 28 6
Shots on target 16 2
Possession 69% 31%
Corners won 9 3
Fouls committed 13 17
Offsides 2 4
Bookings 0 1
Sent Off 0 0



TRIVIA

  • Holland have been knocked out in the group stage only once in seven European Championship appearances now. In 1980 they failed to negotiate a group from which West Germany progressed to the final.
  • Dick Advocaat equalled Rinus Michels' post war record by making his 53rd appearance as Holland team boss. Holland's progress means Advocaat will overtake Michels' total.
  • Latvia's early exit means that six of seven debutants since Euro 1996 have crashed out in the group phase. Latvia have been the only newcomers to the competition at Euro 2004.
  • Wilfred Bouma was replaced by veteran Frank de Boer, who picked up his 111th cap for Holland and played his first match at Euro 2004. De Boer played in the European Championship as early as 1992 and is the only Dutch player who has collected a century of caps.





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