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Page last updated at 22:18 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 23:18 UK
Netherlands 3-0 Italy



Coach Marco van Basten celebrates Sneijder's goal with the player
Coach Marco van Basten celebrates Sneijder's goal with the player

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten said his team made history with their stunning 3-0 Group C victory over World Cup holders Italy at Euro 2008.

"It was an historic feat. This was against Italy, the world champions," said a delighted Van Basten.

"To win 3-0 against Italy, a team with so much experience and quality in their team, we didn't expect that. It was a truly good performance from everyone.

"I am happy and proud, but this is only a first step."

The Dutch took the lead through a controversial Ruud van Nistelrooy strike, adding Wesley Sneijder and Giovanni van Bronckhorst goals to add gloss to a stunning triumph.

This leaves us incredibly proud and with a great feeling

Dutch star Wesley Sneijder

Van Basten believes the shock result gives his team the right to believe they can go far in the competition.

"We have never beaten Italy by three goals," added Van Basten, who won Euro 1988 as a player with the Dutch.

"If you think we were without players like Arjen Robben and Ryan Babel, the players reacted in a wonderful way.

"They fought like a team and if the spirit is like it was tonight, with all the quality we have, we can have nice dreams."

Real Madrid's Sneijder, who produced a scintillating attacking midfield display in the great Netherlands tradition, said the win has sent confidence soaring in the Dutch camp.

"This leaves us incredibly proud and with a great feeling," said Sneijder, who scored on his 24th birthday.

Dirk Kuyt was delighted with the win

"The first time is always incredibly important and to do this against Italy... it gives us a lot of confidence.

"But we have to realise that it is not in the bag yet."

Dirk Kuyt, who set up the second and third goals, admitted he thought the first goal from Van Nistelrooy would be ruled out for offside.

"We were waiting for the flag but it didn't come," said Kuyt. "But this is a great start for us. We must keep going now.

"We've given everything we've got and it's a great result for us. But it's the first match and there's another two tough matches to come."


Group C
17 June 2008 21:41
    P GD PTS
1 Netherlands 3 8 9
2 Italy 3 -1 4
3 Romania 3 -2 2
4 France 3 -5 1

see also
Netherlands 3-0 Italy
09 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Netherlands team guide
15 May 08 |  Netherlands
Italy team guide
15 May 08 |  Italy


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