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Page last updated at 22:28 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 23:28 UK
Netherlands 1-3 Russia (aet)
Basel, 21 June 2008
606 debate | Blog

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten
Van Basten will coach Dutch club Ajax from next season

Netherlands coach Marco van Basten paid tribute to Russia after they knocked his side out of Euro 2008 with a brilliant extra-time quarter-final win.

The Dutch lost 3-1 and Van Basten, who now stands down as coach, admitted: "The Russians played a lot better than we did and deserved their victory.

"I can live with the indisputable fact that they were better than us.

"We delivered some remarkable performances in the first round, but today we could not repeat those."

Netherlands were run ragged by a magical performance from Russia playmaker Andrei Arshavin, who set up the crucial second goal in extra time and then got his name on the scoresheet four minutes from the end.

Now, we have to confront the future. But it will be without me

Edwin van der Sar
Van Basten believes the Dutch were simply outplayed by Arshavin and striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

"We had a lot of problems with the attackers Pavlyuchenko and Arshavin throughout the game," added Van Basten, who scored the second goal for Netherlands in their 2-0 win over USSR in the final of Euro 1988.

"That really is the reason we couldn't come into the game."

The game also marked the end of goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar's Netherlands career, with the Manchester United stopper retiring from international football.

The 37-year-old is their record cap holder with 128 and he made his debut in 1995 under then coach Guus Hiddink - who is now in charge of Russia.

Van der Sar admits Russia deserved win

Van der Sar, who also equalled France defender Lilian Thuram's record of 16 appearances in European Championship finals, said: "We were not good enough to beat this Russian side.

"One has to admit it, they played fantastically well. It is really a pity to leave the tournament in this way after having started so brilliantly.

"Now, we have to confront the future. But it will be without me. This evening, one shouldn't criticise anybody, it isn't the time to point fingers at anybody."

see also
Netherlands 1-3 Russia
21 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Boulahrouz ready for Russia game
19 Jun 08 |  Netherlands
Hiddink eyes 'special' encounter
20 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Netherlands team guide
15 May 08 |  Netherlands
Russia team guide
15 May 08 |  Russia
Pick your Netherlands XI
23 May 08 |  Netherlands
Pick your Russia XI
23 May 08 |  Russia

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