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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 21:23 GMT
Scotland thrashed by Dutch
Netherlands 6-0 Scotland
(Aggregate 6-1)

Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrates in Amsterdam

Ruud van Nistelrooy came alive as his hat-trick helped the Netherlands unceremoniously sweep Scotland aside and take their place in the Euro 2004 finals.

It was a result that not only rescued his own international career but that of many of his team-mates and national coach Dick Advocaat - as well as inflicting Scotland's worst defeat in 42 years.

Scotland had travelled to the Amsterdam ArenA with high hopes following their 1-0 first-leg win on Saturday.

But, responding to a welter of adverse publicity, the Dutch found the commitment, teamwork and luck that was missing at Hampden Park to power into an early lead through Wesley Sneijder.

The 19-year-old's introduction was a masterstroke for the highly-criticised Advocaat as the PSV Eindhoven midfielder set up goals for Andre Ooijer and Van Nistelrooy before half-time.

Manchester United striker Van Nistelrooy added two more after the break, in between another by Frank de Boer from a Sneijder corner, as the Dutch at last lived up to their billing as a world-class side.

Berti Vogts had made just one enforced switch in his side, the suspended Christian Dailly being replaced with Gavin Rae.


Dutch coach Advocaat made wholesale changes, with captain De Boer dropped along with Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Patrick Kluivert, while Jaap Stam was out through suspension.

Wilfrid Bouma and Michael Reiziger came into defence, with Rafael van der Vaart and Sneijder the other new faces in a reconstructed line up.

It was an unlucky 13th minute for Scotland, with Sneijder slipping past Neil McCann before firing a superb low into the corner of the net from 22 yards.

Wesley Sneijder celebrates after opening the scoring
Choosing Wesley Sneijder was a masterstroke for the Dutch
Scotland settled and Lee Wilkie had an opportunity to equalise after 25 minutes but headed into the side netting after finding himself in space at the back post.

But Sneijder was instrumental again as his free-kicks set up two more goals for the Dutch before half-time.

The first found defender Ooijer towering above the Scotland defence at the back post to head past an exposed Rab Douglas after 32 minutes.

Minutes later and from an identical position, Sneijder crossed for an unmarked Van Nistelrooy to head home from 10 yards.

Wilkie came close to giving Scotland some renewed hope, his diving header at the back post forcing Edwin van der Sar to push the ball out for a corner.

But the tie was over five minutes into the second half.

Darren Fletcher lost the ball in midfield and, when it eventually was played through to Van Nistelrooy, the Dutch striker chipped the ball over the advancing Douglas.

A near post header from De Boer at a corner and a simple tap-in from Van Nistelrooy completed the rout.

Holland: Van der Sar, Ooijer (De Boer 46), Reiziger, Bouma (Seedorf 67), Van der Meyde, Van der Vaart, Cocu, Sneijder, Davids, Overmars, van Nistelrooy (Kluivert 76).
Subs Not Used: Makaay, Robben, Waterreus, Van Hooijdonk.

Booked: van Nistelrooy, Davids.

Scotland: Douglas, McNamara, Pressley, Wilkie, Naysmith (Ross 46), Fletcher, Ferguson, McCann (Miller 62), Rae, McFadden, Dickov (Crawford 45).
Subs Not Used: Gould, Graham Alexander, Caldwell, Hutchison.

Booked: Ferguson, Pressley, Dickov, Naysmith.

Attendance: 52,000

Referee: Michel Lubos (Slovakia)

Scotland manager Berti Vogts
"We have to learn from international quality football"

BBC Five Live's Alan Green
"The Dutch were as brilliant as the colour of their jerseys"

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