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Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Monday, 28 June 2010 19:52 UK

World Cup 2010: Slovakia coach hails Robben a 'genius'

Arjen Robben

Robben opens the scoring against Slovakia

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss described fit-again Arjen Robben as a "genius" after seeing the Netherlands winger dump his side out of the World Cup.

Robben set up a 2-1 Dutch win with a fine solo goal as he started his first game of the tournament after injury.

"We were preparing for three days for Robben, for his way of playing, but he is a total genius," said Weiss.

"When I saw him in the line-up I knew he would make the Dutch 50% stronger -and I was correct."

Robben gave the Dutch a lead they never looked like relinquishing after 18 minutes of the last-16 tie when he jinked inside from the right and drilled home a superb left-footed strike from 25 yards.

The winger continued to torment the Slovakian defence throughout the match, as Weiss's side failed to scale the heights of their exhilarating 3-2 win over champions Italy in the group stages.

"We had three huge chances when the result was 1-0 and had (Robert) Vittek managed to take his chances, it could have been a different story. But in the end, if you make mistakes you are punished," said Weiss.

Robert Vittek

Vittek scores consolation from the spot

Striker Vittek eventually hit the target when he converted a penalty with the last kick of the game to take his World Cup goals tally to an impressive four.

Slovakian boss Weiss also took heart from his side's achievement of reaching the last 16 in their first ever World Cup as an independent nation.

"We played with heart and courage and we are proud that we made it to the second round, but the better team went through - Holland were great opponents," said Weiss.

"I am happy with my players, although I believe they could have played much better. But the penalty at the end will make us feel better during our flight back home."

Dirk Kuyt

Highlights: Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia

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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010
Van Marwijk hails Robben effort
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup day 18 photos
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Monday's World Cup round-up
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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Daijiworldcom World Cup Soccer: Holland's Returning Robben Helps Sink Slovakia - 4 hrs ago
Sporting Life Van Marwijk: Dutch are underdogs - 21 hrs ago Van Marwijk - We're Underdogs - 23 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Holland 2 Slovakia 1: Return of Robben pleases van Marwijk as Holland march on - 24 hrs ago Quotes of the Day - 28 June - 24 hrs ago


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