Amsterdam, March 23 (IANS) The Netherlands recorded their fifth consecutive win in the UEFA World Cup qualifying Group D by beating Estonia 3-0 here.
The Netherlands started the World Cup qualifier against Estonia Friday with captain Wesley Sneijder back in the squad after a six-months absence due to a lack of playing time at his former club Internazionale. The return though lasted only 35 minutes, because he had to be substituted by Rafael van der Vaart due to an injury, reports Xinhua.
As expected, the Netherlands dominated the first half, but the combination play of the home-team did not lead to many chances. Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scored, but both goals were denied by referee Vitaly Meshkov because they were offside.
‘Oranje’ started better in the second half, with a cross by Daryl Janmaat helping Van der Vaart to open the scoring in the 47th minute. Van Persie added a second goal in the 72nd minute after another assist by Janmaat. Substitute Ruben Schaken produced the third goal in the 84th minute, the 1,500th goal in the history of the Dutch team.
Oranje have now won their last 13 World Cup qualifiers and are unbeaten in their last 27 (both are national records), since their defeat at Ireland in September 2001 (0-1). They lead Group D with five points ahead of Hungary and Romania, who drew 2-2 Friday.