Netherlands book place in last eight with win over France

June 14th, 2008 - 6:58 am ICT by IANS  

Berne (Switzerland), June 14 (DPA) The Netherlands booked their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 Thursday with an entertaining 4-1 win over France in Berne. Dirk Kuyt headed home a Giovanni van Bronckhorst corner after nine minutes to put the Oranje in front and substitute Robin van Persie made it 2-0 just short of the hour-mark, finishing off a lightning counter-attack involving Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben.

Thierry Henry pulled one back for Raymond Domenech’s side on 71 minutes, deftly steering a Willy Sagnol cross past Edwin van der Sar but within a minute Robben restored Holland’s two-goal lead, beating France goalkeeper Gregory Coupet from the narrowest of angles.

Wesley Sneijder rounded off a wonderful evening for the Dutch, making it 4-1 with a wonderful effort from outside the area with virtually the last kick of the game.

The win means Marco van Basten’s side are guaranteed to finish top top of Group C as they now have an unassailable six points from two matches, four clear of Romania, and five ahead of France and world champions Italy.

The Dutch play Romania in their final game Wednesday while France take on Italy in a repeat of the 2006 World Cup final.

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