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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football

UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications

Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands

Dirk Kuyt struck twice in the space of three minutes to finally turn a thrilling UEFA EURO 2012 Group E encounter in the Netherlands' favour after Hungary gave their hosts a scare.

Bert van Marwijk's side had beaten Hungary 4-0 away just four days ago, but they trailed for 11 second-half minutes against the same opponents, despite the visitors missing the suspended Zoltán Lipták and Ákos Elek. Liverpool FC striker Kuyt finally secured the win as he finished from a 78th-minute Ibrahim Afellay cross and then put a sweet 20-metre lob past Márton Fülöp.

Hungary had reason to fear the worst after Fülöp was beaten after 13 minutes, with John Heitinga heading Wesley Sneijder's corner on for Robin van Persie to tap in with his left foot. Van Persie looked to have set Kuyt up for a second soon afterwards, but he struck it wide, and Hungary duly responded with some verve, Gergely Rudolf testing Michel Vorm in the Netherlands goal.

What happened after the interval was nonetheless a big surprise. First, Rudolf exchanged passes with Balázs Dzsudzsák from a corner before his shot was deflected past Vorm by a combination of Rafael van der Vaart and Erik Pieters. Then, just four minutes later, Rudolf combined with Dzsudzsák on the left again, crossing for captain Zoltán Gera to put Hungary in front.

The Oranje looked momentarily stunned, but were handed a lifeline when Hungary midfielder Krisztián Vadócz inadvertently nudged Sneijder's ball back into the 26-year-old's path, and the FC Internazionale Milano man promptly hit the equaliser. Kuyt then set up substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy to score his 35th international goal after 72 minutes – a low, right-footed effort.

However, Hungary were not beaten yet. Three minutes later, Gera drove in his side's third of the night from Dzsudzsák's pass, but Kuyt was to have the final word, converting Afellay's cross from the left to restore the Dutch lead and then coming in from the right to send a splendid shot into the top left corner of the net to confirm victory.






13' Van Persie 1-0
    1-1 Rudolf 46'
    1-2 Gera 50'
61' Sneijder 2-2
73' Van Nistelrooy 3-2
    3-3 Gera 75'
78' Kuyt 4-3
81' Kuyt 5-3

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking


Robben: "Hard to grasp"
Van Bommel after defeat: "I'm a little speechless"
Van Marwijk: "In no mood to get negative"
Flat Dutch don't know what to do with 20+ chances
Netherlands-Denmark: lineup
Joris Mathijsen recovering well
Cruyff: "Kuyt at right back"
Mathijsen still uncertain - could miss entire tournament
Holland and Denkmark: head-to-head
Van Persie seems worth the confidence
Van Marwijk again opts for Van Persie instead of Huntelaar
Huntelaar: "Upset is not the right the word"
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"
Van Marwijk: "We remained disciplined"
Ibi and Rafa show manager he has options
Ibrahim Afellay Oranje's Zidane?
Van Marwijk looking for certainties
Cruijff: "Not enough depth in your game is asking for trouble"
Bouma: "I've gone through the desert"
Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"
Euro 2012 finals squad
Mathijsen strains muscle
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
Ola Toivonen's goal sees Sweden beat Holland and qualify
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sinks Moldova
Oranje maintain perfection, beat Finland
Netherlands thrash San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifier
Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands
Oranje trash Hungary
Sweden no match for Oranje
Van Marwijk: "We left them without chance"
Dirk Kuyt out for months
"We are prepared for all scenarios"
Minimal but easy win for Holland in Moldavia
Van Marwijk: "We played very well"
Holland want result after tumultuous week
Van der Vaart to replace De Jong
"This case only has losers"
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
Holland & Moldavia: head-to-head
Holland & Sweden: head-to-head
Wisgerhof replaces Maduro
Bouma back on the radar
Netherlands - Finland 2-1
Van Marwijk: "We were late all over the pitch"
Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"
Heitinga: "That can not happen"
Van der Vaart unhappy with role on the side
Kuyt and Boulahrouz out with injury
"It all revolves around Jari Litmanen"
Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"
Alonso: "No hard feelings"
Van Marwijk: "Second half was better"
San Marino-Netherlands 0-5
Oranje: a new mission