Dutch down ten-man Finland

The Netherlands came away with another three points with a 2-0 victory over Finland to move to the brink of UEFA EURO 2012 qualification.

Days after thrashing San Marino 11-0, the Dutch had to rely on a goal from Kevin Strootman and a 93rd-minute strike from Luuk de Jong to see off Finland, who were reduced to ten men for the final half hour as Perparim Hetemaj collected two yellow cards.

With the Dutch beginning the night six points clear of Sweden in Group E, they now look all but assured of a place for next summer's tournament. The Netherlands had set a new record in their rout of San Marino, with the scoreline emphasising why they have moved to the number one ranking in the world.

Holland certainly looked in the mood for another thrashing as they had their first shot inside the first minute, with Dirk Kuyt firing directly at Lukas Hradecky. But Finland would prove tougher to break down than San Marino, and they did not have another sight on goal until Wesley Sneijder sent a free-kick wide in the 14th minute.

At the other end, Roman Eremenko tested Maarten Stekelenburg with a set-piece of his own but the goalkeeper held his shot easily enough. Hetemaj then received the first of his bookings in the 28th minute for bringing down Mark van Bommel, but Sneijder was again wayward with the resulting free-kick.

However, the breakthrough came moments later when Sneijder whipped in a cross from the left and Strootman was on hand to fire into the roof of the net. Finland offered little in response before the break, with Hetemaj's long-range shot never threatening Stekelenburg.

Mikael Forssell had a better chance early in the second half, but again put his shot too close to the goalkeeper, while Robin van Persie - the scorer of four on Friday - was denied at the other end.

Down to ten
Kasper Hamalainen saw his shot deflected wide for a corner by Erik Pieters, but Finland's chances of levelling the match receded significantly moment later when Hetemaj felled Strootman and was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

It was all Holland thereafter, with Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Van Persie and Eljero Elia queueing up to test Hradecky with shots before De Jong sent a close-range effort wide. The chances dried up in the final ten minutes, with the Dutch apparently happy to settle for a 1-0 scoreline, but they came alive again at the death.

As the game moved into injury time, Hradecky had to scramble to block Elia's close-range shot with his feet, but there was nothing he could do in the 93rd minute when De Jong stabbed home Elia's cross.