Dutch hammer host Croats

Holland convincingly defeated Croatia 3-0 on Wednesday in a friendly match ahead of the the UEFA EURO 2008 finals in June.

Playing in the southern Croatian town of Split the guests dictated the game from the start with the home team putting the Dutch under little serious sustained pressure.

Although playing without four of their best players - Van Nistelrooy, Seedorf, Ooijer and Engelaar - the Dutch were overwhelmingly superior to the hosts.

John Heitinga's header surprised Croatian goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa after nine minutes for the opener, while Klaas Jan Huntelaar bagged the killer second nine minutes before the break.

The final blow to home pride came two minutes before the end of the match from Vennegor of Hesselink, who profited from a clumsy clearance by Pletikosa.

It was the worst home defeat Croatia have suffered since the former Yugoslav republic proclaimed independence in 1991.

In the UEFA EURO 2008 finals Croatia will go up against co-hosts Austria, Germany and Poland in Group B.