Netherlands ease past Hungary
The Netherlands turned on the style as they cruised past Hungary with a 4-0 win at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest. Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart gave the visitors an early lead and Ibrahim Afellay's goal shortly before half-time ensured the scoreline reflected Holland's dominance.
The game was one-sided from the early stages as the Netherlands immediately broke upfield to open the scoring after Gergely Rudolf's effort tested visiting goalkeeper Michel Vorm. Wesley Sneijder threaded a delightful ball into the box and Van der Vaart ran onto it to finish low under the left hand of veteran goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly, who should have done better.
Zsolt Laczko was off target with an ambitious attempt from wide on the left before Van Persie was booked for fouling Jozsef Varga. Overlapping Dutch full-back Erik Pieters then appeared to be bundled over in the box, but did not appeal and no penalty was forthcoming. Kiraly then dived full length to unconvincingly scramble Sneijder's fierce 30-yard free-kick away from goal.
Balasz Dszudszak threatened at the other end, dancing through two defenders and drilling in a shot from out wide, but Vorm gathered easily. Afellay skewed a shot well wide after being played in by Van Persie and a Hungarian counter-attack broke down after captain Zoltan Gera twice took the wrong option.
Kuyt lashed wastefully wide after breaking behind the Hungarian defence and Hungary's Vladimir Koman was booked as a bad challenge prevented Afellay launching a quick breakaway. Afellay was not to be denied, though, and put home his third international goal a minute before half-time after the ball was squared to him by Gregory van der Wiel.
Hungary coach Sandor Egervari introduced Peter Czvitkovics and Krisztian Vadocz for Koman and Varga at half-time in a bid to turn the game around. But Holland continued to look brighter and Van Persie forced a good save from Kiraly, who then turned Van der Wiel's effort around the near post.
Kuyt, Van Persie double the lead
Gera's shot was tipped over by Vorm but Kuyt soon made it 3-0. Van Persie was sent clear by Sneijder and squared unselfishly for the Liverpool forward to tap into an open goal.
Hungary began to lose their discipline and Akos Elek and Vilmos Vanczak were booked in quick succession. It was 4-0 shortly afterwards, with Arsenal's Van Persie this time the beneficiary of Van der Wiel's square ball after awful defending from Roland Juhasz. Eljero Elia replaced Afellay before the restart.
Sneijder almost embarrassed Kiraly with an outlandish long-range chip, but it rebounded off the crossbar and the goalkeeper saved well from Kuyt's follow-up header. Veteran Ruud van Nistelrooy was introduced alongside Kevin Strootman eight minutes from time with Kuyt and John Heitinga making way.
Dzsudszak curled a free-kick over the bar and Vorm saved from Czvitkovics and the PSV Eindhoven winger to preserve Holland's clean sheet. Two pitch invaders in stoppage time got closer to Vorm's goal than Hungary had for much of the game, but they were cleared by stewards and the final whistle followed moments later.