Deadly Dutch march on
Bert van Marwijk's side maintain 100 per cent record in Group E
Last Updated: 25/03/11 9:53pm
Van Persie: Added the icing on the cake
Holland have extended their advantage at the top of the Euro 2012 qualifying Group E table after an emphatic 4-0 success over second-placed Hungary in Budapest.
The damage was done in the opening 45 minutes, with both Rafael van der Vaart and Ibrahim Afellay getting on the scoresheet.
The visitors maintained their supremacy into the second half, as Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt added a third with 53 minutes played.
Hungary had no answer for Holland's potent attack and they conceded again within 10 minutes, with Arsenal's Robin van Persie finding the back of the net.
The victory ensures Holland maintain their perfect record in Group E with 15 points from five matches while Hungary stay second with nine.
The game was one-sided from the early stages, as, after Gergely Rudolf's effort tested visiting goalkeeper Michel Vorm, Holland immediately broke upfield to open the scoring.
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 Wesley 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 lashed 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.
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, Kuyt and John Heitinga making way.
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.
European Championship Qualifying
Fri 25th Mar - Group C
Serbia2 - 1N Ireland
Slovenia0 - 1Italy
Fri 25th Mar - Group E
Hungary0 - 4Netherlands
Fri 25th Mar - Group A
Austria0 - 2Belgium
Fri 25th Mar - Group D
Luxembourg0 - 2France
Fri 25th Mar - Group I
Spain2 - 1Czech Rep
European Championship Qualifying Group A
European Championship Qualifying Group B
|2||Republic of Ireland||10||21|
European Championship Qualifying Group C
European Championship Qualifying Group D
European Championship Qualifying Group E
European Championship Qualifying Group F
European Championship Qualifying Group G
European Championship Qualifying Group H
European Championship Qualifying Group I