European Under-21 Championship: Holland thrash Russia 5-1 in Group B
Last Updated: 09/06/13 10:50pm
Holland celebrate after Ola John makes it 3-1 against 10-men Russia
Holland took a huge step towards the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship with a 5-1 win over Russia.
Georginio Wijnaldum's first-half strike sent Holland on their way and Luuk de Jong added a second after Nikita Chicherin was sent off just after the break.
Denis Cheryshev did pull a goal back shortly afterwards but Ola John ended any hope of a comeback midway through the second half before Danny Hoesen and Leroy Fer added gloss to the scoreline.
The Dutch have now taken six points from their first two Group B games but things look rather more bleak for Russia as they remain pointless with just one match left to play.
It was an open contest in Jerusalem with the pattern set early on as Holland dominated possession while Russia looked to cause problems on the counter attack.
Star man Alan Dzagoev looked a threat for the Russians and almost found the opening goal after a quarter of an hour when he drilled a shot just wide of the left-hand post.
De Jong then wasted an excellent chance to score at the other end when he hit the foot of the post with a header from a left-wing corner on the 25-minute mark.
Best of the match:
- Man of the match: Ola John caused plenty of problems for the Dutch defence.
- Goal of the match: It was long over when Danny Hoesen scored but it was phenomenal touch to dink the ball over the goalkeeper.
- Talking point: Have Holland just confirmed themselves as the clear favourites to win this competition?
But Holland didn't have to wait too long for the breakthrough and took the lead when Wijnaldum fired off a shot from distance that took a slight deflection as it arrowed into the bottom corner.
Things took a turn for the worse for Russia just after the break when Chicherin lunged in desperately on the marauding Adam Maher and received a slightly harsh red card from the referee.
Maher then came close to rubbing salt in the wound minutes later when he connected beautifully on the volley from a right-wing cross but saw the ball ricochet clear off the top of the crossbar.
The second did arrive when De Jong nodded home but the two-goal lead did not last long when Cherysev turned the ball in from the rebound after Dzagoev headed against the post.
Just as it looked as though a tense finale was on the cards after all, John ran through down the left channel and finished deftly to restore Holland's cushion against the 10 men.
Hoesen then produced a delicious chip of his own to add a fourth before Fer put the seal on a confident display from a side that must surely now rate among the favourites to win the whole thing.
European Under-21 Championship Group A
European Under-21 Championship Group B
European U21 Championship
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