World Cup 2010 - Dutch extend winning run

Eurosport - Thu, 24 Jun 22:55:00 2010

The Netherlands warmed up for their World Cup last-16 match against Slovakia with a 2-1 win over a spirited Cameroon courtesy of goals from Robin van Persie and Klass-Jan Huntelaar.

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Van Persie's first goal of the finals on 36 minutes was cancelled out by Samuel Eto's clinical 65th minute penalty in the final Group E match in Cape Town.

The Inter Milan striker converted after Rafael van der Vaart handled Jean Makoun's free-kick in his own area.

Bert van Marwijk's side extended their unbeaten run to 22 matches, the longest such sequence in the international arena, when Huntelaar converted after substitute Arjen Robben's shot careered back off the inside of a post on 83 minutes.

The Dutch top the group on nine points after wins over Denmark, Japan and pointless Cameroon, who depart the tournament having lost all three games at the finals.

The Netherlands last lost a match at the group stages of a World Cup finals to Belgium during the 1994 tournament in the USA.

They will travel to Durban to face Slovakia on Monday afternoon.

Cameroon played some decent football in making a largely meaningless match feel like a contest, but they were cut open on 36 minutes.

Van Persie combined delightfully with Rafael van der Vaart before placing a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Hamidou Souleymanou.

Van Persie is the fourth Netherlands player to score at two different World Cups after Seventies icons Johnny Rep and Rob Rensenbrink and Dennis Bergkamp in the Nineties.

Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronkhost will retire from football at the end of this tournament to take up a coaching post with Feyenoord, but he has lost none of his appetite.

The former Barcelona player found Van Persie on 19 minutes with a perfect ball, but the striker could only knock the ball straight at Souleymanou.

Dirk Kuyt, who was playing in his 31st successive match for the Dutch, slid a shot wide of target minutes later as the former European champions continued to find space in the Cameroon area.

Paul Le Guen's team were certainly keen to bow out of Africa's first finals with a win, but Van Persie was almost in for a second on 50 minutes after Cameroon had pieced together over 20 passes.

Van Persie got his shot away, but this time Souleymanou was equal to the task as he swatted the ball away.

Cameroon continued to catch the eye with their robust and energetic approach in the second half as Van Bronkhorst blocked an Eto'o shot.

Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg saved a Makoun shot before Eto'o equalised.

Robben's arrival for Van Der Vaart on 73 minutes was key to the Dutch finalising the win, but there was also room for sentiment as well-travelled defender Rigobert Song made his fourth appearance at a finals when he replaced Nicolas Nkoulou a minute later.

The only concern for the Dutch camp was seeing yellow cards handed out to Van Bronckhorst, Dirk Kuyt and Van der Vaart in a match that was never dirty.

Such a statistic may yet come back to haunt them later in this tournament.

Match Facts

Cameroon v Netherlands

Goals 1-2

1st Half Goals 0-1

Shots on Target 3-7

Shots off Target 7-6

Blocked Shots 6-1

Corners 6-1

Fouls 18-15

Offsides 3-6

Yellow Cards 2-3

Red Cards 0-0

Passing Success 85.5%-85.2%

Tackles 11-27

Tackles Success 45.5%-77.8%

Possession 52.5%-47.5%

Territorial Advantage 55.6%-44.4%

Desmond Kane / Eurosport

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