Russia 1 v Holland 1

August 20, 2008 | Filed Under: Euro Box 

Robin van Persie’s first-half strike gave the visitors a deserved 1-0 lead with the Dutch eager to avenge their defeat by Guus Hiddink’s men in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals two months ago.
The Arsenal forward beat Russia keeper Igor Akinfeyev, curling a delicate left-footed shot into the top corner from just outside the area in the 25th minute.
The Russians stunned the much-fancied Dutch 3-1 in extra time at the European Championship in June, securing their best showing at a major tournament in 20 years and a personal victory for Hiddink over his home country.
The home team fielded an almost identical lineup on Wednesday. The Dutch were missing defender Khalid Boulahrouz and midfielders Wesley Sneijder and Orlando Engelaar through injury as well as goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and forward Ruud van Nistelrooy, who retired from the international game after Euro 2008.

The Dutch, who recorded a comfortable 4-1 win over Russia in a friendly in Amsterdam in February last year, dominated for much of the lively encounter at Moscow’s Lokomotiv stadium, with van Persie being the most active for the visitors until he was substituted by Ibrahim Afellay midway through the second half.
The Russians lost their top striker Roman Pavlyuchenko to injury late in the first half but escaped with a draw when Zyryanov calmly fired from the spot for the equaliser 12 minutes from time after Giovanni van Bronckhorst fouled Dmitry Torbinsky inside the box.

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