Netherlands beat Cameroon

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ruud van Nistelrooy scored to give the Netherlands a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in Saturday's World Cup warmup.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Ruud van Nistelrooy scored to give the Netherlands a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in Saturday's World Cup warmup. The Dutch dominated the game on a slippery pitch, helped by Arsenal forward Robin van Persie. The home team went ahead in the 23rd minute after defender Joris Mathijsen spotted Andre Ooijer free in the centre. A 40-meter pass gave the PSV player time to flick the ball in the path of Manchester United striker Van Nistelrooy, who beat goalkeeper Idriss Kameni from close range. Robust play Kameni made several saves early on to keep the result respectable for the Africans, whose robust play got them five yellow and one red card late in the game. Van Persie, with his weaving runs and dangerous crosses, was the man of the match. "He got his chance, he played well and he took his chance," said captain and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. The match was the first in a series of three preparation games for the Dutch. They play World Cup qualifiers Mexico on Thursday and Australia on June 4, before heading for their training base in Freiburg in southern Germany. The Netherlands opens its World Cup campaign against Serbia-Montenegro on June 11 and also plays Ivory Coast and Argentina in Group C. The Dutch rested creative midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, who is still recovering from ankle surgery, allowing Ajax's Wesley Sneijder a game in midfield. Forward line Up front, the left-footed Van Persie was playing on the right instead of local favourite Dirk Kuyt of Feyenoord. It made for an all-Premier League forward line. Next to the Arsenal winger, Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy was at the centre and Chelsea's' Arjen Robben on the left. Van Nistelrooy's goal was his 26th for Holland in 50 internationals. Cameroon played without FC Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o and rarely created chances. When it did, it found Van der Sar in its way. In the 42nd, the Manchester United goalkeeper pulled off a stunning reflex on a short-range shot from Pierre Webo. Slippery pitch Playing in a constant cold drizzle on a slippery pitch, skilful play was tough, but Van Persie had no trouble. He totally dominated the right and drew Cameroon defenders into countless fouls and two yellow cards. The second half was far more choppy, and not only because of string of replacements. The rain increasingly made the pitch unplayable and Cameroon finally started looking for an equaliser and playing like their No 15 FIFA ranking. Five minutes from the end, Cameroon's Alioum Saidou was sent off for protesting. Lineups: Netherlands: Edwin van der Sar, Jan Kromkamp, Joris Mathijsen, Andre Ooijer, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Mark van Bommel, Wesley Sneijder, Philip Cocu (Denny Landzaat, 78), Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy (Dirk Kuyt, 76), Arjen Robben (Ryan Babel, 83). Cameroon: Idriss Kameni, Jean-Joel Perrier Doumbe (Stephane Mbia, 70), Geremi, Stephane Bikey, Jean Makoun, Timothee Atouba (Bilayi Ateba, 46), Salomon Olembe, Alioum Saidou, Rudolph Douala (Guy Feutchine, 75), Daniel Kome, Pierre Webo (Albert Meyong Ze, 46). (AP)

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